Lady Warsi: Pakistan’s treatment of women fails Islam

23.06.2011
Muslim Tory minister Sayeeda Warsi criticized Pakistan for denying women rights that were granted in the Qur’an 1,400 years ago. Therefore, according to Warsi, “Pakistan is failing to live up to one of the tenets of Islam which guarantees rights to all women” (Guardian). While preparing to become the first British minister to address the Organisation for the Islamic Conference, Warsi made these comments in an interview with the Guardian. Warsi, who has Pakistani origins herself, had already raised the issue of women’s rights last year. During the interview, Warsi said her heritage allowed her to openly raise these concerns; what is more, she considers herself to be able to deliver a “tough message to Pakistan because she is unencumbered by “colonial baggage””. In addition to the lack of rights for women, Warsi had also voiced concerns about the treatment of minorities in Pakistan.

Muslim MPs to more than double

At least 80 Muslim candidates of various political persuasions are involved in a spectrum of intriguing contests for parliamentary seats around the country. The chances are that up to 15 could be elected, although more realistically it is likely to double up from four in 2005.

The outcome in the elections, which are going to be the closest for decades and includes so many uncertain factors, is likely to see both the first Muslim women MPs that could help more than double Labour numbers and the first Muslim Tory members in the House of Commons. In the frame with outside chances are also a couple of Liberal Democrats and different Respect candidates among many others who are in un-winnable seats.

Labour has no less than seven Muslims, including three women, defending seats, the Conservatives one and another selected to capture the Party’s number one target seat in Gillingham and Rainham. Respect also has chosen a Muslim candidate in Bethnal Green and Bow to stand instead of George Galloway, who is seeking re-election in the newly created Poplar and Limehouse next door. But Abjol Miah faces the unique challenge of Muslim rivals selected by all three main parties in the most populous Muslim constituency.