A bit of a hoo haa has been developing in Rochdale after bosses at a Greater Manchester shopping centre decided to broaden their horizons and go on a cultural awareness course.

The end result of this course was the fantastic idea to introduce squat toilets seeing as he believed there was call for these 'Nile Pans' to accommodate the Muslim community.

This conclusion that the Muslim community felt it was not being catered for was reached after observing a large number of empty plastic water (Muslims prefer to use water to clean themselves after doing their business)  bottles inside the Western public toilets in Rochdale where there is a large Muslim community.

Ghulham Rasul Shazhad who is the chap who ran the cultural awareness course also noticed that in local mosques there are are numerous (Six to Seven)  Nile Pans next to each other however there are only one or two  'Western' toilets in use and therefore had identified a cultural need that is not being met.

Well done Ghulham.


What is wrong with our 'Western' toilets? After all we should be proud of our thrones which have been the envy of the world all over. Just because there is camel racing in the middle east does not mean that we should abandon the grand national here in the UK.

Admittedly there is much merit in the idea of washing ones derriere after ejecting the previous night's dinner however this should not require a complete abandonment of the great British throne.

Toilet inventors of Britain must unite together to provide a new invention that washes the rear end whilst sitting on the loo, least we disrespect Thomas Crapper for his  revolutionary invention (the modern western toilet).

I am sure the Muslim community would agreed with this seeing as their requirements would be met and lovers of the great British bog would also be more than happy that there has been an improvement to what is already perfect!

And actually I would say that the Nile Pan looks rather discriminatory. I cannot imagine it would be an easy option for a very elderly person or a severely disabled person being able to use this toilet.

However like it or not there is much truth in what Ghulham has said, there is a large Muslim community in Rochdale and if they want to use holes in the ground to alleviate themselves then that is their right.

There is one snag.

They don't want to use these toilets. And there has been an outcry from across the nation that these toilets are not the preferred design of toilet and that much of this outcry has been from within the Muslim community who feel it gives the wrong impression of Muslims.

I know many Muslims and have never seen a Nile Pan in any of their houses and after asking them what they thought about using the toilets they said that they much prefer the Western Toilet.

Another case of cultural sensitivity getting it wrong.

There is a very real cultural need which has been overlooked and not catered for in recent years and it is the Christian community who's voices are not being heard.

There is an identified need for Christians to celebrate Christmas and expressing it to the full by putting on nativity plays and making Christmas cards for their parents and singing Christmas carols at the school nativity concerts.

In other words cultural sensitivity doesn't work.

Each culture and faith must be itself and express itself and if it offends then you take it on the chin because you know damn well that you're also  going to offend someone from a different culture and faith.

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