Sayeeda Warsi Questions Whether Her Grandkids Will Call This Place Home

Former Conservative Party chair Sayeeda Warsi believes Muslims have a “responsibility” to “reclaim their faith” from extremists.

“Our first responsibility is to fight those within, those who claim to use our faith in that way,” she said at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, although she added that other faiths could also use religious texts “to have their own perverted version of what they think they can do”. “As people of faith, and I am a person of faith, I think it’s our responsibility to make sure we keep reclaiming our faith.”

Warsi, who became the UK’s first Muslim Cabinet Minister in 2010, was in discussion with event chair Cathy MacDonald about her new book The Enemy Within: A Tale of Muslim Britain. Asked about her four years as a member of David Cameron’s government, she replied: “I don’t think I could have envisaged how brutal it would be.”

“If I ever talked about the economy, I was a Tory, if I talked about welfare benefits I was a Tory, if I talked about education I was a Tory, if I talked about tax I was a Tory, if I talked about community relations or foreign policy I was a Muslim, and I kind of found that difficult to deal with – how come the prism through which my views on these things are seen are through a completely different prism?”

And commenting on world events, Warsi quoted a line from her book about fascism “coming in from east and west” and said she now shared some of her mother’s fears – which she had previously dismissed – about the political climate in the UK: “I question whether my grandkids will call this place home.”


DAVID TORRANCE


 

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