By Baroness Warsi
Immigration is one of the biggest political issues of our time – yet for too long we weren’t allowed to discuss it for fear of being labelled racist.
Remember Gillian Duffy? In 2010, when the Rochdale pensioner raised her concerns about the numbers of people coming into Britain, Gordon Brown called her a bigot.
She and thousands like her were deemed narrow-minded for questioning Labour’s mass immigration policy – a policy that saw 2.2 million migrants arrive during Labour’s 13-year rule. Read more
An icon, a stalwart and a revolutionary, Baroness Thatcher turned Britain’s fortunes around at a moment when we needed her most.
As a working-class Muslim girl from West Yorkshire, she became my political inspiration – my idol.
The daughter of a grocer showed that anything was possible. Her story of social mobility struck a real chord with so many of Britain’s ethnic minority communities.
The odds were always stacked against Margaret Hilda Roberts. But she showed that hard work, determination and steadfastness trump circumstances. Read more
With a career as long, as impactful and as world-changing as that of Baroness Thatcher, there is a danger that we might overlook many of her important achievements.
For instance, in the days following her very sad passing, little has been said of her attitude towards Britain becoming an increasingly diverse place. She set out her stall about the changing face of the UK when she opened the Ismaeli Centre back in 1985.
“Britain is now, more than ever, a multicultural society,” she said. “We need not be afraid that these new influences will somehow threaten the ‘British way of life’: on the contrary, a new resilience derived from diversity can only strengthen Britain.” Read more
The government is “finally dealing” with Islamophobia in the UK, the minister for faith and communities has said in a personal film made for the BBC.
By Murtaza Ali Shah and Asif Dar
LONDON: A senior UK minister has said that dual national Pakistanis must be allowed to vote in Pakistani elections on 11th May but the Supreme Court of Pakistan has done the right thing by barring dual nationals from standing for public offices in Pakistan.
Speaking to Pakistani audience at the Jang Forum in London, Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, the Foreign Office and Faith & Communities Minister, said the UK government supported the efforts of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). “In a short span of time, the ECP has done a good job.”
She said that fact that Pakistan’s last government was able to fulfil five years in office showed that democratic process in Pakistan was maturing and was moving towards stability. She said the UK believed that Pakistan Army had not interfered in Pakistan’s democratic process and was keen to see democracy taking roots. Read more
A government minister has spoken out against “antisemitism in the Muslim community” in Britain.
Baroness Warsi, the Minister for Faith and Communities, said that anti-Zionism was often a mask for anti-Jewish hatred.
“I am aware that anti-Israeli sentiment can sometimes be a cover for antisemitism. As the Community Security Trust will tell you, antisemitic attacks spiral in the UK when there is increased unrest in the Middle East.”
But she insisted that it was “absurd” to suggest that criticisms of Israeli policy would “automatically equal to criticisms of Jews”. Read more
By Kounteya Sinha
LONDON: UK has decided to pay tribute to the sacrifices made by the 1.2 million men from the Indian Army who fought for Britain in the First World War during a visit to the battlefields of France and Belgium.
Kicking off the campaign, Britain’s Faith and Communities minister Baroness Warsi visited the grave of Indian soldier Khudadad Khan – the first Indian recipient of the Victoria Cross (the highest military honour) in Belgium.
She stopped at the village of Hollebeke where she laid a wreath at a memorial to Sikh soldiers. This was where Indian soldiers saw some of their first action in the early months of the war.
Baroness Warsi said “Our boys weren’t just Tommies, they were Tariqs and Tajinders too. A picture of a soldier in a turban is not what we immediately associate with the Great War. And yet so many men from so far away came to Europe to fight for the freedoms we enjoy today. Their legacy is our liberty, and every single one of us owes them a debt of gratitude.” Read more
Britain’s Minister for Faith was in Rome this week representing the UK government at the new Pope’s inauguration at the Vatican.
Baroness Warsi, who is also a Senior Foreign Office Minister, was at the installation of Pope Francis alongside the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester on March 19.
In a packed St Peter’s Square, the delegation took their place alongside the world’s dignitaries to watch Pope Francis formally become head of the Catholic Church – which has 1.2 billion followers worldwide, including 6 million people in the UK. Read more
STUDENTS at a Crosland Moor school were inspired by a talk from Baroness Warsi of Dewsbury, Britain’s first female Muslim Cabinet minister.
Dewsbury-born Baroness Warsi, who asked students to call her by her first name Sayeeda, spoke to year 11 students at Moor End Academy.
Her visit was part of the Speakers for Schools initiative.
Former solicitor Baroness Warsi, who became a life peer in 2007, served in Prime Minister David Cameron’s Cabinet as minister without portfolio from May 2010 to September last year. Read more
By Robin de Peyer
The minister for faith and communities joined mothers from the Marion Richardson school in Stepney who are taking part in a Church Urban Fund project at the Departure Arts Café in Commercial Road, Limehouse on Monday.
The project is the 400th to be awarded the ‘Near Neighbours Grant’.
Tory life peer Baroness Warsi said: “Reaching the 400th grant is a real milestone and it shows that, by using faith networks’ existing infrastructure, we can make a real impact in communities.
“It was fantastic to hear first-hand how these small grants are making such a big difference to the lives of local people and I’m sure they will have a lasting effect on everyone involved.”
The Church Urban Fund project aims to bring together a group of mothers from backgrounds ranging from Bengali to Russian.