Brexit board member resigns over Islamophobic tweets

A board member of the Leave campaign resigned Monday over a series of anti-

Muslim tweets, just two days before a referendum decides whether the U.K.

should stay in the EU, according to British media reports.

The Guardian noted that Arabella Arkwright, who is also a businesswoman,

reposted on her Twitter feed an image of a white woman surrounded by black-

colored burqas along with the caption: “Britain 2050: Why didn’t you stop them

Granddad?”

She also reposted another message saying: “Yazidi women fleeing Isis [Daesh]”

with a “Stop Islam” logo, according to the paper.

Arkwright reportedly deleted her Twitter account after she got negative

reactions to her posts.

Vote Leave campaign in a statement to the paper said that Arabella’s tweets did

not reflect the views of the group.

“As soon as we were made aware of these tweets we asked Arabella to hand in

her resignation, which she has done with immediate effect. These tweets do not

reflect the views of the Vote Leave campaign,” it said.

Also, Arkwright defended her position in a statement to the paper.

“I would like to make it absolutely clear that my RTs [re-tweets] and forwarding

do not mean that I endorse in any way the content of them,” she said.

Leave campaigners have repeatedly used xenophobic and Islamophobic content

to instill fear among voters that such a move would supposedly invite millions of

migrants into the bloc, especially to the U.K.

On Monday, Sayeeda Warsi, a senior Muslim politician in Britain’s governing

Conservative Party, also abandoned her support for Brexit.

The former Foreign Office minister had accused the Leave campaign of telling

“complete lies” about Turkey’s EU membership and announced she now

supported a vote for Britain to remain in the European Union.

Baroness Warsi resigns from Conservative party over Gaza and warns Tories over attracting ethnic minorities

August 10, 2014

Former Conservative chairman Baroness Warsi says her party will not win the next election unless it does more to attract ethnic minority voters. She resigned as a government minister over the UK’s policy on Gaza last week but has now broadened her criticisms. Tory MP Alec Shelbrooke said her criticisms would soon be forgotten.

Lady Warsi became the first female Muslim cabinet minister when David Cameron became prime minister in 2010. In her newspaper interviews she also criticised “bitchy” male colleagues and repeated her anger at the government’s handling of the fighting in Gaza. She said: “I will be out there, vocally fighting for an outright Conservative majority. But the electoral reality is that we will not win outright Conservative majorities until we start attracting more of the ethnic vote.”

Lady Warsi said she was one of David Cameron’s earliest supporters in 2005, stating: “This is a guy who gets today’s Britain. He’s a new kind of Conservative. He’s comfortable with today’s Britain. I think the party has shifted since then. The party leadership has shifted since then. I think over time it will be a regressive move because we have to appeal to all of Britain, not just because it’s morally the right thing to do… but because it is an electoral reality.”

She called on the government to “recognise Palestine as a state” and impose an arms embargo on Israel. She also criticised Chancellor George Osborne and chief whip Michael Gove for not using their “very, very close” relations with the Israeli government to help end the hostilities. “What is the point of having that strong relationship if you can’t use it to move them to a position which is in their interests and our interests?”

She also rejected Mr Osborne’s claim that her resignation had been “unnecessary” by saying: “My actions would not have been necessary if he had done what he should have done, which is pick up the phone to people he is incredibly close to and say: ‘It’s unnecessary for you to meet your ends by taking out power stations, taking out homes, taking out schools and killing kids on beaches.'”

Mr Shelbrooke, who is the MP for Elmet and Rothwell, said Lady Warsi had “embarrassed herself” and her criticisms would “quickly fizzle out”. He said: “I think within a week, ‘Who was Lady Warsi?’ will be the question. She has ended her career in many ways. Isn’t it best to step down on a point of principle, but don’t you embarrass yourself if you start launching into a tirade about many other things, when you come from a position of having never held elected office.”

The Conservative Party said it would not comment on Lady Warsi’s newspaper interviews at the moment. Lady Warsi stood for election to the Commons in her home town of Dewsbury in 2005 but lost to Labour. She was appointed to the House of Lords in 2007. The government’s chief whip in the House of Lords is to replace Baroness Warsi as a Foreign Office minister, with the right to attend cabinet. Lord Taylor of Holbeach is the new Lords Chief Whip. Conservative MP Lord Bates, replaces Lord Taylor as parliamentary under secretary of state at the Home Office. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles, who paid warm tribute to Lady Warsi on Tuesday, will take over her faith brief, in addition to his existing responsibilities.

In her letter to the prime minister, Lady Warsi – the first Muslim woman to serve in a British cabinet – said: “I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in government at this time I do not feel that I can be sure of that.” Mr Cameron replied that he understood her “strength of feeling on the current crisis”, adding the situation in Gaza was “intolerable”, but he rejected her call to change direction.

Culture Secretary Sajid Javid said he had a “great deal of respect” for Baroness Warsi, adding that she had done “excellent work” for the Conservative Party and in government.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said Israel had “overstepped the mark” in the conflict and called for the suspension of arms export licences.

The prime minister has faced criticism from some in his own party for not condemning Israel for what they believe is its disproportionate use of force against Hamas and civilians in Gaza. But neither Mr Cameron nor any Conservative minister has said that Israel has gone beyond what is proportionate. The response from the new foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, was telling. What Lady Warsi has labelled a “morally indefensible” position he has dismissed as a call for “megaphone diplomacy”. He emphasised that he felt he had to be “balanced”.

Labour leader Ed Miliband told the BBC: “The government’s position is wrong and I think Sayeeda Warsi’s statement is completely right about this.” He said that Mr Cameron had to “think much more clearly” about policy on Gaza and had to “break his silence” over Israel’s actions.

But Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said: “I do find it rather surprising that she has chosen now, this particular moment, to take this step when, in fact, we are now at long last seeing some relief, seeing some progress on the issues about which she was so passionately concerned.”

David Cameron’s response to her resignation stated he had “much regret” she hadn’t talked to him about her concerns before she quit. But there was also a warm tribute. “I would like you to know how much I have personally appreciated your support and friendship over the years’ he wrote.

No Mosque yet: A Divided Community is the Problem

March 25, 2014

 

It is an uphill struggle for the Muslim community to build a place of worship in Milan, many hoped it would ready for Expo 2015, instead the building has been delayed. According to Paolo Branca, advocate and Associate Professor at the Catholic University of Milan, the real problem, rather than the opposition of some in the Conservative Party, is the divisions within the Muslim community, split into two major areas of thought: Caim (Coordination of Islamic associations in Milan) which has never made ​​a secret of being close to the Muslim Brotherhood and Coreis (Islamic Religious Community), which is more secular and supported by the Diocese. “Many have advanced their concerns, not the mosque, but on its future management in the case that it incorporates close ties to the Brotherhood” explains Branca “ This could complicate the creation of a place open to all Muslims as well as Milanese.”

 

Il Fatto Quotidiano: http://tv.ilfattoquotidiano.it/2014/03/25/moschea-di-milano-branca-i-problemi-sono-le-divisioni-nella-comunita-islamica/271559/

 

UK minister issues warning against rise of Islamophia

24 January 2013

 

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, a senior member of the Conservative Party and a

Minister of State for Faith and Communities, has said that more Muslims are victims of hate crimes now than at any other time in Britain’s history, showing a rise in Isalmophobia which needs to be dealt with effectively.

 

Citing figures from a recent You Gov survey, she presented her evidence. According to the poll results just 23% of people said that Islam was not a threat to Western civilization. Further, only 24% of the respondents thought Muslims were compatible with the British way of life – with nearly half of people disagreeing that Muslims were compatible. Finally, nearly half of people polled thought there would be a clash of civilizations between and Muslims and other Britons.

She further mentioned new figures from the Association of Chief Police Officers showing that between 50 to 60 per cent of all religious hate crimes reported to police in Britain are now perpetrated against Muslims.

“My fear is that seeing one community as the ‘other’ is a slippery slope that will enable extremists to advance their twisted interests unchecked, I don’t have to remind anyone what happens when an unfounded suspicion of one people can escalate into unspeakable horror.”

Two years ago Baroness Warsi was criticized for saying that that Islamophobia in Britain “had passed the dinner table test” but the latest police figures show that she was right in raising the issue.

UK Parties are trying to gain Muslim vote

23 July 2012

After the George Galloway’ historic victory of in Bradford by-elections British political parties have realized the significance of the Muslim vote and have been trying to gain support of Muslims. IN this regard, following Labor Leader Ed Miliband, Conservative Party Chair Baroness Warsi has visited the city to meet Muslim women.

Local Muslim Women’s Council members who were the organizers of the event challenged influential Muslim politician Baroness Warsi about immigration policy, education, the impact of cutbacks and austerity and the role Government has played in fuelling Islamophobia.

Mullah Krekar Behind Bars

July 12

The ever controversial Mullah Krekar, one of the founders and original leader of the Kurdish Islamist group Ansar al-Islam, has been confirmed indicted for threats made last summer against the head of Norway’s Conservative Party (Høyre), Erna Solberg. The threats were made during a press conference for international media in June last year, where Krekar said that if he was killed after being forcibly sent out of Norway, the person responsible for his expulsion would also be killed. Solberg was specifically named.

Siv Jensen, of the far right-wing Fremskrittspartiet, who originally reported Krekar for the threats against Solberg, says she hopes he will be convicted this time. Krekar answers he has three main enemies, the Norwegian right, Norwegian Intelligence, and Norwegian Media.

Baroness Warsi Speaking Out Against Islamophobia in Britain

21 January 2011

Islamophobia is not just rife but socially acceptable in Britain today. Indeed it “passes the dinner-table test” of being seen as normal and uncontroversial in polite society. So Baroness Warsi, the first Muslim to sit in the Cabinet, was to warn last night.

Her speech has surprised and riled many, not least her fellows in the Conservative Party. What she says is true, which is what so irritates her critics. Prejudice against Britain’s Asian community does not, since 9/11, attract the social stigma that prejudice against other religious and racial groups rightly brings.

Timothy Winter: Britain’s most influential Muslim

20 August 2010
In the 500 Most Influential Muslims 2010, Mr Winter is below the King of Saudi Arabia — who comes in at number one — but ahead of many more chronicled figures. Winter, who is Shaykh Zayed Lecturer of Islamic Studies at Cambridge University’s Divinity Faculty, is ranked in an unspecified position between 51st and 60th: considerably higher than the three other British people who make the list — the Conservative Party chairman Baroness Warsi; the UK’s first Muslim life peer, Lord Nazir Ahmed, who was briefly jailed last year for dangerous driving; and Dr Anas Al Shaikh Ali, director of the International Institute of Islamic Thought — making him, at least in the eyes of the RISSC, Britain’s most influential Muslim.
After graduating from Cambridge with a double first in Arabic in 1983, Winter studied at the University of al-Azhar in Egypt and worked in Jeddahat before returned to England in the late eighties to study Turkish and Persian. He says he has no difficulty reconciling the world he grew up in with the one he now inhabits. “Despite all the stereotypes of Islam being the paradigmatic opposite to life in the west, the feeling of conversion is not that one has migrated but that one has come home.”
Last year Winter helped set up the Cambridge Muslim College, which offers trained imams a one year diploma in Islamic studies and leadership, designed to help trained imams to better implement their knowledge and training in 21st-century Britain. This year’s first graduating class have recently returned from a trip to Rome where they had an open audience with the Pope.

Canadian Conservative Party Minister Warns Against ‘Honor Killing’

The Canadian federal minister for the status of women, Rona Ambrose, went to an immigrant health centre to issue a warning that honor killings and other violence against women will not be tolerated in Canada. “There is a small minority in some communities who use violence against women as a method of avenging their so-called honor,” Ambrose said at the Punjabi Community Health Services in Mississauga, west of Toronto, which is home to many immigrants from South Asia.

The Conservatives have spent much time and capital courting the South Asian communities and Prime Minister Stephen Harper last week appointed a Pakistani immigrant who was a Tory candidate in the 2008 election to the Senate. With the death of Aqsa Parvez in 2007, Mississauga was the location of one of the most shocking cases of so-called honor killing in recent Canadian history.

Baroness Warsi becomes first Muslim woman in British Cabinet

Britain’s first female Muslim Cabinet minister said on Thursday it was “humbling” to join the government, after taking part in new Prime Minister David Cameron’s first full ministerial meeting. Sayeeda Warsi is the Conservative Party’s chairwoman and minister without portfolio in Cameron’s new coalition government.

“For anybody to serve in government is a privilege,” said the 39-year-old of Pakistani origin, after Cameron held his first Cabinet meeting in 10 Downing Street. “But to be born the daughter of an immigrant mill-worker in a mill town in Yorkshire, to have the privilege of serving in Cabinet at such an important time in Britain’s history I think is terribly humbling,” she told the BBC.

Baroness Warsi is one of the extremely few exceptions of the predominantly male and white Cabinet.