London council scrambles to celebrate Easter after getting slammed for only putting up Ramadan display

London council scrambles to celebrate Easter after getting slammed for only putting up Ramadan display

A council in London has rushed to put up Easter decorations after receiving backlash for only exhibiting a Ramadan display. Westminster City Hall’s window underwent a change within 24 hours as a “Happy Easter” display appeared on Thursday evening.

It comes after a Tory Councillor questioned why the City Hall Offices did not feature Easter decorations. Paul Swaddle, leader of the minority Tory group on Westminster council, previously said: “The thing I would question is this: there has been a Ramadan celebration in the window of Westminster city hall. But I just wonder if the Easter one is going up very soon?

“Easter is one of the most important Christian festivals of the year but what are they [the Labour council] doing to celebrate it? I am not aware they are. I suspect the window display is not going to change,” he told The Telegraph. On Wednesday night, a source at the council said: “I am sure we will be doing something.” The display consisting of two posters, wishing the public a “Happy Easter”, bunting, multicoloured eggs and cut out rabbits, finally appeared on Thursday evening. It follows concerns over support for other major faiths during important festivals amid Ramadan lights on display in central London over the Easter weekend.

Lights in Oxford Street and between Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square were switched on earlier this month by London mayor Sadiq Khan. The lights which read “Happy Ramadan” are funded by the Aziz Foundation, a charity founded by Asif Aziz. The display has received praise but also sparked questions over why an Easter feature has not been put in place ahead of this weekend.

Writing on social media, one person said: “Insult to everyone who is Christian, they have never done Easter lights for us.” Another said: “We are a Christian country. Easter is one of the main feasts in the Christian calendar. It should not be overshadowed by other religious events.”

Ramadan occurs at a different time every year due to the alignment of the Moon and this year Easter falls within the same month. A spokesman for Khan said: “Sadiq is proud that as Mayor he’s stood up for Londoners of all faiths, taking part in a host of festivals and celebrations, including around Easter. He’s attended churches around both Christmas and Easter, while visiting church-run foodbanks. “The Mayor’s office continue to help facilitate the world-famous staging of the Passion of Christ in Trafalgar Square, which attracts thousands of people every year.

“Sadiq is immensely grateful for the hand of friendship offered to him by Christian friends and neighbours. This Sunday, Sadiq looks forward to joining a local church congregation as they celebrate Easter.”

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