In February 2020, the UK junior Minister of Transport Nusrat Ghani was let go from her position, one which was for long celebrated for being "the first Muslim woman in a British government."
After being silent for almost two years, Nusrat Ghani who continues to be a British lawmaker representing the Conservative party told the Sunday Times that "she was fired from Boris Johnson's government" for her faith.
Dear Tory MPs,— Femi (@Femi_Sorry) January 23, 2022
I know you're busy taking the Islamophobia Nusrat Ghani suffered very seriously I'm sure, but...
Remember when Johnson said Muslim women look like bank robbers, causing a 375% increase in hate crimes and then you backed him for PM?
In the remarks that sparked nationwide controversies this weekend, Nusrat Ghani said that as soon as she was informed of the decision she was "told by an enforcer of parliamentary discipline that her 'Muslim women minister' status caused colleagues discomfort."
The 49-year old former minister, who came from Kashmir before her family migrated to the UK, was informed that a meeting in Downing Street had raised the issue of "her Muslimness" before she was fired from the government.
To ensure other Whips are not drawn into this matter, I am identifying myself as the person Nusrat Ghani MP has made claims about this evening.— Mark Spencer (@Mark_Spencer) January 22, 2022
These accusations are completely false and I consider them to be defamatory. I have never used those words attributed to me
It is disappointing that when this issue was raised before Ms Ghani declined to refer the matter to the Conservative Party for a formal investigation.— Mark Spencer (@Mark_Spencer) January 22, 2022
I provided evidence to the Singh Investigation into Islamophobia which concluded that there was no credible basis for the claims
Following the article by the Sunday Times, online people have been heavily discussing the issue, questioning whether Ghani's claims are current or not, especially after a tweet by Conservative lawmaker Mark Spencer, saying he was the individual talking to Nusrat Ghani after her sacking, stressing that he "never used the words reported by her."
Spencer went on to explain that an investigation into Islamophobia was conducted within the party following the incident and had concluded "that there was no credible basis for the claims."
Boris Johnson has previously:— Adam Bienkov (@AdamBienkov) January 22, 2022
- Said Islamophobia is a "natural reaction" to Islam
- Compared Muslim women to letterboxes
- Said "Islam is the problem"
- Asked "when is someone going to get 18th century on Islam's medieval ass?"https://t.co/PULieDgDqj
However, online commentators have linked Ghani's claims to previous remarks made by the current leader of the Tory party Boris Johnson prior to heading the British government, during which he attacked Islam and Muslim women.
This is difficult to believe. The Prime Minister is himself of Muslim descent. He has appointed Muslims to his Cabinet. Much depends here by what is meant by 'Muslimness', but I'd be interested to know which whip told her she was sacked for being a Muslim.https://t.co/J9R6MQnHBo— Adrian Hilton (@Adrian_Hilton) January 22, 2022
Boris Johnson has in recent weeks been facing a major crisis after several reports of him and his staff throwing parties at Downing Street during periods of lockdowns announced in the UK in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, including one the night before Prince Philip's Memorial Service last April.
Written by Riham Darwish
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