The fact that events and attitudes in the Middle East are influencing attitudes and the outcome of Oldham’s 2024 local elections is unacceptable.

So this is what a religious community leader looks like in Oldham is it? In the face of atrocities being committed against civilians in Palestine your most uplifting observation is that a woman had her hair covered by a man a few seconds after being pulled from the rubble of a bombed building. This is religion at its finest and exposes the misogynistic and controlling attitudes that belie authoritarian archaic beliefs. Oldham needs less of these shining examples of theistic compliance who operate in contradiction of the hard fought liberties and equalities the ordinary people of this country, including many migrants, spent hundreds of years fighting for. Also worth noting what an absolute disgrace it is that the 2024 local elections in central Oldham will it would seem be decided not on local issues within the Oldham borough boundary as should be the case but on prospective councillors attitudes to issues thousands of miles away in the Middle East. Any illusion that these current and prospective councillors planning to leave their political parties or bow to the will of community leaders are working for the good of everyone in their ward is clearly exposed here as completely untrue. Also noteworthy is that nobody in Oldham was outraged by the recent attacks on Christian’s in Pakistan nor attended the demonstrations in Manchester calling for action. Both people of non-Muslim faith and atheists have been persecuted and murdered under Pakistan’s monotheistic blasphemy laws for decades. In much the same vein where is the outrage for the thousands of innocent civilians murdered by Saudi Arabia in the Yemen and how are their deaths any less important than those in Palestine or Israel?