First Scottish Muslim woman MP: Islam is the antidote to ISIS
Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh shares plan to introduce a summit for Muslim women parliamentarians from all over the world
“Da’esh (ISIS) doesn’t represent Islam indeed and, in fact, I feel that Islam is the anti-dote to ISIS,” Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the first Scottish Muslim woman Member of Parliament in Westminster, has said.
In an exclusive interview to Al Arabiya English, Tasmina said that we need to make sure that women across the world have an opportunity to work together and try and find a solution to combat whatever is driving people to these actions that are certainly not representative of Islam.
“One of my plans is to introduce an annual international Muslim women parliamentarian summit. The idea is to bring Muslim women parliamentarians from all over the world to talk about how we can share our good policies in action and what we can do to alleviate poverty and have a different narrative about Islam and about what Muslim women stand for,” she said.
“I think space needs to be created for women across the world, and particularly women in the Muslim world, because we have a sense of validity when we talk about our religion,” Tasmina said.
Burkini ban and Donald Trump
On the issue of what women should wear, she said that it should entirely and always be a matter for women [to decide]. “Women have had to fight for every single right that they now have and we will continue to fight it,” she said.
Tasmina said that she has faith in the American people and hopes that they will see through some of “the horrendous rhetoric, not the least in terms of what has been said about Muslims, wouldn’t be welcome in America”.
“I was the first in the House of Commons to ask the then Home Secretary Theresa May, who is now Prime Minister, to treat such rhetoric in the same manner we should treat other hate preachers. So let us see what happens,” she said in the interview.
She called the growing trend of right-wing politics in Europe a challenge and narrated the circumstances that led to Brexit. “Unfortunately for the people of UK, the European referendum was fought in the backdrop of anti-immigrant sentiment,” she said.
According to her, as a result, the country now has a prime minister who is leading a party now known almost universally as “toxic Tories” pursuing a right-wing agenda”.
“This is not good for United Kingdom, and for our standing in the world. We would challenge all of this rhetoric because we want to be part of a world that welcomes each other,” Tasmina said.