By Daphne Anson
|All heads down. Councillor Javid Iqbal sneaks a peak|
An obscure rural locality transformed by the Industrial Revolution, Oldham is a struggling former cotton mill town in Lancashire, now part of Greater Manchester.
Long gone are the days when a Conservative parliamentary candidate (Winston Spencer Churchill, no less, in 1900 during the Boer War) could be returned to Westminster for Oldham. (For its recent election results see here and here)
It elected council reflects the dominance of Labour and the left too.
At least one in four (and climbing) of Oldham’s inhabitants is of south Asian, mainly Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslim, background.
Muslims predominate in certain areas of the town, and consequently, as their numbers have risen, so has their voting capacity in those areas and their political clout, with the first Muslim mayor of the town, Mr Ahmad Riaz, holding office from 2002-3. Since then there have been several other Muslim mayors: Mr Abdul Jabbar (2005), Mr Shoab Akhtar (2008-9), Mr Fid Hussain (2014-15), Mr Ateeque Ur-Rehman (2015-16), and the present incumbent, Mr Shadab Qumer (2017-18).
And a good thing too, some might say, proving that integration is at last proceeding in a polarised town not particularly known for the mixing of its old-stock majority and immigrant-stock minority “communities”. (In 2001 there were serious race riots in Oldham. In 2005 fruitcake Nick Griffin of the BNP contested the Oldham West seat. In 2012 the town, along with neighbouring Rochdale, was affected by one of the Muslim sex gang scandals that have plagued parts of Britain but about which it has been, and largely is, deemed politically incorrect to speak at length.)
It should go without saying that councils are elected to deal with local issues (“roads, rates and rubbish” in popular parlance), not matters of foreign policy, but from the Oldham council’s archived press releases we learn that during Mr Hussain’s mayoralty
‘A delegation from Oldham has delivered a petition to 10 Downing Street calling for peace in Gaza.
Civic, faith and community leaders presented the 8,303 name petition to a government representative on Wednesday – it calls for an end to all hostilities and the recall of Parliament so the crisis can be discussed and humanitarian aid agreed.
The document, which could be signed via the council website [emphasis added] and at sites across the borough, stated: “We, the people of Oldham, call upon the United Kingdom government and the European Union to act now to protect civilians on all sides and stop the suffering in Gaza.”
National politicians are urged to use their influence to:
Stop the killing – by achieving an immediate, and sustained, ceasefire
Save lives – by ensuring access for the humanitarian aid needed by the people of Gaza
Deliver peace and prosperity for the people of Palestine and Israel – by securing commitment from all parties to a process of dialogue leading to a just, long-term solution
Councillor Arooj Shah, Oldham Council’s Deputy Cabinet Member for Policy and Communications, led the delegation.
Cllr Shah said: “Oldham has a history of supporting innocent civilians who are suffering through war and conflict and I am proud that hundreds of people from across the borough have pledged their support by signing this petition.
“They are telling the government we want an immediate end to the violence in Gaza and that we want our politicians to use their influence to do all that they can to make this happen.
“This is a view shared by communities across Oldham, irrespective of ethnicity or faith.
“Hundreds of men, women and children have already lost their lives and this has to stop immediately.”
An event to discuss the conflict and how local people can make a difference is also planned before the end of September.’
The fact that the Left dominates in Oldham is certainly not irrelevant to the above.
Nor to this:
‘Oldham Council has hosted a summit looking at how residents can help those suffering through conflict and prevent war damaging community relations in Britain.
‘Making a difference: A conference to discuss local responses to international conflict’ was held at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on Sunday, October 19 with more than 120 people in attendance.
The need for the conference was identified as a result of concerns from residents about the recent conflict between Israel and Palestine in Gaza. [Emphasis added]
Its aims were to increase the ability of borough residents to respond to international conflict in practical and peaceful ways which aim to stop violence, offer humanitarian assistance and encourage just and lasting peace settlements….’
Nor to the truly jaw-dropping initiative of the council on 27 July this year in the wake of the Manchester terrorist atrocity:
“At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow” goes a line in a Christian hymn. For Oldham council, it seems, “At the name of Allah, every head shall bow.”
“Daffy-down-dilly” begins the line of a Mother Goose line. Those silly women in particular have made geese of themselves.
They have bowed their blonde heads to a creed that considers persons of their gender inherently inferior.
I wonder how many of them, and of the other councillors present, scoff at Christianity as patriarchal and superstitious (a not insignificant percentage of agnostics and atheists there, I’d wager), yet have allowed themselves to show obeisance to Islam.
These foolish geese have been the willing victims of da’awa
Why did they not insist on an ecumenical event instead of an Islamic supremacist one?
No doubt they have been hoodwinked by the imam’s statement “The Quran says whoever kills a body unlawfully or for creating disorder in the land it is as if he has killed the entire of mankind” into thinking that Islam originated that precept.
It is, of course, a precept of Judaism, made long long before Islam adapted it:
“Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.” (Mishnah Sanhedrin 4:9; Babylonian Talmud, Tractate Sanhedrin 37a)
I seldom look at Pamela Geller’s site, much less quote anything by her, but it’s worth noting her comments on this extraordinary event in Oldham:
‘The imam is parsing the quote taken from verse 5:32 of the “Holy Koran.” But he is ripping it out of context and perverting its meaning. The full passage in the Koran applies to the “Children of Israel,” not to Muslims. And it’s followed in the Koran by 5:33, which calls for “execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land” for those who “wage war against Allah and his messenger, or spread mischief in the land.”
At minute 1:56, the imam cites the daily prayer that curses Jews (those who have angered Allah) and Christians (those who have gone astray).
[Australian scholar of Islam, Anglican cleric] Dr. Mark Durie explains here:
“The Islamic daily prayers include repeated recitations of al-Fatihah, the first chapter of the Qur’an. In these few verses, every Muslim prays that they will be guided on the straight path, not like the Christians (‘those who have gone astray’) or the Jews (‘those who incur Allah’s wrath’). This simple contrast, that whereas Christians have lost their way, Jews have fallen under the anger of Allah, neatly summarizes Islam’s attitude to the Jews. The celebrated commentator Ibn Kathir, whose translated tafsir is popular among English-speaking Muslims, explains the distinction in his discussion of al-Fatihah:
These two paths are the paths of the Christians and Jews, a fact that the believer should beware of so that he avoids them. … the Jews abandoned practicing the religion, while the Christians lost the true knowledge. This is why ‘anger’ descended upon the Jews, while being described as ‘led astray’ is more appropriate of the Christians. Those who know, but avoid implementing the truth, deserve the anger, unlike those who are ignorant. The Christians want to seek the true knowledge, but are unable to find it because they did not seek it from its proper resources.
This is why they were led astray. We should also mention that both the Christians and the Jews have earned the anger and are led astray, but the anger is one of the attributes more particular of the Jews. Allah said about the Jews, ‘Those (Jews) who incurred the curse of Allah and His wrath’ ([Sura] 5:60). The attribute that the Christians deserve most is that of being led astray, just as Allah said about them, ‘Who went astray before and who misled many, and strayed (themselves) from the right path’ ([Sura] 5:77).
Here Ibn Kathir is explaining that, whereas Christians are merely ignorant, Jews know the truth but deliberately reject it, thus thus making themselves objects of Allah’s wrath.”
Despite the inherent misogyny, homophobia and assorted hateful and repugnant verses within the Koran, our unquestioning and uncritical councillors meekly bow their heads as the imam leads them in prayers.
Unbelievable indeed. But not in Cloud Cuckoo Land.