I am a bit slow on the uptake with this story which appeared in last week’s Asian News, but it bears a hearing now as it is as fine an example of local government crassness as you’re likely to come across.
Rochdale MBC thought a fun way to switch on the lights to celebrate Eid would be to get three Asian children to do it by pressing a mock detonator with the word “BOOM!” splashed on the side.
Not surprisingly, the Asian community were not best pleased. “If this was some kind of joke, it’s the sickest I have ever heard,” said Mohammed Shafiq, the spokesman for the Ramadhan Foundation.
The mayor of Rochdale didn’t help either. Councillor Ashley Dearnley said the critics of the ceremony were being “oversensitive”.
“Sometimes we can see things that are just not there. These children were just switching on the lights they did not have explosives strapped to their bodies in preparation for blowing something up.”
So it would only have been crass if the kids had been playing at being suicide bombers? Not surprisingly, 100% of the paper’s reader did not agree.