Our reply to the Sunday Herald article

An article published today in the Sunday Herald by Tom Gordon, shares the viewpoints of Mr Muhammad Shoaib on his  previous political party and also his thoughts of fellow members.

This article shows clearly why we must always continue to work and support those who work hard at building and integrating communities and are torch bearers for us to work in a progressive nation. There is no place for racism or derogatory language. Tasmina Sheikh is one such individual amongst many I know, who has worked hard in the political sphere. We commiserate that Mr Shoaib feels he did not receive the recognition or reward for his endeavours but this does not entitle him or others to denigrate those that are succeeding on merit in a very competitive field.

Many of us are first,  second or third generation ethnic minority citizens. We do not need anyone to define us as ‘pure’ or otherwise. We are who we are, and that is enough. To deny that there are issues of racism, discrimination or dissension within ranks of any political party would be naive, but counteracting it with name calling really is a case of ‘the pot calling the kettle black’ and aiming those comments at a woman, who is a mother and wife is disrespectful, especially from those that call themselves our community representatives. I have respect for those that work towards progressive solutions, not those that suffer from the malaise of entitlement whatever their background may be. 

Perhaps the time has come for our political parties to implement zero tolerance policies into their codes of conduct, along with cultural awareness training to encourage greater understanding of different communities.

Perhaps its time to embed the equalities agenda into each piece of legislation and start putting this into practise. It is something I and many others would actively encourage, if it is to create a better society for all of us.


Nighet Riaz




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