Jul 13 2011
UK TELEGRAPH (H/T ZN) -Among the new names which reflect Britain’s multicultural society are Masjid Lane, in Tower Hamlets, east London, which uses the Arabic term for mosque.
In Oldham, there is an Allama Iqbal Road, named after Sir Muhammad Iqbal, the early twentieth century poet and politician from British India, who was a strong proponent of the political and spiritual revival of Islamic civilisation.
A nearby street is called Jinnah Close, after Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of the modern state of Pakistan. Neither man was noted for his close links to the Lancashire town, although the area does have a large Asian population.
There is also a Jinnah Road, leading to a mosque and a B&Q hardware store, in Redditch, Worcestershire, and a Jinnah Court in Bradford, which also has a Qureshi View and a Kinara Close, using an Urdu word meaning “at the water’s edge”.
Local authorities have responsibility for the creation of street names. Often they will take suggestions from developers or the public.
John Wittich, an author who has written about London’s street names, said: “Street names are a reflection of society.”The influence of immigration on place names has always been happening and it will go on and on.
Simon Bailey, custodian for National Street Gazetteer, which maintains a database of all streets for local authorities, said there were some names councils could not choose. “There are certain guidelines about avoiding any swear words, anything confusing, or that can be easily spelt incorrectly,” he said.