Saturday, 19 November 2011

Don't Litter Pamphlets Offend Muslims

BINNED: Anti-litter poster that was an 'insult to Muslims'

A Labour council was at the  centre of a race row last night after printing a leaflet targeted at  Muslims that invoked the name  of Allah in urging them to stop  littering the streets.
Bradford City Council was accused of inciting racial hatred by publishing leaflets that showed rubbish-strewn pavements – and appeared to place the blame on Muslims.
The pamphlet, titled ‘Be proud of your environment’, used the Koran to lecture them about breaking the law and making a ‘horrible’ mess of the city. 

Offence: Bradford City Council (pictured) said a well-intentioned junior official came up with the idea to print the leaflets
It said: ‘We should respect Allah’s creations and the environments they live in. We should not act with ungratefulness by treating our surroundings with disrespect and throwing litter.’ 
It was aimed at an area of the city boasting a high concentration of Muslims and which the council says has a problem with messy streets. 

'The pamphlet said: ‘Muslims are able to pray anywhere in the world . . . we always have to keep our place of prayer clean – so why not start with the streets and neighbourhoods that we live in?’

Conservative councillor John Robertshaw said he was ‘mortified’ to discover 16,000  of the ‘full-colour, glossy’ leaflets.
‘If these had gone out, the council could have been charged with inciting racial hatred, suggesting that litter dropping is exclusive to, or more  prevalent among, Muslims,’ he said.

Answers: The council's Conservative opposition councillors are demanding an explanation for the printing of the leaflets

‘A leaflet encouraging people not  to drop litter, specifically targeting believers in Islam, is so outrageous that I still find it hard to believe that this has happened. 

'What next? Leaflets to individually alienate our Christian, Hindu and Buddhist residents?’
Last night, Ian Greenwood, the Labour leader of the council, admitted the idea had been insensitive and said that the leaflets had been withdrawn. 
He told The Mail on Sunday a ‘well-intentioned’ junior official came up with the idea.
‘It was stopped by senior officials who realised it would cause offence.’

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