I understand Nus Ghani’s pain at being ‘othered’ for her faith

Luciana Berger and Nus Ghani
Luciana Berger and Nus Ghani

The Conservative MP Nusrat Ghani disclosed this week that she had been told she was fired as a minister because her ‘Muslimness’ was too much for some of her colleagues and her loyalty to the Conservative party had been questioned. She is brave to be so open about something so repellent.

Nusrat has shared how this whole sorry episode has made her feel. I understand well the isolation, powerlessness and sense of being “punched to the stomach” she describes. Nusrat’s pain and shock of being belittled and “othered” because of her faith is something that no-one should have to endure.

There have rightly been many messages of support for Nusrat. Nusrat has a long and robust record as an active and vocal campaigner against antisemitism and is especially deserving of attention.

But this expression of solidarity has to be more than just kind words or momentary tweets. And particularly so from the Jewish community.  In the same way the fight against antisemitism can’t be limited to Jewish voices, countering Islamophobia is not a fight the Muslim community should be expected to shoulder alone. Active allyship requires us to counter discrimination wherever we find it.

Nusrat is to be commended for her courage. It isn’t easy to speak truth to power at the best of times. It’s even more difficult to challenge something so awful that has come from within your political home.

I have every confidence that Nusrat will continue to make a material difference to our national public life – especially through her impactful work exposing Uyghur persecution. I want her to do so, emboldened in the knowledge that there are people of all faiths, and none, that are on her side.

About the Author
Luciana Berger is former MP for Liverpool Wavertree. She is now Managing Director of Advocacy & Public Affairs at Edelman UK
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