British-Sikh MP gets applause after telling Boris Johnson to apologize for ‘racist remarks’ about Muslim women
Britain’s first turbaned Sikh MP, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, demanded that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologize for derogatory and racist remarks against Muslim women in the past.
In a fiery intervention during Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) in the House of Commons, Mr. Dhesi received rapturous applause from fellow Opposition Labour party MPs as he made a passionate speech about enduring such attacks related to his turban while growing up in Britain.
Boris Johnson once compared women wearing burqas to “letterboxes” or “bank robbers.”
Britain’s First Sikh MP’s Remarks
“For those of us who from a young age have had to endure and face up to being called names such as towel-head, or Taliban, or coming from bongo-bongo land, we can fully appreciate the hurt and pain of already vulnerable Muslim women when they are described as looking like bank robbers and letterboxes,” Singh, a Labour Party politician said before Parliament.
“So rather than hide behind sham and whitewash investigations, when will the prime minister finally apologize for his derogatory and racist remarks?”
Mr. Singh went on to ask Boris Johnson when he would order an inquiry into Islamophobia in the Conservative Party, noting that it was something he had promised on national television. These comments quickly ignited a round of applause from fellow lawmakers.
MPs applaud, as Labour's Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi tells Boris Johnson to apologise for "derogatory and racist remarks" comparing Muslim women who wear a hijab to "bank robbers and letterboxes"#PMQs updates: https://t.co/utgDYwGajI pic.twitter.com/CDMQRGJGL8
— BBC Politics (@BBCPolitics) September 4, 2019
Boris Johnson’s Comments
Monitoring group MAMA [Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks] had unveiled research earlier this week which claimed that Islamophobic incidents rose by 375 percent in the week after Boris Johnson’s references to the burqa as “oppressive” in the newspaper column.
“If you tell me that the burka [burqa] is oppressive, then I am with you… I would go further and say that it is absolutely ridiculous that people should choose to go around looking like letter boxes,” he wrote at the time.
If you have ever experienced racism or discrimination, you can appreciate full well the hurt and pain felt by Muslim women, who were singled out by this divisive Prime Minister. It’s high time he apologised for his derogatory and racist remarks! 2/2 pic.twitter.com/R3goWBTh1s
— Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP (@TanDhesi) September 4, 2019
Mr. Singh received adulation on Twitter for taking this bold step
Well done to @TanDhesi
for standing up and directly challenging the PM to apologize for Islamophobia his party is spreading. PM has a short memory – promised inquest is forgotten already
— Asel Sartbaeva (@AselSartbaeva) September 4, 2019
And yet no apology from Boris Johnson. Disgraceful.
— Katie 🏳️🌈 (@keccks) September 4, 2019
@TanDhesi As a Sikh I’m so proud of the speech you gave today, it was so powerful and moving🙏🏼👏🏻
— Bhav🌹🌷 (@bhavkd) September 4, 2019
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