Zarah Sultana MP speaks out against Islamophobia

JVL introduction

A short, courageous and inspiring contribution by Zarah Sultana MP or the realities of racism, particularly Islamophobia, in Britain today – and on the need to stand together in solidarity against all forms of racism.

Of the many supportive comments she received, we would highlight this one by Faiza Shaheen:

Zarah, I’m so sorry. There’s no denying that being a Muslim woman makes you a target, people often don’t realise the toll the abuse takes. Please know there are many that support you. You’re one of the few people in Parliament who give me any hope. Solidarity always x

Comments (18)

  • Linda says:

    BRAVO Zarah! I’m so sorry the UK is still like this, I’d hoped for better.

  • Debbie Friedman says:

    I really admire Zarah. She is one of the very few left voices in parliament to consistently speak the truth fearlessly and powerfully. I sincerely wish there were more like her.

  • Daniel Vulliamy says:

    Thank you, Zarah. And thanks to JVL for standing in solidarity.

  • Maureen Lacey says:

    I deeply regret that you needed to make this speech Zarah. I admire your contributions to Parliamentary debate and the way you challenge those who do not share your values. I’m sure you will be an inspiration to other young women and hope a time will come soon when you do not need to make speeches such as this.

  • Kuhnberg says:

    The hierarchy of racial victimhood given institutional form by all the major political parties dictates that Zarah’s bravely articulated experience of anti-Muslim hatred will be largely dismissed by the media. On forums like Twitter it will be sneered at, using the specious formula, ‘Islam is a religion not a race so it doesn’t count’- as if hateful abuse could be rendered irrelevant by such means.

    The important thing for the apologists for Israel is to ensure that antisemitism can hold onto its position as the only racism that causes real hurt. It is Muslims, in other words, that don’t count. David Baddiel, of course, has written a book called Jews Don’t Count, which argues that British Jews are not considered a suffering minority, in part because most of them are supposedly successful and comfortably off. In reality the converse applies, particularly in Keir Starmer’s Labour Party, where constituency gatherings are required to ensure that the feelings of Jewish members are protected ahead of anyone else’s – Muslims in particular. Tragically it’s going to take another savage assault on Gaza to shift public perception of the issue to the point where the hatred directed at Muslims gets to be widely acknowledged.

  • DAVID JONES says:

    A very brave, genuine human being. I wish she was my MP. Somebody well worth supporting and voting for. I can only echo Linda’s “Bravo”!

  • Gary Griffiths says:

    Thank you for alerting me to Zarah Sultana’s speech regarding Islamophobia. It was passionate and inspiring. I have the utmost respect for her. She is a an incredible role model for all who cherish justice, integrity and honesty. If only all MPs had similar qualities to this remarkable young woman.

  • Dave Postles says:

    Eloquently addressed by Kuhnberg above. All I would add is reference to Philip Collins and Trevor Phillips in Labour and secondly admiration for JVL whom I have seen at demos against all racism.

  • Kate Adams says:

    Fantastic Zarah! You are brave, eloquent, and well-informed. Thank you.

  • rc says:

    Kuhnberg’s comment above is a bit naive about the leadership’s alleged protection of Jewish members from being ‘hurt’ by debate about Israel; it is only Zionist Jews (and gentiles) who receive this sort of protection. And ‘protection’ also has its repressive side: rock the boat, even in private conversation, and you are at grave risk of being deemed to have ‘auto-excluded’ yourself.

  • Malcolm Ede says:

    I think that Zarah is an extremely brave woman to make the impassioned speech about her experience of racism and Islamophobia in our society. What we must do is to unite behind her to tackle this problem too.

  • John Mclaughlin says:

    Thank you Zarah a true socialist MP, starmer can learn a lot from you, but I doubt he will, good luck for the future.

  • Gen Doy says:

    Great speech, bravely delivered. It’s time all Labour MPs and staff supported the same values and fought for them, instead of the leadership of the LP witchhunting its left-wing members and trying to make itself acceptable to capitalists.

  • Kathleen Bellucci says:

    I am so ashamed of people who do this to anyone, Zarah works so hard and is open and truthfull, maybe this is why she hits a nerve. we need a champion like her on the left, together with all the other socialist MP’s in parliament. There are two things that hold the humankind back and that is famine and ignorance, I will always follow Zarah and really hope this kind of abuse does not take a toil on her, solidarity Zarah, best wishes.

  • Courageous! Moving! Inspiring!

  • Kuhnberg says:

    Re rc’s comment above, it is true that Starmer’s protection only applies to those Jews who support Israel and endorse the narrative that under the previous leader the Labour Party was infested by antisemites. Jews that argue a counter narrative are treated much like Muslims – they don’t count. When I informed my constituency MP about my decision to leave the party he wrote back to say that the party had a duty to make sure that nothing was said or done to hurt the feelings of Jewish members. No mention was made of the feelings of Jewish members who disagreed with the official party narrative or the feelings of other minorities such as Palestinians or those who supported their struggle for equal rights. This is an important distinction and I thank rc for pointing it out.

    The unfairness of this policy is blindingly obvious, but saying as much to my MP or to any Labour official charged with policing is pointless: they simply don’t listen. There can be no better illustration of the fact that under Starmer a hierarchy of protection exists which favours pro-Israel Jews above all other groups.

  • Kim everett says:

    An amazing heartfelt and courageous speech.

  • Emma Tait says:

    Very good speech by Zarah Sultana but so sad. I fear most MPs won’t truly listen to her because they don’t care about Islamophobia. How dare the government allow such behaviour towards Muslims, and how dare the Labour Party/ Leadership not take these matter seriously. Human rights?

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