“You might as well fall flat on your face as lean over too far backward.” – James Thurber
The city of Bradford has designed an anti-littering campaign aimed at the Muslim community that invoked Allah, saying “the whole of the Earth has been declared by Allah as a place of prayer for the Muslim.”
It is highly disturbing to see a city government preach in this manner, let alone to use a line with supremacist undertones. The leaflets were withdrawn, but not before 16,000 were printed up in full color. Just what everyone needed to hear in a global fiscal crisis.
Maybe they should have just borrowed “Give a Hoot“: “In the city or in the woods, help keep Dar al-Islam (er, Bradford) looking good.”
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.
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.
“˜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Greenwood, the Labour leader of the council, admitted the idea had been insensitive and said that the leaflets had been withdrawn.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.’