This press release has been issued today by the Federation of Muslim Organisations.
St George’s Day can help bind our communities
The Federation of Muslim Organisations (FMO) has repeated its calls to make St George’s Day, an annual public holiday for England.
Suleman Nagdi, spokesperson for the FMO said, “The legend of the patron saint, St George, is celebrated throughout the world including in India, Lebanon, Palestine, Russia and many other areas of the world. The legend of St George can be a way in which we can all demonstrate our commitment to each other. I support calls for a public holiday so that space is created to have celebrations and events throughout the country including the communal sharing of food, sports such as Football and Cricket which are English inventions and other entertainment”.
Mr. Nagdi added, “It is sad that some groups have attempted to hijack St George’s Day for their own narrow, prejudiced purposes. I firmly believe in the good character of English people reside in their values of justice and fair play. The Muslim community would be supportive of any celebrations and participate in the discussions around how we can all properly mark St George’s Day each year. In this Olympic year with our Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I would go a step further and encourage national government and their partners to look into creating a United Kingdom Day of celebration which unites England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales”.
I've written before on this blog about the good job Leicester City Council has done the past few years, in appropriating the weekend of St George's Day, filling it with multicultural, family-friendly activities and leaving no room for extremist groups to muscle in. I've commended them on that on different occasions, especially in the context of repeated visits to Leicester by the English Defence League. I'm glad to see that theyr'e following the same course this year as we can see in the posters all round the city.