Hounslow's first Muslim mayor has made defusing community tensions a major goal of his year in chains.
Nisar Malik, who runs a string of halal counters at Asda supermarkets, was sworn in as the borough's figurehead on Tuesday (May 26).
Councillors heard how he had arrived in London from Pakistan as a teenager in 1976, and after running a Heathrow import/export firm opened the butchers Haji Baba in Kingsley Road, close to Hounslow East tube station.
The business proved such a success he persuaded Asda to let him open a halal counter and he now runs 15 such counters at branches of the supermarket, employing more than 130 people.
Speaking after donning the mayoral robe and chains for the first time, he said he wanted to help address religious tensions by bringing together people from all backgrounds.
"I think there's a little bit of work needed from both sides [Muslims and non-Muslims] to defuse the pressure, which comes largely from misunderstanding," he told fellow councillors.
"By mixing, talking and engaging with each other I believe we can achieve that and make this borough an even better place in which to live.
"My message to all communities would be don't tolerate so much you start tolerating intolerance. As Muslims, we tolerate some things we shouldn't be tolerating, and other communities tolerate things they shouldn't be tolerating."
The father-of-three, who is a keen cricket fan and a former governor at Lampton School, in Hounslow, also made helping the older generation one of his key ambitions.
The Hounslow Central councillor told how on arriving in England nearly 40 years ago he had been shocked to see so many elderly people being put in homes and forgotten about, which he said was very different to their treatment in his native country.
That is why he chose Contact The Elderly, which organises tea parties for lonely and isolated older people, as one of his two mayoral charities.
The other charity he will be raising money and awareness for is Hounslow Toy Library, which loans toys and organises play sessions for children with disabilities. It is due to celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.
Mr Malik, whose deputy mayor is Brentford ward councillor Myra Savin, praised outgoing mayor Corinna Smart and her deputy Bishnu Gurung for their hard work over the last year.
Councillor Ed Mayne, who seconded Councillor Elizabeth Hughes' nomination, said Mr Malik was making history by becoming the first Muslim mayor in the 50 years since the borough's formation.
Despite Islam being Hounslow's second biggest faith behind Christianity - with Muslims accounting for 14% of the borough's population according the 2011 Census - Mr Mayne pointed out there had been no councillors from the faith here as recently as 2014.
Although it is a prestigious position, the annual mayor-making ceremony usually only attracts a smattering of family and friends.
That was not the case this time, as well-wishers packed the council chamber to watch Mr Malik being sworn in, before clamouring to get their photo taken with him at the reception which followed.