Inside the parliament hall, Muslim MP Zara Sultana revealed the huge amount of racism against Muslims in the UK. She made an intervention in which tears were mixed with strong words, to show the extent of racism against Muslim women, and the danger of condoning this phenomenon by the British government.
In her speech before the committee discussing the definition of Islamophobia, the young Muslim MP presented examples of the messages she receives that show racism, defamation, and incitement, which raised sympathy and shock within the Parliamentary Committee and among many British politicians.
In her intervention, which lasted 6 minutes, Zara Sultana spoke about the state of tension she experienced as a Muslim woman running for elections in the Coventry South region, and how public opinion would deal with her, “because I grew up seeing the abuse suffered by British Muslims who have reached high positions or for Parliament.”.
Sultana admitted that she was wrong when she told young Muslim women that they did not have to worry about succeeding in society and that the obstacles they would encounter were similar to other girls from other cultural backgrounds, but “after my short stint in Parliament I would like to admit that my journey has not been easy.” .
Sultana’s speech received wide interaction on social media, and more than half a million people watched it on her page in less than two days.
Among these messages is a message that says to the Muslim MP, “You and Muslims represent a real danger to humanity,” another wrote to her, “You are cancer wherever you go and soon Europe will get rid of you.”
Despite this suffering, Sultana confirmed that she will no longer remain silent about all kinds of racism against Muslims and that she has learned from her political work “how to deal with racism and to understand this psychological intolerance that reveals itself in different forms, and now I will confront and challenge it wherever it is.” “.
She also warned that silence about racism against Muslims makes racists go further, “They spread racism towards everyone, Jews, blacks, gypsies, immigrants and refugees, and they will never stop.” She referred to previous statements by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson – about which he, later on, apologized – where he described the veiled women as being like mailboxes or bank robbers, considering that such statements increase the spread of racism.
The most prominent interaction with this speech was from former Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, who praised Sultana’s speech and described it as “brilliant and courageous and a message of strength to all those who fight racism in all its forms.” Thank you Zara (Sultana) for such courage and strength, a speech that says a lot, you are making a huge difference.”
Many parliamentarians tweeted, on social media, including the youngest female deputy in the British Parliament, Nadia Withum, and others, that this word should be a starting point for revealing all kinds of Islamophobia that Muslim women are exposed to in particular in the British society.