Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cafe Boss in Fight against Hate Gets Letter from America

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Cafe Boss in Fight against Hate Gets Letter from America

Article excerpt

Manzoor Ali runs Barakah Foods in Chorlton A CAFE owner who fought back against disgusting 'Punish a Muslim Day' propaganda has been praised as a hero by an American mayor.

Manzoor Ali, who runs Barakah Foods in Chorlton, decided the only way to respond to the sick Islamophobic flyers - which sparked a police probe - was with kindness.

His family led a 'Banish Hate Day', encouraging people to take the time to be kind, and handed out free tea, cake and biscuits to people passing the shop on Barlow Moor Road.

The Alis' actions were shared around the world and even reached American mayor Jake Spano - who lives almost 4,000 miles away in Minnesota.

Mr Spano, who is mayor of St Louis Park, was so moved by Manzoor's kind actions that he has sent a precious keepsake to the cafe owner.

The politician sent over a pristine £5 note which he has kept with him since living in London 28 years ago.

He says he has kept the treasured note as a reminder of one of the greatest times of his life and is passing it on to 'inspirational' Manzoor as a show of support.

I was and so grateful to take the write Manzoor "We need more people like you in the world!" he writes. "I'm sorry you face such fear, resentment and threats based on unfounded prejudices.

"Enclosed you will find one of my most treasured possessions, a £5 note that I've been keeping as a reminder of one of the greatest times of my life."

The mayor, who grew up in Kansas, says he was just 18 when he moved to London to study at the former Ealing College in 1989.

overwhelmed for Jake the time to to us Ali He described the change as 'an abrupt and glorious shock to my world view' and added: "Walking down the street to school, hearing all the languages spoken on the streets and enjoying all the smells coming out of the stores and cafes opened my mind to a whole new world. …

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