Rejoice! The number of Muslim MPs has doubled
I’m sure this post will upset lots of Islamophobes in the blogosphere.
I've just received in my inbox this press release (below) from the Muslim News, which has cheered me up (but has probably sent a shiver down the spine of Melanie Phillips, Douglas Murray, Charles Moore et al).
The number of Muslim MPs has doubled to eight in the closest elections in decades and saw the first three Muslim women -- all Labour -- elected to the 650-member House of Commons.
In addition, the Conservatives have gained their first two Muslim MPs, but the possibility of adding a third was dashed after Zahid Iqbal failed in overturning Labour's 3,000 majority in Bradford West, northern England.
Thursday's elections were marked by a swing from Labour to the Conservatives and resulted in one of two Muslim ministers, Shahid Malik, losing his parliamentary seat for Dewsbury in northern England by just over 1,500 votes.
But Transport Minister Sadiq Khan defied the swing to retain his seat for Tooting in south London with a reduced majority of 2,500 votes.
Khalid Mahmood also successfully defended his parliamentary seat for Labour in Birmingham Perry Bar for the second time, increasing his majority to more than 11,000.
In Glasgow Central, Anas Sarwar also increased Labour's majority to almost 16,000 in replacing his father, Mohammed Sarwar, who stepped down at the election after becoming Britain's first Muslim MP back in 1979.
Over 90 Muslim candidates of various political persuasions stood in the general election, including 22 women.
Three Muslim women, all Labour, became the first to enter parliament.
The first Muslim woman to win was Yasmin Qureshi, winning in the Bolton South-East constituency in north-west England, but by a reduced majority of more than 8,600.
Shabana Mahmood increased the majority of the outgoing former international development secretary Clare Short from under 7,000 votes to more than 10,000 in Birmingham Ladywood in central England.
Rushanara Ali won with a huge majority of 11,000, defeating Abjol Miah of the Respect party to third place in Bethnal Green and Bow. The Lib Dems' Ajmal Masroor came second.
The first Muslim Conservatives to be elected were Sajid Javid, who retained Bromsgrove [for the Tories] with an increased majority of more than 11,000 . . . and Rehman Chisti, who won by more than 8,500 votes in newly created Gillingham and Rainham in south-east England.
Nadhim Zahawi, chief executive of the online market research agency YouGov, also became the first Iraqi Kurd to become a UK MP by successfully defending the Conservatives' 10,000-plus majority in [Stratford-on-Avon], central England.
Congratulations to Labour and the Tories for electing non-white MPs in general and Muslim MPs, in particular, and shame on the all-white, male-heavy Liberal Democrats.
I should also add that if the Muslim population of Britain were proportionately represented in parliament, we'd have more than 20 Muslim MPs and not just eight. But beggars can't be choosers, I suppose . . .
Tags: Election 2010