Habibur Rahman of Bangladeshi descent made a new history in Britain. He has been appointed Lord Mayor of Newcastle for the first time in 800 years. He officially took charge on Wednesday. In his speech at this time, he expressed his immense respect to his parents. He expressed his conviction to work equally for the people of all religions, castes and tribes. The important people present on the occasion praised Habibur Rahman. Habibur’s achievements have been widely reported in the mainstream media, including the BBC.
Habibur Rahman left Bangladesh with his parents and 6 brothers in 1975 when he was just 12 years old and moved to Tyneside, Britain. But he is now the elected councilor of Elswick. He replaces David Cook as Lord Mayor of Newcastle. His appointment was delayed by a year due to the corona virus. He was formally elected to the post at Newcastle City Council at its annual general meeting. He is a supporter of the opposition Labor Party. Habib served as Newcastle Sheriff and Deputy Mayor for two years. He has made deep emotional remarks since taking over as mayor. At this time he paid tribute to his mother for his encouragement. He spoke directly about his late father Azizur Rahman.
In 1986, his father Azizur went to the city in search of a better life. He worked at the Walsand restaurant. Because he didn’t like the amount of curry given to a white customer there, the customer stabbed him. Azizur Rahman died only 10 days later. While officially taking charge, Habibur Rahman told his colleagues that his childhood days in Newcastle were interrupted by brutal racism. From his experience in this city as an Asian Muslim, he vowed to one day defeat inequality.
Habibur Rahman is 48 years old. “It’s one of the proudest moments of my life,” he said of his appointment. At this point, he used his responsibility to declare his commitment to respect, tolerance and equality for others. At the end of the ceremony, Habibur, a father of three, said that this is how history is made. This history should have been much earlier. Nevertheless, with this responsibility, the city must be ensured to be free and open to people of all religions, castes, races and genders. I will approve it. I challenge and condemn hate crimes and any form of racism. The people of Newcastle have had a mayor since Nicholas’ son Daniel in 1218. But the post of Lord Mayor was not created there before 1908. At that time King Edward VI issued a decree creating this position.
Why did he speak directly about his father in his speech? In response to this question, Habibur Rahman said, I wanted to say that we all miss him very much. We want to send him the message that the racist city he saw in 1966 is no longer Newcastle. Now this city is safe. Tolerant. This trend has been developed by various organizations and individuals. Probably a lot of it started after my father’s death. I want to tell my father that he has nothing to fear from us now. When he left this city, this city is now much more developed than he is.
Habibur Rahman is an important person involved in the anti-apartheid group show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) and the Black Lives Matter movement. Former Newcastle United star and SRTRC founding member John Beresford attended his inauguration on Wednesday. He said Habibur Rahman has been an exceptional supporter of SRTRC since 1998. He has helped us build an anti-apartheid education charity in Britain. He has taken on new responsibilities as Lord Mayor of Newcastle. With him aside, we will take new exceptional fundraising initiatives. That will be discussed.
SRTRC President Shaka Hislop said that Habibur Rahman is really proud to see his rise in politics. Habib has always come forward to support those who are very needy. I got to know Habib through his work on the show Racism The Red Card. And I see this history being written in that context. We all love this city. There is respect.
Labor councilor Irim Ali wept as he went to Newcastle to express his deep respect and affection. He was the one who officially nominated Habibur Rahman as Lord Mayor. “The appointment of Habibur Rahman sends a strong message about Newcastle and our values,” said Nick Forbes, the city’s Labor leader and councilor. In the conventional mayoral chain we are now bringing together people from different communities. We are uniting them in a bond of friendship and pride.❐