Muslims preparing to leave UK as racism on the rise after Boris victory

LONDON: A number British Muslims have started the process of leaving the United Kingdom over fears for their ‘personal safety’ now that Boris Johnson is the prime minister for five years.
The report comes as racist taunts increased sharply in the wake of Johnson’s victory and far-right activists linked with his party urged Muslims to leave the UK or face consequences.
A local newspaper reported that among those want to leave is Manzoor Ali, the head of a Muslim charity which provides food parcels for poor people in Manchester, who said he was scared for the ‘future of his children’.
Manzoor Ali said: “I’m scared for my personal safety, I worry about my children’s future.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of “Islamophobia and racism” following a number of controversial comments he made in the past, including his remarks in a 2005 Spectator article in which he claimed it was only “natural” for the public to be scared of Islam. He has compared Muslim women to “letterboxes and bank robbers” in a column for the Telegraph. In another article, he has called Islam a problem.
Manzoor Ali said that his family have given him their blessing to move to a place that would be safe and secure for them. He said: “My charity has been going on for 10 years, we’ve helped people from all walks of life, including former soldiers and white working class English people. But I’m scared for my personal safety, I worry about my children’s future.”
He added that Britain was his home and he didn’t know where else to go, but his family are in agreement that they should move to ensure their safety. The father of three said New Zealand appealed to him, given the humane and compassionate manner in which the prime minister of the country, Jacinda Ardern handled the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings in which 51 people were killed by a far-right terrorist.
Local media quoted Eidan, 38, an IT consultant from North London who said she was ‘very scared’ following the result of the election, especially after being assaulted previously, with her headscarf ripped off and people calling her a “terrorist” in public in recent years. She feared the result will embolden ‘racists and Islamophobes’.
Eidan said: “I’ve actively started looking for jobs elsewhere, maybe Turkey, maybe Pakistan. I’m very very scared. My niece who is a doctor, she has started saying, ‘I don’t know if this is the right country for us’.”
Miqdaad Versi, media spokesman of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), disagreed. He said: “Whilst not unexpected that some wish to leave given the palpable fear amongst many Muslims, this is not the answer. We must instead strengthen our resolve, stand up for our rights & fight for equality Now, more than ever, we need anti-racism solidarity.”
He, however, criticised Boris Johnson’s decision to bring Zac Goldsmith to the cabinet after losing elections to Liberal Democrats.
Versi said: “Zac Goldsmith – who ran the racist campaign for Mayor of London – is apparently being given a peerage and will attend Boris Johnson’s Cabinet, despite being kicked out again by his constituents. Islamophobia is not only tolerated by some, but rewarded.”
Faiza Shaheen, the former Labour candidate in Chingford and Woodford Green who came close to winning the election against Iain Duncan Smith, said a number of people have told her they are considering ‘leaving the country’ including one of her own relatives over fears at the ‘normalisation of racism’.
Shaheen said that she has had “five different families discuss their UK exit plan with me in case racism gets worse”.
She added that it was “frightening that this is where we are”.
She said that it was not just Muslims but also people from other ethnic minority backgrounds, who are also considering leaving the UK.
She thought the prime minister is ‘Islamophobic’ but that there was a perceived hierarchy when it came to racism and that “racism against black and Muslim people, was further down that list”.–DT

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