Whole community has duty to guard against extremists – Ilford Muslim leader

Bashir Chaudhry

Bashir Chaudhry - Credit: Archant

A Muslim leader told an audience last night the whole community has a responsibility to guard against extremism.

Ilford Community Centre chairman Bashir Chaudhry was addressing other faith leaders and dignitaries gathered at an annual end of year event on the day more than 130 Pakistani children were killed by Taliban insurgents.

Mr Chaudhry stressed the terrorists did not act in the name of Islam, a theme which other speakers echoed at the event.

He also highlighted the services the centre provides including a community kitchen which offers food to the needy.

Ilford South MP Mike Gapes praised the role immigrants had played in shaping the borough today.

“Ilford was a very boring place when I grew up 60 years ago,” he said. “There was a Wimpy Bar and an Italian, that’s all.”

Other speakers included Fatima Jamila Anwar from Care Pakistan, who spoke of the thousands of “ghost” schools in the country and of the charity’s role in bringing education to all the country’s children.

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Deputy Mayor of Redbridge Cllr Linda Huggett welcomed those gathered on behalf of the centre and other speeches were made by defence minister MP Julian Brazier, Redbridge Borough Commander Det Ch Supt Sue Williams and the Mayor of Barking and Dagenham Cllr Elizabeth Kangethe.

Rabbi David Hulbert, of the Bet Tikvah Synagogue, Newbury Park, said a prayer and lit a candle for Chanukah and sang a Chanukah version of the 12 Days of Christmas.

After the speeches the guests enjoyed a meal, served courtesy of Quality Foods, Ilford Lane.

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