“I’m really angry – once again the Asian community is being blamed, but they can’t stop us. My mom is 65 and she made a lot of food for Eid, so I’m going to her house to celebrate. be unthinkable not to see my mother and share food with her during Eid, and many others will do the same, visiting relatives.
“People are angry and some are afraid. Still, I don’t hear anyone talking about the hundreds of people in the pubs who don’t distance themselves, or the thousands of Liverpool fans celebrating their victory in the league.
“I went to the mosque this morning and prayed in the parking lot, with everyone socially distant. People are making an effort here, but why aren’t the pubs closed in Blackburn today? It seems to be a rule for one community and a rule for another. ”
Saima Afzal, community inclusion activist and counselor for Blackburn, said: “People need to be a little more empathetic, take a step back to avoid making it a racial or religious issue.
“I’ve heard a lot of judgmental stories that multigenerational households are a ‘problem’, that we Asians have large families, and that our way of life spreads disease. It is really unfortunate that Eid is in the middle. ”
Ali, a health worker from Blackburn, said the announcement was made so late that she “threw a giant wrench into our Eid celebrations.”
“We will always celebrate, but at home with a family,” he said. “All the food is ready, but it will be hard not to meet our friends and have a good time. ”
He said he did not think Muslims or the Asian community had been ‘taken to task’, adding: ‘National statistics are what they are, and coronavirus infections are the most important in our community.
“These areas need to be targeted – it’s for our own health and well-being. Our community must remain united and respect the rules. ”
Asked about BBC Radio 4’s Today program whether the measures were aimed at ending the Eid celebrations, Mr Hancock replied: ‘No. My heart goes out to the Muslim communities in these areas as I know how important the Eid celebrations are.
“I am very grateful to the local Muslim leaders, the Imams in fact, across the country who have worked so hard to find a way to hold celebrations secured by Covid. “