Oldham Clean-up Response

Published Categorised as Articles, Community Clean-up

Assalamu alaikum

Dear Dr. Pasha,

Thank you for the opportunity to meet with you on Saturday afternoon. On behalf of the Council, I would like to thank you for your efforts both in organizing and in promoting community clean-ups in our neighbourhoods. Your leadership and clear example to others will, I am sure, have struck a chord with local residents and visitors to the
Coppice area.

Oldham faces many complex problems but also many opportunities in promoting community cohesion and sharing common values. One of our Strategic Objectives is making Oldham a cleaner and greener place by reducing litter, dog fouling and improving our physical environment.

Inevitably there is a high expectation that, as a Council, we will endeavour to keep Oldham's streets clean, and as I explained to you, we now have the resources to recruit 24 new Street Cleaning Operatives.

To promote continuous improvements we have also launched our own Community Litter Plan, accessible on our web site www.oldham.gov.uk aimed at raising awareness and to help foster community action. We recognize that community solutions will be the key to ensuring lasting improvements in the cleanliness and appearance of our Town and we are grateful for your interest and involvement and hope that you will visit us again when you are in our country.

In the meantime we will be working with Tahir and other community leaders and activists to ensure we achieve our goals.

Thank you once again for your efforts.

Peter Rafferty
Street Cleaning and Fleet Manager
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.

Dear Mr. Rafferty:

You greeted me with the finest greetings known to human beings -- and I do not mean it in a sectarian or denominational way.

Salam means all the wonderful things of this life and of the next life. It is also a name God Almighty chose for himself.

Paradise is a place of Salam.... eternal peace, tranquillity, bliss and proximity to God.

So, I cannot do less, as we have been told to always do one better.

I return you greetings with Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah....May God Almighty shower his choicest blessings and grace and mercy upon you and yours...and the council and the community and town of Oldham and its neighbourhood...

In particular those from the city and the council who came down to help us -- on a weekend ....and in rain...

I can say thank you...and I did on that day and I do now....But nothing can compare to the grace from above...

It is my view....and that is what Islam has taught me....we cannot love God without loving his world and his people....

Nor can we love God or serve him without making our world a better place -- beginning right from where we live -- a better, cleaner, more conducive, more friendly, more neighbourly, and a healthier and happier place for all.

That is what all the prophets of God taught -- Jesus, Moses, Abraham...May God Bless them all. But unfortunately that is a lesson that we need to relearn now.

OUR IMMEDIATE CHALLENGE is to get the Oldham Muslim and Asian and immigrant community as a whole committed to cleaner streets and greener neighbourhoods.

Once we set our mind to it, and do the work that needs to be done, it will happen. That is the promise we have from God. We seek and strive, and he helps and fulfils.

These are hard times for all...in more ways than one....But the way to make them better is to do what we need to do to make Allah's world a better place for all of his people and for all of his creation.

We are fortunate to have in Britain a society and a system that foster freedom and enhance human dignity. These values are divine gifts given to humans by divine grace. We must take advantage of them to make ourselves and Allah's world better.

May God bless and guide you in the magnificent efforts you and the council undertake.... You are Allah's front people on his beautiful earth....

You are in the trenches...fighting to make Allah's world better...for Allah's people.

May he guide you, protect you, support you, bless you...and make your noble goals come true...and good efforts bear fruit.

I am proud and honoured -- both as a person and as a Muslim -- to be a member of the cleaning crew of Oldham; of the labour force of Oldham; of the City Council of Oldham, even though I carry no formal credential; and of the people of Oldham, even though most of them don't even know who I am.

Your green-and-white truck to me that day was better than any Rolls Royce any day.

Please feel free to share my comments -- and my enormous gratitude -- with all those who braved the weather and sacrificed the weekend to come and help us....and with City Council at large.

I am grateful to all of you.. Saturday, September 6, 2003 was a proud day for all of us.

I am only a holler away when you need me again....to pick up the rubbish...or for something else..

Asslamu alaikum

God bless you

Your brother in the clean-up and green-up work...

Dr. Pasha

P.S. Somehow, I feel we failed to present T-shirts to the city people who turned out that day. It was a glaring oversight on my part for which I take full responsibility. Please accept and convey to others my most heartfelt apologies.


Assalamu alaikum

Dear Dr. Pasha and Tahir,

Thank you for the most wonderful letter I have ever received and I am overwhelmed at your enthusiasm, your strength and sense of purpose, and your determination to achieve your goals. I am only sorry I missed your lectures earlier in the day, but I shall be there next time!!

I have just been speaking with Tahir and I attach a number of photographs I took on the day, please forgive the quality and lack of skill on the part of the camera man!

I have circulated your letter and these photographs to all my colleagues in the Council and I have had a marvellous response back, and positive messages about how we can help support/ assist/ facilitate spreading your messages. We have Area Committees, rather like Township committees and at last night's meeting of the West Oldham AC your visit and event was the talk of the evening. You have rang a bell that is sounding through Oldham and that must be answered!!!

I am on leave for a week now, but hope to have further e-mail conversations with you, Tahir and others about how we can continue the good work you have started.

God bless you both and keep you safe

Peter Rafferty
Street Cleaning and Fleet Manager
Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council.

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