This week doctored images were circulated of a borough mayor holding a placard with a false term written above it.

Blackburn with Darwen Mayor Cllr Suleman Khonat had been attending a Pride Festival in Blackburn.

Rather than call out the blatantly fake images and other derogatory comments directed towards him, some of us wanted to round up on Cllr Khonat who was carrying out his civic duty.

There were accusations that by attending the festival he was encouraging Muslim children to think it was something "their religion accepted", or he was "not a proper Muslim" or that he may well be promoting what was completely and utterly forbidden in Islam.

Let us though put things into perspective.

You don’t need to support the LGBTQ+ movement. You can choose to ignore it and you can choose not to agree with things.

This country protects and respects the rights of all. We can’t expect to have one rule of one and one for everyone else.

But should you then be the target of ridicule and criticism at the hands of others? Are we now going to ignore all the sterling work this man has done because he attended a Pride festival?

The worse comment I read under one post was that "you should not want this guy to bury you" in reference to Cllr Khonat’s work as a volunteer for the burial committee.

The fact is, there is no better man to help to put you in our grave, as he is as sincere and as honest as they come.

ALSO SEE: Doctored picture of Muslim Mayor at Blackburn Pride condemned

I find in these incidents mob rule takes over. It gets ugly. We lose sight of the argument altogether.

In the same way people would have their reputations sullied by an anti-Muslim press we have sections who are using the exact same nasty tactics over religion.

What I find equally hard to stomach is we now have an army of people who tend to want to forget their own past and those they may have associated themselves with.

It was a little alarming that Cllr Khonat received more vitriol and abuse for attending a Pride festival than some others who have committed actual serious crimes and misdemeanours.

Yet, an apparent higher level of moral standard seems to have been set aside for am individual who has dedicated his life to the community. He has been unselfish. He has volunteered when you needed him. He has gone out of his way to assist charities and the Hospice without ever asking anything in return.

Through the pandemic he was front and centre dedicating his own time burying the dead.

Yet, here we are as Muslims keen to ostracise him for attending a local festival. What is also apparent, barring rare occasions where people have used a little common sense before penning anything, is the deafening silence that has accompanied this whole affair.

Only Asif Mahmud seemed to want to comment on the issue. The reason for this is that to say anything means you will in some way be "tarred" with the same brush.

Terms like ‘sell out’ and ‘coconut’ are banded about in the vain hope that it make those using them ‘better' Muslims than others.

I say this. If you wish to criticise someone because you felt it was your ‘religious obligation’ then that is your decision.

But too many times those who are criticising are doing so to make a standing for themselves rather than making a coherent point.

Anyone else who rounded up on Cllr Khonat with pictures and nasty comments needs to take a long hard look at themselves.

Cllr Suleman Khonat is the same hard-working individual as he was. Be honest, what has actually changed?