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Original Message
Forum General 
Topic Removal Of Community Papers from Newham Libraries 
Author Iftikhar Ahmad 
Date Created 16/07/2011 15:40:54 
Message Removal of Community Papers from Newham Libraries
All community news papers and weekly papers are bilingual. The two daily news papers are in English and Urdu while one daily paper is in English only. The two weekly news papers are also in Urdu and English while two community weekly papers are in English only. There is only one weekly magazine in Urdu. Community papers were replaced with Daily Telegraph and Daily Express to save millions. Majority of migrants from the sub-continent live in Newham and all of them are Council Tax payers. Now there is not a single community paper in any of the library for them to read. There is large Urdu speaking community who lives in Newham and these papers act as a magnet to attract Urdu speaking residents to the libraries. Whenever I visit Forest Gate and Green Street Libraries I notice people are always busy ready and waiting to read Urdu papers. We will be driving these people away from the libraries if Urdu papers are removed from the libraries instead of encouraging them to visit. Papers are integral part of attracting people and keeping the libraries open. Since the removal of such papers, I hardly see any Muslim in Forest Gate library.
This shows that for Muslim community both English and Urdu languages are important. All these papers are concerned with local news, news from the sub-continent and international news. These papers help migrant community to keep in touch with their cultural roots, local news and information and enjoy the beauty of their literature and poetry. Those who are unable to visit libraries buy these community papers or use internet at home. The English sections of such papers will help even non-Urdu readers to learn community culture and way of life. I do not think that officials of the Newham Authority have ever cared to find out that all community papers are in English and Urdu.

As far As English language is concerned, nobody is denying its value and focus should be on helping people learning English. Migrant community believes that an English language skill is key to ensuring equal access to services, opportunities and personal independence. The economic and social survival of bilingual Muslim community depends on English language but not at the cost of its mother tongue. It is a crime against humanity to deprive a community from its native tongue and cultural heritage. Muslim community is bilingual and does not believe in becoming monolingual Brits.

Bilingualism is an asset and not a problem. DFE is spending millions so that young generation could learn a foreign language, including Arabic and Urdu. The survival of British Muslim community depends on learning English, Arabic, Urdu and other community languages for their economic, social, emotional and spiritual prosperity. The council has stopped community papers not for reducing spending but to force Muslims to read only English papers. Tomorrow, the council will stop teaching foreign languages in schools. It will also force Mosques and Imams to read Quran and perform all prayers in English, instead of Arabic. The stupid British politicians have already asked migrant families to use English at home with their children.

I'm not sure how learning English will help stop extremism either, many of those who have carried out/plotted atrocities have been highly educated. Speaking English does not promote integration into British society, and broaden opportunities. English speaking Muslims still face discrimination in jobs, education and housing. English speaking Muslim youths are angry, frustrated and extremist, thanks to English language. English language is not only a lingua franca but also lingua frankensteinia. Human right also covers linguistic right. Cultural and linguistic genocide are very common. British schooling is murdering community languages like Arabic, Urdu and others. English is today the world killer language. Linguistic genocide is a crime against humanity and British schooling is guilty of committing this crime.

The LA has stopped all these papers to save money but added two English news papers, the Daily Telegraph and Daily Express. Where is the saving? Redbridge LA still provides all Urdu/English papers, plus one monthly Muslim Magazine in English. Even Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets LAs have not stopped community papers. It is only Newham who does not care about its minorities. Newham LA could save millions by stopping publishing Weekly Newham Magazine, instead of community papers. In my opinion all Community papers cost less than 5000.00 per year. We pay council tax and it is the duty of the council to provide what we want.

I would like to see community newspapers to be reinstated immediately because lot of Muslims visits the libraries to read Urdu newspapers along with English newspapers.


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