Saturday, May 15, 2010

Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi is the first Muslim woman to become Minister in Britain

Baroness Sayeeda Hussain Warsi the newly appointed chairperson of the ruling Conservative party was on Thursday made a Minister without portfolio, the first Muslim woman to serve in a British Cabinet. It's not immediately clear what her responsibilities will be, a spokesman for the government said. In opposition, she was the Conservatives' point person on “community cohesion and social action.”

The thirty-nine-year-old is a leading campaigner for awareness and stronger legislation on issues like racial justice, forced marriages and prison conditions.

Warsi was also the politician the party put forward to take on far-right politician Nick Griffin, leader of the British National Party, last year.

She clashed with Griffin and mainstream politicians on “Question Time,” the BBC's flagship political discussion program, in October. She blasted him as a “thoroughly, thoroughly deceptive man” who “demonizes Islam, just as he demonizes Christianity.” “Mr. Griffin here preaches extremism in the name of Christianity and brings that faith into disrepute as well,” she said.

Having stood up to the white far right in London, she came under attack a month later by protesters who threw eggs at her in the town of Luton, north of London.

She stated it was “humbling” to join the government, after taking part in new Prime Minister David Cameron's first full ministerial meeting, AFP reported.

“But to be born the daughter of an immigrant mill-worker in a mill town in Yorkshire, to have the privilege of serving in Cabinet at such an important time in Britain's history I think is terribly humbling,” she told the BBC.

Warsi will get a salary of 137,294 pounds per annum like all other minist
ers. Only Prime Minister David Cameron will get 144,520 pounds per annum.  Warsi, who is the first Muslim woman to sit in the UK Cabinet, has been politically involved from her early college days when she was elected as the Vice President of the Students Union at Dewsbury College.

From a report in Tehran Times
To read the full report click here

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