Muslim women ‘stopped from becoming Labour councillors’

February 6, 2016 at 7:56 pm (elections, Galloway, Islam, islamism, Jim D, labour party, misogyny, sexism, women)

Shazia Bashir

“Because I didn’t have my father’s consent and support, I had to step down. I was pressured into stepping down”  – Shazia Bashir (above)

Another said she had been told by Labour members “Islam and feminism aren’t compatible”.

An advocate for gay rights was told: “This is un-Islamic. Leave that for white people.” And many spoke of being criticised for being too Westernised.

A comrade from a Muslim background comments, “I can tell you the number of people in my family who were surprised by this story when I mentioned it to them and that is nil – which, at an educated guess, is almost certainly also the number of people in the SWP, the NUS Black Students’ Campaign and other groups who usually fall over themselves to say how much they support Muslim women, who are likely to do anything about this issue.

JD comments: it’s not just a Labour Party problem or a problem at councillor level: just look at the misogynistic abuse Naz Shah got from Galloway and his Respect Party supporters when she stood against him in Bradford West at the general election.


  1. Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

    As Birmingham has been cited in these reports as an example of this bias it is actually instructive to look at the councillors elected:

    Going by names alone I can see only one of the wards where Labour holds all three seats and they are all held by men.

    In all the others at least one and in some cases two of the three Labour councillors are women.

    It is however apparent that in several wards the female councillor does not judging by her name come from a Muslim background – while the males do.

    And yet a number – although nowhere near enough proportionately – of Muslim women are Labour councillors (as was Salma Yaqoob until she stood down).

    And this is an issue the NEC takes seriously to the point of having a panel which reviews Birmingham candidate selections to ensure that the Appendix 4 rules are being applied.

    So obviously there is a problem which can only be resolved by continued use of all women shortlists in successive elections but real progress clearly has been made.

    • Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

      Clarification: Salma Yaqoob was of course a Respect councillor but a Muslim woman nevertheless (and on standing down in 2012 was replaced by a male Muslim Labour candidate who got 85% of the vote).

      If wikipedia is to be believed she is now trying to rejoin Labour but has had her membership rejected.

      • Jim Denham said,

        I would be very wary of admitting Salma Yaqoob to Labour Party membership, given her background and record.

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Labour has been infiltrated by the loonie tunes and not for the first time. Salma gets foot in the door then elected as candidate by fellow travellers. Yawn.

      • ZINR said,

        How are Yaqoob’s politics different to Corbyn’s, Mr Denham?

      • Roger McCarthy (@RF_McCarthy) said,

        Have to concur that it is somewhat absurd to keep Salma out of the party when there is scarcely any discernible difference between her politics now and those of Corbyn and Milne.

        And I see nobody is actually interested in getting into the weeds of just how big an underlying problem this really is and what if anything can actually be done?

      • Jim Denham said,

        She’s been very anti-Labour for many years. Any association with Galloway (I know she eventually broke with him) makes someone suspect, in my eyes.

        And, yes: much the same applies to Milne.

    • ZINR said,

      “Any association with Galloway makes someone suspect”…unless they’re the leader of the Labour Party, eh?

      • Steven Johnston said,

        You read it here folks!

        Heres one for ya, Winston Churchill liked Hitler and Stalin, so what did that make him?

      • ZINR said,

        Ah sorry, I’ve got it all wrong then. Corbyn’s close associations with Galloway, Paul Eisen/Israel Shamir, the Hamas, etc are not indicative of any political leanings on his part, even though he has shared political platforms with them, been prominently involved in their campaigns and publically applauded their rhetoric. The fact that he’s been a staunch campaigner for PSC and DYR for years doesn’t imply any sympathy with them or any political similarities. Got it.

        By that token then, the next time I see Mr Netanyahu standing with those hideous Right wing religious zealots in the Knesset I shall look at a Wiki entry about association fallacies and reassure myself that the man is a moderate and all those unpleasant and dangerous people surrounding him are not his responsibility.

      • Jim Denham said,

        Those of us who take working class politics seriously, have to be very careful and tactical at the moment.

      • ZINR said,

        Very careful and tactical…how? What does that mean?

  2. Glasgow Working Class said,

    I thought muslim women were always in Labour.

  3. Steven Johnston said,

    Yes ZINR and the fact the Churchill praised Hitler for more years than were sensible counted for…diddly squat.

  4. Lamia said,

    It is not encouraging that the Labour Party replied to the reports with an off-the-shelf piece of self-justification.

    It ought to have at least said it would look into the matter. In view of Milne and co’s fondness for Islamists, I am guessing that the top of the party really does not want to hear from or about these Muslim women.

    Steven: Churchill actually waged war against Hitler. And he did not hang out with him in the years prior to that. Let us know when Corbyn (rhetorically) does something similar with regard to his own totalitarian friends of longstanding.

    • Steven Johnston said,

      Lamia, thanks for making my point! You never heard of a political U-turn? Or ever heard of a smiling assassin, or even keep your friends close but your enemies closer?

      • Lamia said,

        Yes, I have heard of a U-turn, Steven. Do you really think Corbyn believes he is keeping his enemies close wrt to Raed Salah, Hamas, Russia, Iran et al? Really?

        I get the ‘smiling’ bit – when do you think he’s going to turn ‘assasin’?

  5. Steven Johnston said,

    He got blotto with Uncle Joe, does that count for anything?

    • Lamia said,

      Churchill was the prime minister at the time, Steven. Prime Ministers and other officials often have to have dealings with unpleasant representatives from other countries. Ordinary MPs don’t.

      This has been pointed out time and again, and I am afraid it looks rather as if Corbyn’s defenders are being somewhat evasive when they don’t acknowledge that difference.

  6. Steven Johnston said,

    I get the ‘smiling’ bit – when do you think he’s going to turn ‘assasin’?

    Dunno, but would you have thought Atlee would have done this?

    • Lamia said,

      Yes I would. Attlee and his Labour supporters were not pacifists and they did not cringe about their own country exercising power. Nor did they like communists.They would have held Corbyn and his totalitarian friends in contempt.

      The kind of Labour supporter who wears a ‘What would Clem have done’ T-shirt is most likely the kind of Labour supporter who doesn’t even know what Clem actually did, let alone what he would have done. If the Corbynites really studied Attlee and co, they might usefully learn a lot about how a Labour party can take the public along with it in achieving socialist policies; fundamental to the trust necessary for that is not downgrading the defence or culture of the country.

      It is obvious to most people that Corbyn and co would rather wrap themselves in a Hizbollah flag or an Irish Tricolour than stand in the same room as a Union flag. This is a mistake the left keeps making in Britain; it is not replicated by the left anywhere else.

      • Steven Johnston said,

        Socialist policies? The Labour party has never been a socialist party or even implemented socialist policies. The welfare state was a liberal idea and that act of parliament was passed in 1944, as for the NHS, that was supported by the other political parties too. Though the NHS had been introduced earlier, in the 19th century in Germany.

      • Glasgow Working Class said,

        Well noted Lamia, I noted this post 1969. The left payed lip service to the IRA and Islamists and were left in the wilderness now they are trying to resurrect themselves by stealth hoping their past is forgotten. It will not.

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