On the 7th July 2001, an Anti Nazi League rally legally gathered in Centenary Square, Bradford. Following earlier riots in other parts of the country and a recent ban on a National Front march in the city, sympathisers of the far-right movement gathered to confront the rally, resulting in the stabbing of an Asian man.

Tensions between Bradford’s British Asian and white communities exploded, resulting in two nights of intense rioting, including attacks on Asian-owned businesses and an arson attack on a local labour club.

Although the events of that summer left inevitable scars, they also triggered a new focus on uniting the diverse communities of Bradford. For this panel discussion, Editor of Eastern Eye Barnie Choudhury, QED Foundation Deputy Chief Executive Adeeba Malik and former head of BBC Yorkshire Tim Smith gather to reflect on how far the city has come since 2001 and the vastly improved community relations that exist today.

About The Speakers

Adeeba Malik

Adeeba is Deputy Chief Executive of award-winning Bradford based QED Foundation. Established in 1990, its aim is to improve the economic and social circumstances of minority communities by delivering programmes and influencing decision makers. In addition to her role at QED, she has held numerous ministerial and non-ministerial roles on various boards in Bradford, Yorkshire, and nationally over the last 23 years. She is a director of the Bradford Culture Company Ltd which is supporting Bradford’s UK City of Culture Bid 2025. She is Member of a State Honours Committee and is Board Member of the Home Office Strategic Race Board.

Tim Smith

Tim Smith worked for the BBC for 31 years, including ten years as editor of Look North and 12 years with BBC News. Head of BBC Yorkshire 2017-19. He covered the 1995 and 2001 Bradford riots for BBC News, and launched the BBC’s We are Bradford project in 2019, showcasing local people telling their own stories, attracting 5m views in a week. He is now a trustee of the Piece Hall in Halifax, and fundraiser for the Jo Cox Foundation.

Professor Barnie Choudhury

Barnie’s a former BBC correspondent who led the coverage of the northern riots in 2001. His three-part Radio 4 series marking the 20th anniversary is available on BBC Sounds. Barnie is now editor-at-large at Eastern Eye, the UK’s number one Asian newspaper. He’s also a professor of professional practice at the University of Buckingham.

Mohammed Amran

For over 25 years, Mohammed Amran has volunteered in the community and has been actively involved in encouraging young people to embrace the concept of good citizenship. He has worked with over 30 organisations locally and nationally, and in 1998 was appointed the youngest commissioner for the CRE. At present he is a local councillor and the chair of Bradford West.