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SPEECH AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE: CHURCHILL ARCHIVES ‘FAITH IN POLITICS’ CONFERENCE

INTRODUCTION

I am delighted to speak about the vital place I believe faith has in politics. 

For the Conservative Party has always put faith at the heart of policy making.

Religion runs through our history and through our veins. 

So today I want to argue that, in government… 

…even in a Coalition government…

 …we are staying true to those roots. Read more

SPEECH AT THE LAUNCH OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR: THE COMMONWEALTH CONTRIBUTION

INTRODUCTION

In his speech ‘A Time of Triumph’, Winston Churchill praised those who came ‘from the 

uttermost ends of the earth’ to fight alongside Britain in the Second World War.

“From the poorest colony to the most powerful dominion”, he said, “the great maxim held: 

when the King declares war, the Empire is at war”.

Both of my grandfathers were among those brave men. 

And for that reason I have always known something of British India’s role in that conflict. 

But for many years I was unaware of the role their fellow countrymen played 30 years earlier. 

The one and a half million from modern day India, Pakistan and Bangladesh who served, 

fought and fell for Britain in the Great War. Read more

SPEECH AT THE WORLD ISLAMIC ECONOMIC FORUM

CHANGING WORLD

We are just 13 years into this young century.

And in that short time we have seen all the old economic certainties turned on

their head.

First, in terms of financial stability.

When we entered the third millennium, economic systems seemed sound, secure

and assured.

We thought financial crashes were just grim chapters in history books.

We were even told there would be ‘no return to boom and bust’.

And yet in 2008 we were plunged into the biggest recession since the Second

World War. Read more

Telegraph: Review of ‘I am Malala’

By Sayeeda Warsi

Malala Yousafzai’s story begins with her parents being commiserated with after producing a baby girl. In their part of northern Pakistan, she says, rifle shots ring out in celebration of a baby boy’s arrival. But there is no such fanfare for females; their destiny is to cook and clean, to be neither seen nor heard.

When Mr and Mrs Yousafzai were married, a small boy was placed on their laps to encourage the birth of a son. It didn’t work; their firstborn was a girl who ‘popped out kicking and screaming’. And that girl’s father was mocked by relatives for bothering to add her name to the family tree, which, of course, only featured men.

So how did Malala, who barely warranted a mention in her family’s genealogy, become destined for the history books, a powerful symbol for girls’ universal right to an education?

“I am Malala” tells us how. Read more

Guardian: This Ramadan we’ve shown Islam and Britishness are not incompatible

By Sayeeda Warsi

This week British Muslims and Muslims across the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr. After a month of fasting, prayer and reflection there was a time to celebrate and enjoy family meals. Ramadan has been tough this year – not just because of the long, hot summer days, but because of the recent string of attacks on Muslim communities and the shadow of the terrible events of Woolwich in May. Read more

Mail on Sunday: 11-rupee heroes who fought to keep us all free

By Baroness Warsi

Daddy, what did YOU do  in the Great War? So  goes the famous 1915 recruitment poster, aimed at coaxing fathers across Britain into joining up and playing their part in the ‘war to end all wars’.

One year before we mark the centenary of that conflict, which, of course, didn’t end all wars, we are starting to ask one another a similar question: what did YOUR forefathers do in the Great War? Read more

Independent on Sunday: Breaking bread and Islam myths

By Baroness Warsi

This weekend, mosques have been opening their doors to people of all faiths, and none, to share iftar, the meal Muslims have when they break their fast each evening during Ramadan. These events have been taking place in scores of community centres, living rooms, parks – even flash mobs – across the country.

It’s all part of the “Big Iftar”: a month-long opportunity to show Islam in practice. Read more

BBC Radio 2: Good Morning Sunday

Clare Balding, presenter: This is Good Morning Sunday and my guest this morning is Baroness Warsi, senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and Minister for Faith and Communities.  She’s also a businesswoman, a lawyer, campaigner, and the first Muslim to sit in the British Cabinet.  But Sayeeda Warsi didn’t start life as a member of the establishment.  She’s one of five daughters born to immigrant parents from Pakistan, and I began by asking her how it was growing up as a Muslim in Yorkshire in the 1970s.

Baroness Warsi, Foreign Office Minister and Faith and Communities Minister: I think there were so many different influences in my life: faith was one of them.  But also, growing up in a strong, working-class home was another big influence.  Growing up in an all-female family was, again, incredibly interesting, and growing up with an incredibly opinionated father, a completely focused and driven mother, I think all these things played into the person that I became.

CB: And so what were they like?  What did your father and mother do?

BW: My mum was a traditional housewife; she ran everybody’s lives.  I mean, when they say ‘housewife’, it meant she dealt with everything from the finances to the school runs.  And dad just worked all the hours that he had, so he… when we were very young he was working in the mills.  Probably my clearest memories are when he was a bus driver, because his bus used to come and stop at the top of the road.  I’m sure it’s against every health and safety rule but we used to walk up to give him his lunch but he used to let us get on the bus and then drop us off on the way back.  And that was an adventure when we were growing up. Read more

Independent on Sunday: The centenary of WWI – ‘Tommies and Tariqs fought side by side’

It is vital that the role of Empire troops in the First World War is acknowledged, says Baroness Warsi

By Jane Merrick, Kashmira Gander
 
The contribution of 1.2 million soldiers from the Indian subcontinent and others from the Commonwealth who fought for Britain in the First World War must be recognised when the nation marks the centenary of the start of fighting next year, Sayeeda Warsi, the Communities and Foreign Office minister, says today. Read more

The Sun: Baroness Warsi backs Sun’s call to act

You won’t find a bigger supporter of the Sun’s ‘case against Choudary’ campaign than me. 

For years I’ve been saying that this nutter, and hate mongers like him, are poisonous and destructive.

My run-ins with Choudary go way back.

When I stood for Parliament in 2005, he and his mates from Al-Muhajiroun called me a ‘kafar’, a non-believer, because I strongly believed in democracy and politics.

In 2006 on Newsnight he accused me of not being a Muslim because I wasn’t wearing a veil.  

Three years later his mates pelted me with eggs and shouted obscenities at me in Luton as punishment for being a Muslim woman in a public role. 

What really riled me, though, was seeing this man on the box, the day after the brutal murder of Drummer Lee Rigby, trying to glorify and justify this terrible attack. 

It’s because I believe in free speech, that I believe in shouting people down rather than shutting them up – winning the argument, not banning the conversation.

Read more