‘True spirit of Eid is not revving engines and blaring music’: Thousands flood Manchester for Muslim festival

By Mihaela Ivantcheva

Eid festival is expected to bring thousands flooding to Manchester’s Rusholme district to mark the end of Ramadan – but celebrators are being warned to remain responsible.

From today until Monday, Greater Manchester’s Muslim community will be celebrating the Muslim festival Eid-ul-Fitr, the end of a month of fasting, which begins on the first sighting of the new moon.

Restaurants and businesses along the famous Curry Mile are gearing up to one of the busiest weekends of the year.

Rabnawaz Akbar, councillor for Rusholme, said: “Eid is an important day of celebration for the Muslim community and I as a local councillor am extremely proud that Rusholme District Centre is a focal point for Muslim communities throughout the UK. I would like to wish everyone celebrating ‘Eid Mubarak’.

“I would like to encourage more families from all backgrounds to visit Rusholme at Eid time because apart from the numerous Asian and Middle Eastern eateries the District Centre enterprises permeate a special flavour of Asian cultural influence during this time of celebration.”

Cllr Akbar also called for a ‘responsible and safe’ Eid and urged everyone to ensure minimal disruption to the community and the surrounding areas.

“For the youngsters that are intending to attend I would ask them to come and enjoy themselves but in a manner that is peaceful and in the true spirit of Eid. Driving up and down Wilmslow Road in a hired car, ‘revving’ engines, blaring music from vehicles, drinking alcohol and committing acts of anti-social behaviour is not part of celebrating Eid or a part of the Islamic faith.

“Such behaviour has an impact on local residents, gives a poor and negative representation of Muslims and Islam and is of no economic benefit to local businesses hence I would ask the minority of youngsters who intend to carry out such activities to stay away from Rusholme,” he said.

During the festivities, traffic is expected to be heavier than normal with delays and diversions to public transport. Parking along Wilmslow Road will be restricted after 10pm.

Greater Manchester Police, who have been running successful operations during the Eid festivities, are increasing their presence in the hotspot areas especially along Wilmslow Road.

The police have been working with the Rusholme Traders Association, the Council of Mosques, Manchester City Council and Manchester’s Muslim community to ensure celebrations are safe and trouble-free.

Superintendent Neil Bholé asserted that any incidents of crime, antisocial behaviour and public disorder would be dealt with swiftly.

“To all of our Muslim community can I take this opportunity to wish you all ‘Eid Mubarak’. I would also like to appeal to everyone to ensure that festivities are enjoyed in a most peaceful and responsible manner. Anyone wishing to cause problems in the area is asked to stay away,” Supt Bholé said.

The restaurants of Rusholme’s famous Curry Mile will remain open during Eid. Car parks are located behind the Shere Khan restaurant, on Thurloe Street and Hathersage Road.

If any members of the community would like to discuss any issues in relation to Eid, either before during or after the event, please call the Longsight Neighbourhood Policing Team on 0161 856 4223 or email [email protected].

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