From The Birmingham Mail:
Why should he get any special treatment?
A TOP Tory Muslim, found guilty of racial harassment, claims he is being “persecuted” after a request to postpone his community service during Ramadan was refused.
Gulfram Khan, from Handsworth Wood, Birmingham, was ordered to carry out 270 hours community work after admitting racially abusing an Irish policeman – and a second offence of harassing a judge.
The sentence means the 43-year-old, who once met former Conservative leader Michael Howard, should complete eight hours unpaid work every Wednesday until December.
But the father-of-two asked West Midlands Probation Service for a two-hour break throughout Ramadan – the month-long religious ceremony which bans Muslims eating and drinking during daylight – as he feared he would lack enough energy.
His demand was turned down, leading the Aston-born Conservative to accuse the service of being “prejudiced against people of Islamic faith”.
Mr Khan said: “I asked for a couple hours rest each week so I could carry on the community work as normal. But they flatly refused and said I must complete my hours by December.
“Yet I work in the evenings and find it quite tiring during Ramadan because I can’t eat or drink for hours on end.
“I didn’t want the time off. I wanted to make the hours up on other days, but they didn’t want to know.
“If someone has a religious observance, regardless of what religion it is, it should be respected. This is an issue of religious tolerance.
“I’ve spoken to other Muslim lads about the situation. We’re not frightened to do our community service, we are happy to do it but feel a sense of persecution.
“We can’t do community service on Christmas Day because the offices are shut. So why should there be a different rule for Muslims?
“I’m standing up for myself and other Muslims who are being persecuted at this time of year.”
Mr Khan, who lives with wife Nasrin, aged 37, and their children Ayesha, aged 13, and nine-year-old Khalid, was given 120 hours community work after racially abusing an Irish police officer – who, he claims, had discriminated against his family.
The Indian takeaway boss says he received the additional 150 hours after losing his temper with a judge presiding over a financial management hearing at a Birmingham civil court.
The convictions will come as a shock to many in the Birmingham Tory community, as Mr Khan had previously helped set up the Aston Conservative Party.
He once highlighted problems of underage sex, high unemployment and falling standards of education in the area which attracted praise and a visit from former Tory leader Michael Howard.
“I don’t regret anything,” Mr Khan added. “I stood up for myself and now I’m doing the time.’’
West Midlands Probation Service was unavailable for comment last night.
But a spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said: “I would have thought they might allow him to defer some hours.
“People subject to community orders are required to carry out six hours of unpaid work a week.
“Offenders are then required to complete these hours within a specified amount of time. His request would not have affected that requirement.
“In exceptional circumstances, the probation service can look at whether to adapt the hours to reflect a change in circumstances of the offender.”
If he wanted to enjoy Ramadan, he should have thought about that before shouting abuse at a policeman and harassing a judge - he clearly thinks he is untouchable.
In a sane country he'd be in prison, but no, he's launching lawsuits on the taxpayer instead.