Thursday, 30 September 2010
Here are video links to the two meeting held by Shahbaz Bhatti in the UK:
The first was in London and was hosted by the Christian Muslim Forum:
The second was in Bradford:
Please share your thoughts...
Tuesday, 28 September 2010
In a packed arena on Wednesday 22nd September 2010, Wilson Chowdhry Vice Chairman of the BPCA was awarded the "Bridging Communities" Category in the London Peace Awards.
The Peace Alliance introduced the awards with the following statement:
"The Award winner has been a proactive leader in his community inspiring many with his courage and bravery. Acting as an interface between communities and the Police and ASBO teams his work has helped address issues of anti social behaviour and helped foster community cohesion in his Borough. He is Chairman of the Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch Association and Founder of the Redbridge Carnival."
If you want to see a video of the award ceremony just click on the link below:
Wilson handing out free panic alarm to an Eastern European gentleman who had previously been mugged in a purported racially aggravated incident.
Rick from the ELCF checking out the food that his organisation provided for eating.
Rick loved the food so much he came back for more!
Scores of people kept us busy
This homeless man with a bruised and cut face joined us in our peace meal and took a panic alarm. He advised us of the bullying and persecution he is often subjected to.
Redbridge Carnival Queen Kajul Pahl and Princess Anum Anaib encouraged people to join us in Town centre.
"This is how you prime the Panic alarm"
Rick loves photos!
A most accessible and diverse event.
Rick from ECLF and Mal from the RNWA enjoying the event with visitors.
Young and old mourn the loss of a young life.
The memorial was crammed with well wishers sharing the pain of the Mahmood Family.
Parvin Mahmood lays a new wreath for her lost son.
People form up as we set up for the memorial speeches.
Superintendent John Sweeney joins Parvin Mahmood and Anne Oakes-odger in setting up a memorial.
Anne Oakes-lodger read a poem written by Kashif's sister Zainab Mahmood
A 1 minutes silence allows people to reflect on the futility of knife crime.
John Sweeney talks of the needless waste of such crime, he was the chief officer involved in the murder case of Kashif Mahmood.
Riffat Rizvi - the mother of Sabina Rizvi lost to gun crime spoke of the hurt it caused her family.
Alex Chowdhry from the British Pakistani Christian Association talked on community cohesion, togetherness and the need to bring change from within ourselves.
Elizabeth from Sizanani Africa spoke of the need for peace.
Elizabeth really stirred young people hearts and encouraged them to join her group.
Wilson reminds young people that there is much they can do to help in the fight against violent crime.
Whilst Parvin Mahmood spoke the Carnival Queen and court at our event were great ambassadors for our Borough.
Young and Old, Black, White and Asian - united against crime.
Father Ackroyd from Vine United Reform Church joins the Redbridge Carnival Queens after a successful event.
Rick has been busy all day trying to get in pictures - this time we got his banner in!
Rick with Karen Campbell (RNWA) and Elizabeth (Sizanani Africa)
Our thanks to ECLF for funding this project they deserve the profile - well done Rick!
If you think missing me is hard, then you should try
Missing you could turn from pain to pleasure, if I knew
you were missing me too
They say when you are missing someone that they are
probably feeling the same, but I don’t think it’s possible
for you to miss me as much as I’m missing you right
Within you I lose myself….
Without you I find myself
Wanting to be lost again.
Love is missing someone whenever you’re apart,
But some how feeling warm inside because you’re close
If I never met you, I wouldn’t like you. If I didn’t like you
I wouldn’t love you. If I didn’t love you, I wouldn’t miss
you. But I did, I do, and I will.
Thursday, 23 September 2010
Juliet my wife as we stood on the balcony of City Hall overlloking London Bridge
Looking glamorous but the wait made us extremely nervous!
City Hall got us really dizzy!
After the ceremony we celebrated the award!
The event was spectacular and well organised
Pastor Nims the chairman of the Peace Alliance was correct when he said "there were no losers at the event" and everyone there had a positive story to tell about their community work.
Our friends celebrated with us!
Enjoying the moment till the end.
Awesome image by the bridge.
Loyal friends are few and far between,
Father Francis Ackroyd presented me with my Trophy. He is also form Ilford and will be working with me on a peace week event this Saturday. Come along to Vine United reform Church Riches Roiad form 14:00 - 18;00 and meet with us.
Here is what the Event Organisers said:
Boris Johnson praises community champions at London Peace Awards
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, this evening praised the brave and selfless Londoners who volunteer their time, skills or expertise to contribute to the safety and well-being of their community.
Speaking at the London Peace Awards, which were held at City Hall to mark the London Week of Peace (19th – 26th September), the Mayor honored Londoners of all ages, cultures and backgrounds who have demonstrated a commitment to creating peace, cohesion and positivity in the capital. The awards mirror Boris Johnson’s strong commitment to promoting volunteering across the capital and raising the aspirations of young people.
The Mayor presented the Londoner’s Peace Award (the Mayor’s Award) – for the individual who has made the most outstanding contribution to their community - to Patrick Regan, founder of XLP, an inspirational organization which engages with gang members, police and politicians to fight poverty, support education and serve hundreds of young people.
The winners of the other awards are as follows:
- Community Safety Award: Decima Francis founded ‘From Boyhood to Manhood Day Support Programme’ – a project which has been delivered to over 20,000 young people who were either excluded or at risk of being excluded from school and society at large.
- Diversity Award: Michael Kosmas founded the NXG project – which now reaches up to 5,000 young people - to mentor young people of diverse cultural backgrounds.
- Bridge Builders Award: Wilson Chowdhry founded the Redbridge Neighbourhood Watch Association and solves community anti-social behavior by acting as an interface between communities, ASBO and Police Teams in Redbridge.
- The Young Persons Award: Darwin Bernadrdo founded NUTMEG, a community based organization helping young people to realize their potential through numerous events which engage hundreds of young people.
- Developing Real Examples and Mentors (DREAM) Award: Nilesh Badiani - a key player of Sai School of Harrow, a free weekend institution for children and young people from ethnic communities which promotes human values.
- Volunteer Award: Kay Oldroyd founded the Black Youth Achievement CIC in 2008, which promotes the positive aspects of young black people and hosted the first ever Black Youth Achievement Awards in November of 2009.
- Community Engagement Award: Michael Smith is an inspirational man who has been an immense catalyst for change in the community. His work Word 4 Weapons is a Christian based organization which involves putting knife bins in key places where people turn in their weapons. To date almost 800 knives have been binned.
- Parents Peace Award: Mimi Asher. Having started a project in her home, Mimi now uses a community hall to persuade people involved in gang culture in the estate to realign their life choices.
- Turnaround Peace Award: Chris Syrus is an ex-offender, poet and writer who mentors young offenders and young people in care.
‘In altruistic spirit, the Peace Awards celebrate the achievements of those who generously give their time and talent to making London a more harmonious and happy city. The initiatives which are championed by the Week of Peace help cut crime, build bridges between different faiths and cultivate a feeling of solidarity. I am proud to be involved in this exemplary event and I thoroughly recommend all Londoner’s get involved in the voluntary work it inspires.’
Rev. Nims Obunge MBE DL, Chief Executive of Peace Alliance, said:
‘In times of economic hardship, it is ever so important that we encourage and celebrate those who give themselves selflessly to create a better society. We all have something no matter how small that we can give back to improve where we live, work or play.’
The London Week of Peace and the Peace Awards marked their tenth anniversary this year. The London Week of Peace, which began in Haringey in 2001 and has grown to incorporate all 33 London boroughs, was set up by the Peace Alliance with the aim of organizing initiatives which increase community cohesion, reduce crime and raise awareness of community safety issues. The GLA provides funding for three key events across the week: the Peace Awards Ceremony, the Peace Debate/Multi-Faith Forum and the volunteering project.
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
Wilson with John Bosco and Javed Gill
Wilson with Alvin John
Wilson with Reverend Rana Youab Khan from "The Anglican Communion"
Bishop Dr Richard Cheetham with Shabaz Bhatti and other Pakistani Christian Brethren.
Wilson with the Director of the Christian Muslim Forum
Another photo for good luck.
Rt Revd Dr Richard Cheetham (Bishop for the Diocese of Southwark), Wilson Chowdhry and Shabhaz Bhatti Federal Minister of Minorities - Pakistan.
In Alex's absence I attended the Christian Muslim Forum conference held at St George the Martyr Church , Bermondsey London yesterday afternoon. The event was well organised and had a small but important audience including members of Christian Solidarity Worldwide, the Bishop of Southwark, Romail Gulzar and Pukaar News, John Bosco, Reverend Yana Youab Khan and many esteemed other including senior figures form the UK Muslim community.
The meeting was a chance for those concerned about the persecution of minority faiths and affect of the recent inundation - to get some feedback from the Federal Minister Shabhaz Bhatti and to pose questions to him.
Shabhaz Bhatti talked much about the introduction of a people engagement scheme that involves frequent meetings with leaders and lay people from all faiths in Pakistan. He described how he believed that this would herald a new age of dialogue and cultural transformation in Pakistan - if given time to take affect.
He also talked of amendments to be made to the Blasphemy Law of Pakistan that will eventually see the introduction of penalties to those who are found abusing the act for personal benefit. This would also involve penalties to groups or agencies that stirred up hatred against communities - such as rogue or fanatical religious leaders and their establishments.
Many questioned the veracity of the worth of such schemes as many had heard the same previously. Moreover, I specifically asked the Federal Minister, to explain how he would ensure that the authorities involved in the process of evaluating and investigating any blasphemy allegations would be free from corruption. I suggested that the police and other agencies are prone to corruption due to low levels of pay
incommensurate with better pay levels for Taliban insurgents! Moreover, if better pay levels were to be administered the government of Pakistan would have to introduce a fairer tax system and ensure that monies due were collected.
I also queried the need for a Blasphemy Law considering that a lead Muslim had stated that the law itself is un-islamic (it seemed a ubiquitous theme that all faiths attending the meeting were pro-abrogation of the Blasphemy Law), however, if the government was reticent to remove the cat should the law not provide universal protection to all faiths and prophets. In such format with the threat of counter-litigation we should surely see a sharp reduction in the propensity for abuse.
Finally I asked why it was necessary to highlight an individuals faith on their passports and identity documents. This act alone highlights the extent of prejudice in Pakistan and would be an easy matter to resolve without any significant cost or difficulty. People would simply have the choice to purchase new passports without the discriminatory text - if holding an old standard type.
Shabhaz Bhatti meandered from one subject to the next and simply muttered something about the "passage of time." Let us hope that passage of time is not one that never comes to fruition.