Barmy PC do-gooders have put up their town’s Christmas lights along with displays for Muslim and Hindu festivals – even though those celebrations have already finished. Councillors were so anxious not to offend other faiths that they decided to share the Christian display with lights to mark the other celebrations. But residents have slammed the move because although the lights were switched on last night, the Muslim festival of Eid ends today and Sikhs and Hindus celebrated Diwali two weeks ago.
One angry father told the Daily Star: “It’s like Christmas is being hijacked. It’s mad. Why do we have these lights up for Eid and Diwali when they’ve finished? We wouldn’t go around putting Santas up on any of these festivals.” But council bosses in Rochdale say they want to keep the lights to “represent the community”. Another resident said: “The lights look fantastic … but I don’t see why they have to have all these other festivals in them.”
Philip Davies, Tory MP for Shipley, West Yorks, said: “I’ve no idea why local authorities up and down the country are so ashamed of celebrating Christmas. All this kind of pussyfooting around is done in the name of not offending other people from other faiths. But it tends to be done by white middle-class people with some kind of bizarre guilt complex.”
You’ll see that the “Happy Eid” illuminations are less prominently displayed than the main “Happy Christmas” message, and that Stars of David have rightly been included too as a mark of respect to the Jewish community. Of course, even the Daily Star balks at running an article headlined “Christmas is hijacked by Jews”. But Muslims and Hindus are regarded as legitimate targets by racist tabloids.
Update: See Rochdale Online, 20 November 2010