'Come and see what we're about' - Biggleswade Islamic fun day organiser extends invite to man who ripped down advertising poster in Co-op

PUBLISHED: 09:07 01 February 2017 | UPDATED: 10:17 01 February 2017

All smiles at the Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre's Krispy Kreme sale on Saturday.

All smiles at the Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre's Krispy Kreme sale on Saturday.

Archant

The lead co-ordinator of a family fun day in Biggleswade has said that a man who ripped down an advertising poster - apparently angry that it is organised by Muslims - is more than welcome at their event.

Nadia Bhatti heads a team of about 15 people putting together the Biggleswade Islamic Cultural Centre’s free open day of kids’ games, food and more at the Weatherly Centre on February 25, the Discover Islam Exhibition.

The event has been promoted through social media and posters around town – and on Tuesday last week a man in the Co-op supermarket ripped down one of the posters and hurled abuse at staff over it.

Nadia told the Comet that she was saddened by the incident, but that they would welcome the man at the fun day.

In a Facebook post, she said: “The staff in the Co-op are great and it’s such a shame that they were treated like that.

“How disappointing to know that in this beautiful town of ours we have people who feel the need to firstly vandalise property that isn’t theirs and try to cause aggression towards an event which has an aim to create peace, harmony and understanding among all.

“In fact we invite these people to attend the event and come and see what we are truly about. We are not imposing anything on anyone.”

Speaking to the Comet, she added: “It’s just meant to be a peaceful event, a day for people to come along, have fun and enjoy themselves.”

Social media users commenting on Nadia’s post were widely supportive of her, with one asking the man: “What were you hoping to achieve – people not attending the event? Well, it’s backfired on you as you’ve just helped to raise publicity.”

Another added: “Ignorance isn’t acceptable and these are not welcome at the centre of our community.”

A Co-op spokesman said: “The Co-op serves and supports members and customers across the whole community – our store’s aim is to be a centre for the community, a local hub, and our noticeboard is available to promote and raise awareness of the diverse and wide range of activities that take place for the benefit of our community.”

Part of the funding for the Islamic cultural centre’s exhibition was raised by a Krispy Kreme doughnut sale in the town market on Saturday.

That sale raised £436.43, with Nadia remarking on how positively visitors had responded.

Nadia is still looking for volunteers to help run the open day from 11am to 3pm on February 25 – if you’re interested in helping out, or would just like to find out more about the event, give her a call on 07854 818451.

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