Don’t call it a Christmas tree: City to raise ‘multi-faith tree’ for diversity, inclusivity plan

By Ole Braatelien, The Western Journal

The city of Bradford, England, will raise a “multi-faith tree” in its town square this holiday season to celebrate the city’s “multiculturism.”

The Telegraph & Argus reported this week that the move is the brainchild of the city’s Black Asian Minority Ethnic Business Committee, an arm of the West and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce.

The fir tree will be displayed near city hall, and a traditional Christmas tree also will be on display, though the committee has not announced when the trees will be placed.

“The whole purpose of the BAME Business Committee was to ensure that all diverse businesses were being represented by the Chamber, to ensure all voices were being heard,” said Nasreen Karim, chair of the committee.

“We want to bring communities together. This tree encompasses that. It’s an opportunity for not just the business community but the community at large to celebrate the tapestry of our vibrant community, especially during a time of world conflicts. In the spirit of unity and diversity, we invite businesses to join us in decorating a multi-faith festive tree.”

For 100 Euros, local business owners can “sponsor” an ornament to place on the tree.

“Sponsorship not only adorns the tree but also symbolizes commitment to inclusivity and harmony in the community,” Karim said.

Saleem Kader, another member of BAME, came up with the idea for the tree.

“We wanted to celebrate the fact that this city, despite its critics, demonstrates how true is the power of multiculturism,” Kader said, per the Telegraph & Argus. “The city with the many cultures from all over the world blended together in harmony; this is truly something to be very proud of.”

Darren Grimes, a conservative commentator and news presenter on X, pointed out what to him seemed a double standard inherent in the political display.

“Why? Will you be forcing other faiths in Bradford to observe multi faith symbols in the name of diversity and inclusion, or does this only apply to important events within the Christian calendar?” Grimes wrote.

Kader said the committee has “many” more initiatives it will introduce in 2024 and in the “City of Culture” celebrations in 2025.

The majority of Bradford residents are Christian, according to 2021 census data.

In 2021, people in Bradford who “described themselves as Christian” made up 33.4% of the population, which was down from 45.9% in 2011, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Meanwhile, people who “described themselves as Muslim” made up 30.5% of the population in Bradford, a figure up from 24.7% in 2011.

A total of 28.2% of residents in 2021 reported having “no religion,” which was up from 20.7% a decade earlier.



This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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