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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

British Muslim woman quits Labour Party over alleged ‘hierarchy of racism’

Shaheen was informed of her suspension last week after she liked social media posts that criticized Israel's war in Gaza.

Faiza Shaheen, a British Muslim and left-wing academic, has dramatically resigned from the Labour Party after being blocked from standing in the upcoming general election. Shaheen, who was expected to contest the Chingford and Woodford Green seat, cited a “hierarchy of racism” within the party as a significant factor in her decision. Her resignation follows a suspension allegedly due to her social media activity criticizing Israel’s actions in Gaza.

Suspension and Accusations

Shaheen was informed of her suspension last week after she liked social media posts that criticized Israel’s war in Gaza. The Labour National Executive Committee (NEC) formalized the decision to block her candidacy, which led Shaheen to resign from the party. She described the process as a “sham” and the reasons given for her suspension as “spurious.” Shaheen claimed that she had faced “unfair treatment, bullying, and hostility” within Labour ranks, further exacerbating her dissatisfaction with the party.

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Criticism of Party Leadership

Shaheen has been vocal in her opposition to Islamophobia and racism within the Labour Party. She accused the party leadership, particularly under Keir Starmer, of not supporting her due to her views. Shaheen’s criticism extends to what she perceives as a broader issue of racial bias within the party, stating that there exists a “hierarchy of racism” that marginalizes voices like hers.

Response from Labour and Momentum

Labour’s decision to block Shaheen has drawn significant criticism from the left-wing Momentum group. A spokesperson for Momentum accused the party of conducting a “hyper-factional war on the Left” and described the decision to replace Shaheen with Shama Tatler, a member of the Jewish Labour Movement, as “parachuting in one of their own clique from outside the constituency.” Momentum argued that Shaheen was a “respected, popular, local candidate democratically selected by local party members,” and that her removal undermines the democratic process within the party.

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Shaheen’s resignation opens the possibility of her standing as an independent candidate against Labour’s replacement, Shama Tatler. Shaheen has yet to confirm her plans but indicated that an announcement would be made soon. Her departure from Labour, she stated, was particularly disheartening given the context of an impending general election that she hoped would see the end of Conservative governance. Shaheen emphasized her long-standing commitment to fighting public spending cuts, inequality, and divisive narratives since the Conservatives came to power in 2010.