WATCH: Hina Bokhari describes the reality of Islamophobic abuse

Cllr Hina Bokhari is a newly elected councillor from Merton. She wrote about her first 100 days as a councillor for us here. I met her at Conference and was blown away by her commitment to diversity.

“Saying hello is not difficult.” she said in an article on the party website for National Inclusion Week as she described how she engaged with the Tamil community in the run up to the election in May. In fact, she put a lot of effort into learning and listening.

It wasn’t long before I learnt key phrases, important festivals and some basic home politics. I knew that the community had a temple and a local school. I wasn’t invited but I visited the temple. I said Wanakam to the worshipers and they replied. I spoke briefly to the priest and explained that I wanted to be a councillor and help the local community, he wasn’t suspicious or curious – he seemed pleased and he gave me his number and the temple mangers details.

None of this sounds very complicated but it does take time and willingness.

I learnt that there was going to be the annual Tamil Chariot festival on the streets. I wasn’t invited but I went anyway. It was a parade on the streets of the ward and there were hundreds of people there. I talked to the Tamil residents who stood outside their homes. I asked them about their food and sampled their dishes. I learnt!

Her commitment to bringing people together is perhaps intensified by some horrible experiences. In a video for the Liberal Democrat Campaign for Racial Equality, she describes how she was abused in the street after 9/11. She describes how her friends and family are sometimes fearful of the Islamophobia that comes their way.

As liberals we never stand by when a group of people is under attack like this. We need to understand that racism and Islamophobia is very real. We must always stand with our Muslim friends when they come under attack like this.

Thanks to Hina for describing what she has been through.

Read more by .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

One Comment

  • Lorenzo Cherin 4th Oct '18 - 1:23am

    Very fine new councillor and activist in our party, a multi racial, multi ethnic movement, far more diverse than it seems as few seats easy to win at national party or media obsessed level.

    We can move forward if, like our friend Cllr Hina, we emphasise diversity as unity rather than as identity that is separate or demanding something it s actually not doing, we are all different, many of us from a minority, all with unique experiences.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

This post has pre moderation enabled, please be patient whilst waiting for it to be manually reviewed. Liberal Democrat Voice is made up of volunteers who keep the site running in their free time.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarchris moore 18th Feb - 3:26pm
    Good post, Lorenzo. Your warm optimism and benevolence has induced me to look on this development more positively. I still believe it'll be all uphill...
  • User AvatarDavid raw 18th Feb - 3:26pm
    Get ready for at least ten more years of Tory government - despite Brexit and the latest Honda news. None of them at the same...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 18th Feb - 3:12pm
    These are seven individuals. Amongst them are people I greatly like and definitely admire. Amongst them are one or two not as familiar to me...
  • User Avatarmarcstevens 18th Feb - 3:12pm
    She seems quite happy in Syria giving media interviews and the ideology she subscribes to iwould destroy democracy and get rid of equal rights so...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 18th Feb - 3:04pm
    There will be a parliamentary bye-election soon because of the death of Labour MP Paul Flynn (84). The Independent seven will need to decide whether...
  • User AvatarGlenn 18th Feb - 2:38pm
    My attitude to said young Mum is that she is a British Citizen and has a right to return. but deserves little sympathy. Please tell...