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Salma Yaqoob

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The head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and a spokesperson for Birmingham Central Mosque.
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ENG: Salma Yaqoob (born 1971) is the former leader, and former vice-chair, of the Respect Party and a former Birmingham City Councillor. She is also the head of the Birmingham Stop the War Coalition and a spokesperson for Birmingham Central Mosque. On 11 September 2012, Yaqoob confirmed in a statement that she had left Respect. Early life Yaqoob's parents, Mohammad and Gulzarda Yaqoob, emigrated to the UK from Pakistan in the 1960s, and her father worked in a mill before joining the Royal Mail. They had 7 children - 3 daughters and 4 sons. Yaqoob was born in Bradford in 1971, but the family later moved to Birmingham, where she was raised. She describes herself during her formative years as being a "tomboyish girl" who played football on the streets of "Alum Rock". Political ...
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Tunisian thoughts

I arrived back from Tunisia last night and have been mulling over the experience today.The people I met there have left a deep impact on me.I was struck by their courage and dignity as they relayed tales of suffering under the disposed dictator Ben Ali. I heard stories of torture, of systemic rape against men and women, of people being imprisoned for handing out leaflets, for gathering in groups of more than two or just for calling a relative whose name was on a secret police list. Because the Tunisian people have been through such horrendous repression, the new democracy movement is ...

British political party proposes ban on niqab

LONDON: Nigel Farage, the ex-leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) who leads UKIP’s Members of European Parliament (MEPs) in Brussels has spoken out about his intention to have the burqa banned in the UK.Farage appeared on the BBC’s Politics Show last Sunday defending his view by stating that he “can’t go into a bank wearing a motorcycle helmet,” adding that “it is a symbol of something that is used to oppress women.”Salma Yaqoob, leader of the Respect political party challenged this by highlighting that “when it comes to ...

Salma Yaqoob: Banning of burkas is oppressive

Plans to ban Muslim women from covering their faces in public areas are oppressive, the leader of the Respect party said yesterday.Salma Yaqoob’s comments came as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) announced a formal policy that would make the wearing of garments such as the burka or the niqab — both of which conceal most of the face — to be illegal.Nigel Farage, the former UKIP leader and MEP, said: “In a liberal democracy we want to tolerate different religions and cultures and not have a small section of society impose their world view on the rest of us.” ...

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> Salma Yaqoob > News

Good news and bad…
For the last few days I have been in Liverpool supporting my sister-in-law through a difficult labour which finally ended with an emergency Caesarian Section procedure. The good news is that in the early hours of the morning a healthy and beautiful 8lb baby boy was born! I am very happy to report that mother and son are doing fine. The bad news is that I have emerged from that world into a heated controversy around Julian Assange which is conflating issues around freedom of speech with debates about what constitutes violence against women.Let me be clear, as a politician and as a woman. Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex. George Galloway’s comments on what constitutes rape are deeply disappointing and wrong. There are many political issues entwined in the case of Julian Assange. These issues cannot be used to diminish in any way the seriousness of any allegations against him. Any individual accused of a crime, sexual or otherwise, is innocent until proven guilty. By
Double dip depression
Amidst all the good news about the Olympics, and the national feel good bounce it has generated, you may have missed this story: Britain is getting more depressed. According to figures from the NHS antidepressant prescriptions rose by 9.1% between 2010 and 2011, costing over £270 million. That’s 46.7 million prescriptions – more than enough for each adult in the country. A breakdown of the figures show that there is a clear North/South divide with a cluster of cities in the North East all registering the highest rates of anti-depressants, and Blackpool taking the prize for the unhappiest place in the UK. I am not surprised by this. There is a clear North/South divide in terms of the impact of the recession, with areas traditionally more reliant on manufacturing industry and the public sector for employment have been hardest by the cuts. Unemployment and insecurity wrecks lives. The news that 1,000 people have committed suicide because of the impact of the recession is terribl
Stop the persecution of Burma's Rohingya Muslims
The continuing killing and persecution of the Rohingya Muslims in Burma is causing real worry and upset  among British Muslims. For good reason. The Rohingya have long been one the most persecuted minorities anywhere in the world and the latest escalation in violence raises fears of wholesale ethnic cleansing. What is also shocking about the latest developments is the complete silence of internationally feted democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi and her party, the National League for Democracy. Her failure to criticize a former military general for advocating that the 800,000 Rohingya population be put in camps and sent across the border to Bangladesh appear to illustrates an indifference to the plight of the Rohingya.It is imperative we do what we can to raise public awareness and apply political pressure. There is concern that with the UK government keen to ‘forge links with one of the last unexploited markets in Asia’, concerns over human rights will be subordinated to
With regret...
It is with deep regret that I have decided to resign from Respect. The last few weeks have been extremely difficult for everyone in the party. I feel necessary relations of trust and collaborative working have unfortunately broken down. I have no wish to prolong those difficulties, and indeed hope that they may now be drawn to a close.I remain committed to the principles and values that led me to help found Respect. The policies we have fought for need to be voiced as loud as ever in opposition to a political establishment that remains out of touch with working people.I would like to thank everyone in the party for their support over the years; I wish everyone the very best for the future and in those common struggles for peace, justice and equality that I am sure we will all continue to be involved in.Salma YaqoobWhile we are obviously very sorry that Salma has decided to leave Respect, we would like to thank her for the great contribution she has made to Respect over the last decade.

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