In another milestone for Muslims in the UK, Cllr Akhtar Zaman been elected as the mayor of Bolton, becoming first Muslim and first person of Asian descent to be selected for that post
Zaman, who represents Halliwell, took over the role on Wednesday from outgoing Mayor Cllr Linda Thomas, Asian Image reported.
Speaking in an emotional ceremony, the new Muslim mayor said the new role is the culmination of a long journey that started in a small village in Pakistan.
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Quoting lines of poetry his father sent him as a young man, Cllr Zaman said: “I have given my blood for the betterment of this orchid, remember me when the spring arrives.”
As his speech reached its conclusion, he turned again to thank his late father, adding: “now the spring is here.”
Cllr Zaman was proposed for the role by newly reconfirmed Council leader Martyn Cox.
The proposal was seconded by former Mayor Cllr Martin Donaghy who said hid did so “with absolute pride.”
He said: “If you need a friend, Akhtar is there for you.”
Cllr Donaghy added that the new mayor “has always fought discrimination in all its many forms.”
Earlier this month, West Sussex’s Worthing Borough appointed councilor Henna Chowdhury as the borough’s first female Muslim mayor.
Also in May Westminster city council declared 22-Year-old Hamza Taouzzale as the first ever Muslim lord mayor.
The city of Preston also elected Councillor Javed Iqbal as its first Muslim mayor in May 2021.