Christians show appreciation for Muslim councillor who completed courageous human rights mission in Pakistan

A SAFFRON Walden councillor who went on a courageous human rights mission was applauded and praised at a special meeting held in the town.

Cllr Raza Anjum travelled to Pakistan at the end of December in order to campaign for the release of Christian mother-of-five Asia Bibi who was arrested in June 2009 and sentenced to death for blasphemy, a crime which she denies committing.

During his time there he held meetings with other senior figures in the Pakistani government including the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, who was assassinated just days after their meeting.

Last week he gave a talk about his visit to a packed reception held at the United Reformed Church hall in Abbey Lane. The meeting was attended by Christians and Muslims alike.

It included speeches by Lord Sheikh, chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum, and Rev David Tomlinson, rector of St Mary’s Church.

There was also a presentation to Cllr Anjum by Paul Martin on behalf of the Cambridge-based group, Building Bridges, which seeks to establish trusting and respectful relationships between Christians and Muslims.

Mr Martin said: “Cllr Anjum spoke movingly of his debt of gratitude to Britain and his pride in being British.

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“The values of tolerance and respect were ones that he hoped Pakistan would once again espouse. His concern for the Christian minority in that country was clear.”

Mr Martin has contacted the Reporter to invite any of its readers who are interested in receiving updates about the group’s work, to contact him on 01799 501927.