A UK Muslim Member of Parliament has claimed that she was fired from her position due to her “Muslimness.”
Nusrat Ghani has asked the Prime Minister for an investigation after a source (referred to as a Whip), who she did not identify, notified her that her “Muslimness was raised as an issue” at a Downing Street meeting back in 2020. Ghani also added that she was told that her “Muslim woman minister status was making colleagues feel uncomfortable” and that there were concerns “that [she] wasn’t loyal to the party as [she] didn’t do enough to defend the party against Islamophobia allegations.”
Later, she was fired from her position as transport minister.
Speaking to Sky News, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, also a former Conservative MP, said that the news sends “a shiver” down the spines of British Muslims to know “that this is the kind of thing that could be happening at the heart of government.”
She said she “wasn’t surprised” at Ghani’s allegation “for two reasons.”
“One, because what has happened to Nus Ghani is an open secret in Westminster – me and many, many colleagues have been aware of this for many months and the way that she has struggled to be heard. But secondly, because the pattern in Nus’s case is very similar to what I have seen in hundreds and hundreds of other complaints that have been made to the party about Islamophobia.
She continued: “And the pattern is this – that the issue of Islamophobia is seen as far less serious than other forms of bigotry, that when the issue is raised that the response is quite aggressive and colleagues feel threatened and ostracised and feel like it will be a career-ending issue. They always push this into bureaucracy and the onus is put back on the complainant and the victim rather than those who are told about this dealing with the matter proactively – and no action is usually taken until the media shine a spotlight on it.
“And all of those ring true with almost every case that we have seen within the party and they ring true with Nus’s case.”
But are we really surprised? Are we? Because I sure as hell am not. And it’s more of an obvious case considering Ghani has been challenging the government in their handling of the Uyghur genocide. The UK has been riddled with Islamophobia for a long time now, but a big portion of it festers amongst the Conservative Party. This is not the first time (nor will it be the last) that we hear about the issue from this political party, especially considering they have a leader that has been publicly Islamophobic (amongst being racist and sexist) before he got into power and yet still managed to snatch the most influential job in the country.
In August 2018, Boris Johnson wrote an article for The Telegraph in which he referred to Muslim women who choose to wear the niqab (a full-faced veil) as “letterboxes,” writing that it was “absolutely ridiculous” [that] women chose to “go around looking like [that].”
And the same Prime Minister has now launched an investigation into this matter of Islamophobia, vowing to take it “seriously.” How ironic.
Johnson told reporters: “We take these allegations extremely seriously, I took them very seriously when they were raised with me 18 months ago… Very glad there’s an investigation taking place now.
“I can’t say more, really, about it.”