The Bangladeshi Prime Minister has warned that radical British Bengali Muslims are fuelling extremism in her country – the world’s third most populous Muslim nation. In an interview with the Guardian, Sheikh Hasina said that UK-based jihadis of Bangladeshi origin are encouraging those within the Diaspora as well as locals …Read More »
The director of one of Britain’s leading Islamic centres has described last week’s disaster at the Grand Mosque in Mecca as a “blessing in disguise”. A freak weather storm led to the collapse of a giant crane at the Mosque – one of the holiest sites in Islam – killing …Read More »
A Chennai-born representative of the Queen has resigned after making critical comments about British Pakistanis. Paul Chandrasekharan Sabapathy, CBE, was one of the monarch’s “Lord Lieutenants” with oversight for the West Midlands – home to a large British Pakistani community. According to the Guardian, Mr Sabapathy sent an email in …Read More »
British Pakistani MP Sadiq Khan could become the first ethnic minority Mayor of London after he was today named the Labour Party’s candidate for the capital’s mayoral race.
Mr Khan, a lawyer by profession and the son of a bus driver who migrated to Britain in the 1960’s, beat out Tessa Jowell to secure his party’s nomination for Mayor.
His victory sets up an intriguing battle against Zac Goldsmith, scion of the famous Goldsmith banking dynasty, who is expected to be named the Conservative Party’s candidate.
The mayoral election will take place in May 2016.
Following his victory, 44-year-old Mr Khan, said: “I am deeply humbled to have received the support of tens of thousands of Londoners. I am determined to repay that trust by winning the mayoral election next May, and making a real difference to Londoners’ lives.
“London gave me and my family huge opportunities. A council house so we could save for a deposit to buy our own home. A secure job for my dad as a bus driver. A great education for me and my siblings, affordable university places and good quality apprenticeships. As Mayor I will provide more opportunities for all Londoners.
“My priorities for Londoners are clear. An affordable and secure home to rent or buy. More jobs with higher wages for the lowest paid. Making it easier to set up and run a successful business. Reducing the cost of commuting and making London’s environment safer, healthier and less polluted.”
The final tally was 48,152 votes for Mr Khan and 33,573 for Dame Tessa.
London Mayor is one of the most important jobs in British politics.
The eventual winner will oversee a huge £17 billion budget and exercise control over transportation, policing, housing and tourism in one of the world’s great capitals.
Mr Khan, a human rights lawyer, has said one of his key jobs will be to set up an “economic fairness” unit to look at ways of creating a level playing field for workers in the capital, which is also one of the most expensive cities in the world.
He has pledged to freeze tube and train fares until 2020 and cut bus fares. He has also said he would oppose expansion of Heathrow aiport.
If he wins, Mr Khan - the MP for Tooting, South London - will become the first Muslim Mayor of London as well.
In 2005 he became the first Muslim to attend Cabinet when he was named transport minister by Gordon Brown.Read More »
Anni Dewani’s father Vinod Hindocha (Left) and her uncle Ashok. (File Photo) A London coroner has questioned whether there should be an inquest in the UK into the death of British-Indian businessman Shrien Dewani’s wife, Anni, during a carjacking in South Africa. Dewani was cleared last year by a South …Read More »
Forward Thinker: Teacher Kamal Hanif. Birmingham school principal Kamal Hanif recently gave a group of parents a presentation about how extremists use social media to recruit young people. When he mentioned Facebook, some of the parents, mainly Muslim mothers, raised their hands to show they had never heard of the …Read More »
Academics have criticised the British government for creating a “climate of fear” after the British Library declined to store the world’s biggest collection of Taliban-related documents over concerns it could be prosecuted under terrorism laws. A group of international researchers spent years putting together a trove of documents related to …Read More »
The Shadow Europe Minister has hailed comments by a senior executive of India’s Tata Group who spoke of the importance of Britain’s continued membership of the European Union for international investors. Nirmalya Kumar – an executive council member of Tata Sons, which owns such iconic British brands such as Jaguar …Read More »
Police have warned of a “backlash” after it was revealed that Channel 4 will air a documentary about Britain’s Muslim gay scene.
It comes after well-known Pakistani-origin drag queen and activist Asif Quraishi – who goes by the stage name Asifa Lahore and who is featured in the documentary – said he was concerned about reaction to the show, which is titled ‘Muslim Drag Queens’.
Quraishi is one of the most prominent LGBT rights activists within the British Asian community and has previously received death threats for his work.
He said police have already put in place “measures” to ensure his safety once the show is broadcast next Monday.
‘Muslim Drag Queens’ is voiced by the legendary actor and gay rights activist Sir Ian McKellen who has praised Ms Lahore and other members of the “Gaysian” community for their bravery in telling their stories.
Sir Ian said the film was surprised by the scale of the prejudice against gay Asians that exists in Britain today.
“I’m ashamed how little I know about drag and trans and areas of being gay that I’ve not been part of,” he said. “It makes me begin to understand what it was like 20 or 30 years ago about simply being gay.”
Quraishi - who spoke about his struggles and triumphs in an interview with the UKAsian last year – has sparked outrage within Britain’s Muslim community for his outspoken views.
He has been particularly vocal against those who insist that homosexuality is against Islam.
'Muslim Drag Queens' is part of Channel 4's award-winning First Cut strand.
The film delves into the largely secretive gay Asian community in the UK through the eyes of three gay drag queens.
32-year-old Asif Quraishi is Britain’s first out and proud Muslim drag queen. Performing as his glamourous alter ego Asifa Lahore he has established himself as a leading figure within the Gaysian community, and as an activist for gay rights. Born to conservative British Pakistani parents, his choice to perform and out himself so publically has strained relations within his own family and triggered death threats against both himself and his parents. Unbowed, he uses his very visibility to campaign and challenge perceptions: “Up until now, people in my community have chosen to be invisible,” he explains. The epitome of glamour, Asifa appears on stage in sequins, ruffles, saris and cocktail dresses and in a calculated move to provoke reaction and debate – a burqa.
28-year-old British Pakistani Imran has been using drag for six years, creating a female alter ego Zareena Khan. Single and searching for love, he has profiles on a number of dating apps and social media sites, but has discovered he attracts more interest as Zareena. Men in both Britain and Pakistan respond to his online profiles – often married men who he believes find it more acceptable to sleep with him because he dresses as a woman.
Ibrahim, a 22 year-old Mauritian, is studying for a degree in the UK. He recently came out to his family who surprised him with their unconditional support. Since arriving in the UK he has immersed himself in the Gaysian scene and wants to start performing drag. Having discovered Asifa Lahore online he seeks out Asif for advice and support. Despite his passion to perform, Ibrahim sometimes struggles to reconcile drag with his devout religion.
'Muslim Drag Queens' is said to have been partly inspired by a Guardian documentary about the Muslim gay community by Kieren Yates.Read More »
Authorities in Bangladesh have arrested three suspected Islamist militants over the murders of two prominent secular bloggers, including the “main planner” who they say is a British citizen. The Rapid Action Battalion said it had arrested Touhidur Rahman, 58, and two other “active members” of Ansarullah Bangla Team, which was …Read More »