Manchester: Christmas lights bring controversy

Manchester: Christmas lights bring controversy

Via Rochdale Online:

Rochdale’s Christmas lights have caught the eye of tabloid journalists for the second year in a row.

A year ago, Rochdale Council infamously put them up in late August, explaining that they were doing so as Eid would fall the next month and they wanted to have everything ready.

This year, the lights have gone up alongside Stars of David, crescent moons wishing by passers a ‘happy Eid’ and lanterns reminding you to have a ‘happy Diwali’. Diwali was on November 5 and the last celebratory day of Eid was today.

The Daily Star headlined its story ‘Christmas is hijacked by Muslims and Hindus’ and described local councillors as ‘barmy PC do-gooders’.

A spokesperson for Rochdale Borough Council explained the lights represent the diverse communities in Rochdale, saying: “Our Christmas lights remain very popular and help bring people into our town centres to enjoy Christmas events at a critical time for local traders. We have a varied and diverse display, representing our community in Rochdale.”

Imam Irfan Chisti, Chairman of the Multifaith Partnership of Rochdale, said: “I’m very much in favour of this and anything else that brings faiths together. The lights are right outside our mosque and it lightens up the whole area.