06 Feb, 2022
The sacking of Nusrat Ghani from the cabinet over her “Muslimness” is symptomatic of the Islamophobia of the Conservative party, and reaffirms that Labour is the UK party aligned with Muslim values, writes Dr. Zahid Chauhan.
It is disturbing how people spin things.
Actually, Labour won that seat and a change of leadership, which again some have erroneously said means the party cares less about Palestine under Keir Starmer, means it is still the party of Islam on the basis of principle and effective government.
In fact, I would argue we have never been closer to diverse cultures and that the Tories’ true Islamophobic colours have re-emerged again.
Nusrat Ghani’s sacking from the cabinet for her “Muslimness” (there’s a word dripping with hostility, hysteria, and superiority) is merely the tip of the iceberg. From Baroness Warsi to conservatives in constituency parties, the message has been “keep your heads down”.
“Nusrat Ghani’s sacking from the cabinet for her “Muslimness” (there’s a word dripping with hostility, hysteria, and superiority) is merely the tip of the iceberg”
It is only Labour that resonates with Muslims, largely because it aligns itself with equality, diversity, and justice. It values all legal faiths and favours none, and it as it learns and grows it is now perfectly positioned for the modern British Muslim.
Whilst in the past, Labour’s socialist platform sat firmly with certain edicts in The Holy Quran, such as Surah Al-Hujurat, where all men and women are recognised as equals, and the idea of zakat and supporting the poor, today’s Labour backs burgeoning businesses, shared values and services, strong communities and charity. As I said when I launched the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for rough sleepers in the world last year, “this could only have been achieved under Labour”.
Policies around being the party of commerce, rewarding hard work and supporting families are as empty as many other Tory promises made in the recent and distant past.
Remember who it was who wrongly sought to deport British citizens from the Windrush generation, or whose MPs supported Enoch Powell as he delivered his “Rivers of Blood” speech. If you feel these examples are too remote, consider how many Muslims perished at Grenfell; living and then dying in squalid accommodation in austerity Tory Britain.
Conversely there is the creation of the Welfare State and the NHS, the Race Relations Act, and the Department for International Development. In Britain, and in parts of the Islamic world, Labour is leading the way in the kinds of compassionate beliefs that they and Muslims share.
Do not be fooled by the fake liberal, free trade, and family-first nonsense peddled by some members of the Conservative party. Their actions prove they do not believe it. As Nusrat Ghani’s example shows, theirs can be a self-serving, elitist, and racist philosophy.
And that is a million miles away from the teachings of Islam.
Dr Zahid Chauhan OBE is a national campaigner for health equalities and a family doctor in Manchester. He is also cabinet member for health and adult care at Oldham Council.
Learn more about his work at: www.zahidchauhan.co.uk
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Opinions expressed in this article remain those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of The New Arab, its editorial board or staff.