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Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Only in UK: Flag of England Deemed Offensive to Muslims, Replaced with Union Jack and LGBT Flag

A town has voted not to fly the flag of St George in case it offends Muslims. Radstock in Somerset has a population of 5,620, 16 of them Muslim, census data shows. But a Labour councillor said the red and white cross could upset people because of its links to the Crusades. Eleanor Jackson, a university lecturer, said: ‘My big problem is it is offensive to some Muslims, but even more that it has been hijacked by the far Right.’ The council agreed with her proposal not to buy a St George’s flag for the town’s repaired flagpole. A Union Flag will be flown on Armistice Day and there are plans for a flag to be designed for Radstock.

 Chairman Lesley Mansell said: ‘We do not have a Union Jack and the discussion was about purchasing one to fly mainly for Armistice Day. ‘The council confirmed its original decision to purchase a Union Jack.’ John Clements, of patriotic group the Royal Society of St George,

condemned the council’s decision for ‘censoring’ the national flag, and playing into the hands of the far Right. Rizwan Ahmed, spokesman for the Bristol Muslim Cultural Society, said: ‘To say that Muslims are offended I don’t think is correct. ‘We understand the flag is part of this country’s heritage, and in fact many Muslims identify as being British.’ Radstock resident Irene Burchell, 76, said: ‘The council does not speak for the people of Radstock, and it certainly doesn’t speak for me. ‘I think it is absolute nonsense. The St George’s flag has been adopted by England for centuries.’ The rainbow flag of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride movement will also be raised at ‘appropriate’ times of the year. The council will also be flying the In Bloom flag at the Miners’ Memorial Garden to celebrate the town’s gardening achievements - and there are plans for a specially-designed flag for Radstock. Muslim Council of Britain spokesman Nasima Begum said her group encouraged the flying of the St George’s flag. She said: ‘St George needs to take his rightful place as a national symbol of inclusivity rather than a symbol of hatred. 'St George actually lived before the birth of Islam and should not be associated with any hatred of Muslims.’ And Rizwan Ahmed added: ‘It is political correctness going a bit too far. 'Use by the far right is one thing, but to say that Muslims are offended I don’t think is correct.'
 ‘I think if anything this will harm understanding of Muslim people, and it feeds into the ideas that some people have of “Oh, here they go again, pandering to the needs of Muslim people”, when actually it is not offensive. ‘I can see why they have done this, but it really is too far. 'They are being overly sensitive, and making assumptions about what Muslims will be offended by. ‘In actual fact we are normal people. 'We have a sense of humour and have the same concerns as everyone else - we are not just some single group.’ There is no mosque or prayer centre in Radstock, meaning the few members of the Muslim community are forced to go to Bristol or nearby Bath in order to pray.

source: thesun.co.uk

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