Oldham politicians met with the Interfaith Forum, and other local groups and individuals, at a special meeting held at Oldham Parish Church to discuss recent events in America particularly the travel ban imposed by US President, Donald Trump, on seven, mainly Muslim, countries consisting of Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen.
At this meeting, Reverend Derek Palmer, Mufti Helal from Oldham Mosque Council, Father Sumner and Fazal Rahim from Oldham Interfaith Forum, Marzia Babakarkhail, Cllr Jean Stretton, Sherry Ashworth from Greater Manchester Jewish Community spoke against the divisive ban and the need for our communities to remain united.
It is up to all of us to stand up against what can only be described as hateful language and actions that are going on in America.
Following the meeting the attendees released a joint statement – the statement was signed by:
Mr Roger Gould, Chairman Oldham Interfaith forum
Fazal Rahim, Project Co-ordinator of the Oldham Interfaith Forum
Fr Phil Sumner, Oldham Interfaith Forum
MD Nozmul, Islam Oldham Central Mosque
Rev Howard Sutcliffe, Oldham Interfaith Forum
Sheikh Amin, Maddani Acadamy
Jit Kara, Oldham Interfaith Forum
Kashaf Feroze, UK Islamic Mission
Qari Manzoor Ahmed Shakir, Oldham Mosques Council
Mufti Helal Mahmood, President, Jalalabad Jame Masjid
Betsy Jones, Women Growing Together
Debbie Abrahams, MP for Oldham East and Saddleworth
Angela Rayner, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne
Jim McMahon, MP for Oldham West and Royton
Jean Stretton, Leader of Oldham Council
The statement says:
Donald Trump’s executive order to ban refugees and other people from seven, mainly Muslim, countries entering the USA is simply fanning the flames of hate, fear and prejudice.
History will judge us by the actions we take in opposing this sort of abuse of power.
It should jolt us all into action when we consider that Donald Trump instigated this ban, which will impact most on one particular religious group, in the same week as Holocaust Memorial Day.
Islam is a religion based on peace but, as with many religions, a small minority of people often seek to distort its true meaning.
During her visit to meet Donald Trump Theresa May spoke about our special relationship with America but, we believe, this should be based on shared values.
President Trump’s actions in his first week in office suggest that there are some values we don’t share.
In Oldham we will stand together and not let the use of hate, fear and prejudice divide us.