MPACUK Manchester Success as Shop Owner Throws Out Blood Dates!
Alhamdulillah, our picket outside the Muslim-owned shop, Meezan, proved to be a success! Here is the full story of what happened ...
Many of the shops in the Manchester area, after being educated that the dates they were selling were from Israeli companies, didn’t think twice before getting rid of them. However, one shop on Wilmslow Road, Meezan, was proving to be very obstinate.
A few of the excuses they came up with were: “Is it a legal issue?”; “Why don’t you tackle the Zionist media instead of bothering us?”; “You are not Muslim. If you were, you would respect my private property and leave".
It’s hard to respect the property of someone who blatantly does not respect the plight of the Palestinian People and at the same time violates Muslim consumers' fasting in the holy month of Ramadan.
Due to the ignorance of the shop managers, we leafleted outside the shop to inform the customers in the hope that the owners would change their mind.
Almost every potential consumer we spoke to was shocked and disgusted that the shop was selling Israeli dates. Some even took it upon themselves to complain personally to the management but the shop still didn’t stop stocking them. In fact, the next day they replenished their shelves.
People from the local community asked MPACUK to arrange a protest outside the shop. We decided to listen and do it - enough was enough.
The day before the picket, Yvonne Ridley, the highly respected pro-Palestinian activist, supported our protest, resulting in people as far away as the U.S. calling the shop. It wasn't long before the shop was being bombarded with calls from the general public, making their disgust apparent.
The day of the picket arrived. MPACUK was first on the scene, but it wasn’t long before the rest of the local community appeared. The owner of the shop refused to co-operate at first, but eventually he realised we meant business and capitulated, agreeing to clear out the blood dates from his shop!
The picket had a real sense of togetherness and community. It was fantastic to see so many people from different backgrounds, Muslim and non-Muslim, standing side-by-side in protest.
Not only that, but a few people from the picket went down to Beresford Road in Longsight and convinced no less than four shops to stop selling the blood dates. This just goes to show the power of a message and how effective it can be when everyone in the community plays their part.
Due to the collaborated effort of all the organisations and the general public, we can say that this was a victory for the people. Furthermore, we have seen how a community can make a real difference by themselves when empowered to do so.
MPACUK would like to thank PSC, SWP, Viva Palestina and Victory to the Intifada for their support and we look forward to working with them again. And also a 'Jazaak'Allah' to Yvonne Ridley who helped mobilise people to call in and put pressure on the shop