Gazette letters: Autism insulted, mosque threat and Eid street party

Emma's son Damien, nine, with friend Paul Way, who has autism. Emma asked both to be in this photogr

Emma's son Damien, nine, with friend Paul Way, who has autism. Emma asked both to be in this photograph to accompany her letter. - Credit: Archant

I would like to express our disgust and distress at the proposed “lock in” Tesco in Morning Lane, Hackney, is proposing to host writes Emma Dalmayne, CEO, Autistic Inclusive Meets (AIM).

I represent an autistic led organisation called Autistic Inclusive Meets. I am autistic, as are my children.

The fact Tesco is allowing a large glass case with someone to be locked inside for a 50-hour period to depict autism is insulting, ableist and discrimatory. It’s an inaccurate portrayal of autism in general.

We as autistic individuals are far from cut off, shut out or locked in from society! This depiction will further alienate us and reinforce the public perception of us being separate from them.

Autistics already face abuse. The charity Caudwell who are funding this were recently exposed in The Times as funding dangerous alternative treatments.

I ask that store manager Anton Depass meet me and my children and see we are far from “locked in”. Autistics have many different ways and options to communicate. I believe this campaign is targeted at the autistics who do not use vocalisation. This is wrong.

Please, Tesco, reconsider this?

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Hackney Stand Up to Racism was shocked to hear about the threatening letter sent earlier this month to the Masjid Ramadan Mosque in Shacklewell Lane, writes Alan Gibson, Hackney Stand Up to Racism.

It responded swiftly, calling on its supporters to send messages of support to the mosque, organising delegations from local schools, workplaces and places of worship, and issuing the following statement:

Hackney Stand Up to Racism condemns in the strongest possible terms the despicable threat to attack the Ramadan mosque in Dalston. Anti-Muslim racism is on the rise and we need unity from people of all faiths and none in the face of attempts to divide our community. An attack on one is an attack on all. HSUtR pledges its solidarity and its help to protect our Muslim brothers and sisters against any threat to their wellbeing and their right to worship free of fear. We praise the mosque for the work it has done in the community, particularly in supporting anti-racist causes.

More than 650 people attended an Eid street party in Dynevor Road, just off Stoke Newington High Street, held on July 2, writes Imam Abdullah Rawat, outreach co-ordinator, Musallaa-An-Noor Mosque.

The event was organised by Musallaa an-Noor, a local mosque, as an event to bring different communities together sharing fun, food and festivity; marking the end of Ramadhan.

The atmosphere was amazing, with local people invited to enjoy a wide range of traditional Asian and British food and drink, as well as fresh cream cakes, ice cream, sweets and popcorn. Activities included henna tattoos, an Arabic calligraphy stand, arts and crafts table, field games and a bouncy castle for the children. The street was decorated with Union Jack bunting and balloons to create a celebratory environment. Guests were also invited for mosque tours throughout the day to better understand the beliefs, practices and teachings of the local Muslim community.

Amongst the attendees were Diane Abbott MP, Hackney

Mayor Philip Glanville and Hackney speaker Soraya Aderaje as well as a number of other councillors. Also attending were church leaders, rabbis, HSNB members, police officers and PCSOs, mosque imams, IAG members, community

organisation representatives, neighbours who live around Musallaa an-Noor Mosque and shoppers/shopkeepers from the high street.

All the guests appreciated the heartfelt effort of the 30 male and female volunteers of Musallaa an-Noor Mosque for organising and hosting such a fantastic event.

It is hoped the Eid street party will become an annual event and continue to be a means to bring the diverse community together.