Muslim holiday Eid expected to draw thousands to Rusholme’s Curry Mile, prompting police warning

By Glen Keogh

A Muslim religious holiday which will see people descend to Rusholme’s world-famous Curry Mile has prompted a police warning calling for calm during festivities.

Eid-ul-Fitr, which begins on Wednesday August 7, is expected to attract visitors from across the country to Rusholme – the heart of Manchester’s Muslim community.

The festival marks the end of Ramadan and is expected to be a fun-filled occasion, however police have reminded revelers that anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated and there will be a strong police presence.

Chief Inspector Dave Gilbride from Greater Manchester Police said: “Our officers will play their part to ensure the communities and those visiting are kept safe and that there is minimal traffic disruption to the area.

“I would like to remind people coming to the city that any form of crime, anti-social behaviour and public disorder will not be tolerated and that we will take robust action against those participating in such actions.

“Eid is an important date in the Muslim calendar and celebrations should reflect this. Anyone wishing to bring or cause problems is asked to stay away.”

Curry Mile restaurants will remain open during Eid, however there will be no parking on Wilmslow Road during certain times.

Eid is typically celebrated with special prayers, food and gifts.   

Shahsaz Saeed, who works with the British Muslim Heritage Centre, is helping to put on Eid events on Princess Parkway, near the Curry Mile.

She is organizing a weekend of events over August 17 and 18 to cater for the huge response from last year, where more than 4,000 people visited the city for celebrations.

“We’ve had a quite overwhelming and positive response,” she told MM.

“We have a lot of fun things lined up, such as a play area, bouncy castle and even bird displays featuring kestrels and eagles.

“As well as that there will be lots of street food and barbeques.

“The police presence is just preventative as last year there was no trouble that we know of. But we’re working with the police to raise more awareness.”

Chief Inspector Gilbride added: “The force has been working with the support of the Rusholme Traders Association, the Council of Mosques and Manchester City Council to ensure safe and trouble-free celebrations.

“We have also been working with our colleagues in neighbouring forces to ensure that those travelling into the city from other areas do so for the right reasons so that everyone can enjoy the festivities.

“During the course of the two-day event our officers will increase patrols and will have a visible presence along the Wilmslow Road corridor and surrounding area.

“Finally I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our Muslim community ‘Eid Mubarak’ and those visitors coming to Manchester will be given a warm welcome.”

There will be no parking on Wilmslow Road, from Hathersage Road to Wilbraham Road, between 9pm Wednesday August 7 and 6am Thursday August 8.

This will also apply between 9pm Thursday August 8 and 6am Friday August 9 and between 9pm Friday August 9 and 6am Saturday August 10.  

Picture courtesy of WikiCommons, with thanks. 

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