We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

We are succeeding in all getting along together - Mohammad Fayyaz

April 25, 2019 3:16 PM
By Mohammad Fayyaz in Your Chesham

Mohammad Fayyaz

What a great mixture of people there are in Chesham! I love the diversity of this town, and I love the way we succeed in getting along together. A number of us have settled here from Pakistan, and in recent year, we have welcomed many new people from Poland and other countries in central Europe.

Nowhere is perfect, but on the whole, I think Chesham people are remarkably tolerant of difference, whether it's of race, religion, culture or whatever. What's more, people are actively interested in finding out about the different cultures which exist among us.

When we have a mosque open-day each year, we usually get a large number of visitors who seem happy to take their shoes off or cover their heads and are genuinely interested to find out what we Muslims get up to in our place of worship in Bellingdon Road. Incidentally, the mosque's neighbours in Bellingdon Road include the Methodists, Quakers and Jehovah's Witnesses - spectacular religious diversity!

Whenever I switch on the news these days, if they stop talking about Brexit for a moment, I seem to hear endless accusations about anti-Semitism and Islamophobia in mainstream British political parties. It's so sad if politicians try to make political capital out of stirring up racial or religious hatred. We must all be on our guard and ready to stamp on it wherever it rears its ugly head. Nearly two years ago, following terrorist attacks in London and Manchester, I wrote, "We shall all have to work together and create an alliance of people of all backgrounds. This means Muslims and people of all faiths and none standing together."

That remains true. We must all stand together to counter terrorism or any kind of sectarian violence, but I don't think that is all. Working together and playing a part in our local community is a duty for all the time, not just when terrorism strikes. We don't have to give up our many diverse identities but we should all think of ourselves as Chesham people and get involved in the communal life of the town.

Mo Fayyaz is a Liberal Democrat town councillor for the Chesham ward of Asheridge Vale. He writes a monthly column for the your Chesham magazine. You can see the latest issue by clicking on the cover of the magazine below.

Your Chesham, April 2019