COUNCILLORS concerned about rising anger in East Lancashire over the conflict in Gaza have written to the Government asking for more intervention.
A number of protests and vigils have already been held in the area by Muslims and Christians because of the ongoing dispute between which has seen hundreds killed.
A further march is planned for Saturday between Brierfield and Nelson with hundreds expected to take part.
Yesterday Israel and Palestinian groups began a 72-hour truce as Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi, who became the first female Muslim cabinet minister in 2010, resigned from the government saying its policy on the crisis was ‘morally indefensible’.
Abdul Hamid Qureshi, chairman of Lancashire Council of Mosques, said: “People are angry, not only Muslims, but anyone who’s seen images on TV. It’s not acceptable what’s happening in Gaza.
“Most of the time that anger is expressed peacefully, but people are getting angry about it.”
Councillor Iftakhar Hussain, who represents Blackburn’s Bastwell Ward and is the lead member for Culture and Leisure, said: “This is not a Muslim issue or Jewish issue but a humanitarian issue.
“My constituents are very angry as they see double standards and a biased approach by the powerful nations of the world. The leaders need to wake up and speak up for the human rights and the feelings of the angry community.”
Hyndburn and Haslingden MP Graham Jones said: “I have had a record number of constituents write to me on this particular issue.
“People are seeing the news and feeling very upset about the situation because innocent lives are being lost, particularly children’s.
“Foreign policy is always a delicate issue. You have two sides who are bitter towards each other and the process has got to be about reconciliation.”
A second protest against attacks on Gaza organised by the Pendle Palestine Twinning Group saw hundreds gather in Nelson town centre at the weekendand a further protest is planned for Saturday starting at 2.30pm outside Brierfield town hall.
Blackburn councillor Salim Mulla, who represents Queens Park, said he was seeking a meeting with Prime Minister David Cameron.
He said: “The majority of the community in Blackburn are very, very angry.
“Every single mosque is grieving and praying for those affected.”
Young Muslim Afrasiab Anwar, from Burnley’s Markazi Jamia Ghousia Mosque, said: “The imams here are urging people to be restrained and positive in their support of Palestine but with the inaction from all political parties many people feel that it is difficult to have a voice.”
Zahir Ahmed, at Abu-Bakr Masjid in Stoneyholme, added: “We teach our young people the opposite of radicalisation but when they see the authorities which supposedly represent them standing by while schools are bombed and children are killed they are angered.”
“My response would be the same whether whoever was being bombarded, whatever religion or race they are.”