On 30 August 2018, they interviewed me via Skype as part of a recorded programme about two politicians from a Muslim background, Sadiq Khan and Sajid Javid.
The 26 minute programme was transmitted on 2 September 2018 and can be watched on YouTube and also below.
Introduction to the programme
TRT gave the programme the title “Sajid Javid: Is the UK ready for a Muslim PM?” which is of course much catchier than my description of its subject matter.
Below is their introductory text:
“The British Home Secretary and the Mayor of London – both offices are pillars of the British political establishment, both their occupants are British-Pakistanis. Sajid Javid and Sadiq Khan come from humble stock but climbed to the very top of UK politics. But many of their fellow Brit-Paks are disappointed with their efforts.”
This text highlights a really important issue which emerges quite well in the debate that takes place during the programme.
When a politician belongs to an identifiable group, such as an ethnic minority or a religious minority (or indeed both when you have a Muslim of South Asian ethnicity), it is understandable that other members of that group expect the politician to represent them.
However, the duty of the politician is to represent the whole of their electorate, not simply the sub-group they came from.
Myself - introduced as chairman of the Conservative Muslim Forum.
Andre Walker - he is described by TRT world as “Right-wing Journalist” which could be read as implying that he is extremely right-wing. Based on his comments during the programme, which were more or less identical to what I would have said, I would describe him as “centre right.”
Below I have transcribed some of the questions the interviewer asks. However, it was not practical to transcribe the responses and I recommend watching the video above.
What is Sajid’s secret? He has been in politics for only a few years and look where he has got to.
The Conservative Party is not normally considered a natural home for ethnic minorities. What has happened in the case of Sajid Javid?
What does it tell us about the Conservative Party that Sajid Javid is now Home Secretary?
What does it tell us about Britain as a whole that someone like Sajid Javid could get so close to the top spot?
Do you regard Sadiq Khan’s rise to becoming Mayor of London as demonstrating Britain’s ability to give everyone a fair chance?
Do the changing demographics of London mean that it is much more likely that people like Sadiq Khan will be elected as Mayor of London in the future?
Do you think Britain is a good country at letting people make of themselves what they can?
Do you find the expression “coconut” offensive and rude?
Does the Conservative Party have a problem with Islamophobia?
What do you think of Sajid Javid’s statement that the only country in the Middle East he would feel happy to live in is Israel?
Sajid Javid drinks alcohol and says that he will define who he is, rather than being defined by others. Is that not reasonable?
Do Pakistani Britons have a problem with Sadiq Khan attending a gay pride march?
Would British Muslims prefer to have a London Mayor who took a moral stand against the gay pride march?
Were you irritated when, on a visit to Pakistan, a journalist asked Sadiq Khan “what is it like coming home?”
Have Sadiq Khan and Sajid Javid sold their identities down the river for political gain?
Sajid Javid is known to adore Ayn Rand. Can you explain how she has influenced him?
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