Nephew launches peace campaign

Darlington and Stockton Times: ATTACKED: Mohammed Zabir ATTACKED: Mohammed Zabir

THE nephew of a taxi driver who died after an attack by a drunken passenger has launched a campaign to promote peace.

Mohammed Zabir, 56, was hit on the head with a bottle and kicked in the chest and head in Middleton St George, near Darlington, last year.

He was saved from further injuries by residents, but later died of a heart attack, though doctors could not link the attack to the assault.

Axel Williamson, of Kitching Grove, Darlington, pleaded guilty to a charge of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and was jailed for three years.

Mr Zabir’s nephew, Javid Khazir, from Middlesbrough, has now founded Media Cultured to tackle the use of social media and videos by fundamentalist religious groups and far-right organisations.

Mr Khazir, 38, said: “After my uncle died, I had to do whatever I could to make a difference.

“He was like a father to me, he raised me and was an upstanding member of the community.

“The power of negative portrayals using social media and film has been tragically illustrated in the attacks on US and UK embassies across the Middle East and beyond.

“Yet there has been no effective methods used to combat these negative portrayals and misrepresentations and one of the biggest pathways to extremism is through using social media.”

Mr Zabir, a father-of-six, also owned a pizza shop in Darlington and was attacked by Williamson after he celebrated his 18th birthday in Yarm with friends.

About 900 mourners turned out within hours of Mr Zabir’s death at a Middlesbrough mosque to remember his life.

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