Reader’s letters - Monday March 30, 2015

More needs to be done to engage young people in politics, according to one correspondent.
More needs to be done to engage young people in politics, according to one correspondent.
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Testing time for tolerance

Regarding your recent article “Battle against hate crime” (LEP March 9), I would just like to point out the hypocrisy of Ali Amla of the Preston Faith Forum

First he says that many of the victims of “Islamophobia” are women. I would agree but only that they are largely victims of their own religion, eg not allowed to leave their homes, mix with males (other than family), forced to wear the veil, forced arranged marriages, honour killings, female genital mutilation, excluded from the mosque and generally treated as inferior.

Ali Amla says “Islamophobia” should be placed on the same level as anti-semitism. As the majority of anti-semitism seems to come from the Islamic community, I find this hypocrisy of the worst kind.

The Islamic community demand tolerance from others but give none back. The majority of Christian persecution eg the recent burning of churches in Pakistan, the beheading of 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya and the majority of Jewish persecution (they like to refer to Jewish people as pigs and monkeys) occurs in Muslim countries.

God help us if they ever become a majority in this country, which I fear they will, because they cause enough problems as a minority. I believe it is one of rules of their faith not to live in a non-Muslim country unless they intend to take it over.

I feel despair for the non-Muslims living in Muslin countries forced to convert or live as second class citizens and paying a tax just so they can follow their own religion. Their lives must be unbearable.

Try to build a church in an Islamic country. You won’t be allowed. Carrying a bible or displaying a crucifix can get you killed. Meanwhile, despite Ali Amla’s claims of “Islamophobia” we have at present 14 mosques in Preston alone.

Your article also mentions homophobia. The recent horrifying photograph in the press of a suspected homosexual being thrown off a high rise building watched by the mobs below in Syria shows what could happen have if allow Islam to become dominant.

I have worked with gay Muslim men and they have told me of the double lives they have to lead, having to appear straight to family and friends and only “coming out” many miles from where they live so as not to be seen by anyone they know.

I think England has been very tolerant towards Islamic community and am only surprised there are not more cases of “Islamophobia” than there are (which I don’t condone, of course).

Hortense Feuchwanger, Ashton

Making politics matter to all

Too many young people do not see the relevance of politics to their present or their future lives. What needs to happen is for politicians to work to find out what matters to young people.

Some local authorities have imaginative programmes with schools to involve young people in council debates. Schools, understandably, may be reluctant to open their doors to politicians but there seems to me a case for them to invite candidates to meet sixth formers for an informed discussion. At its heart politics is concerned with the sort of society that we want.

At present there is a scandal of too many unemployed young people, tuition fees that are outrageously high encouraging, indeed demanding, that young people live their lives in debt, and the impossibility for so many of ever being able to buy a house. Politics matters.

Generations fought to get the vote. We are in danger of becoming an indifferent democracy that allows others to manage our lives. Politics matters – and it ought to start with finding out what matters to young people and involving them in this sort of political debate.

Roger Clough, Emeritus Professor, Lancaster University

Let firefighters focus on job

I must have missed something, somewhere as I find it hard to believe the report that fire engines are to be sent to medical emergencies rather than sending ambulances (LEP March 11).

Perhaps stage two of this ludicrous plan will be to send paramedics to fires instead of fire appliances?

Which travels quicker through Lancaster city centre, an ambulance or a fire engine?

Has there been any sort of a trial? Can we spare fire engines from their primary function and what happens when the present allocation of appliances on Cable Street is reduced by one?

I appreciate the scattering of paramedics around the area in their fully equipped fast cars waiting for custom, rather than turning out an ambulance from the Royal Lancaster Infirmary in the middle of Lancaster. That’s something of an improvement. This is not.

Let the fire brigade deal with their emergencies, and ambulances with theirs. Each to their own.

Gordon Arkwright, Morecambe

Unions have to tackle Tories

At last! A union leader with fire in his belly, albeit just a flicker, and not before time.

The head of the Unite union, Len McCluskey, has said he will not “respect” any law passed by a future Conservative (‘nasty party’) government tightening the rules on strike ballots and rightly so.

Everything fought for and won in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s has been handed back on a plate without a whimper and the time is surely coming where the gauntlet handed down by this ‘nasty party’ will be taken up, not just by the Unite union but by every union in the UK.

A Sheridan, Hindley

At last there is an alternative

I get utterly fed up of listening to people complaining about the Tories and Labour (the Lib Dems seem to be dropping out of people’s thinking altogether). Ukip deserve a chance.

If you complain and then do not vote for the first realistic alternative we have had in generations, then don’t gripe after the election.

Gerald Bower, address supplied