Labour Party MP Naz Shah has delivered a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, as British parliamentarians clash over whether the US president should be given a state visit to the United Kingdom.
During a heated debate on Monday in the UK House of Commons, several MPs spoke against Trump’s divisive rhetoric on immigrants and Muslims and his lack of respect for women, but Shah gave a particularly fiery speech arguing against his visit.
“Actually what are we contributing to by allowing President Trump to continue that rhetoric which divides people and tells us that Muslims are the enemy, that Muslims are the enemy within? ” asked the Muslim MP from Bradford West.
“I am not an enemy to Western democracy,” she said during her speech. “I am a part of Western democracy. I fought my election really hard. I fought against bigotry, sexism, and patriarchy to earn my place in this house. ”
“By allowing Donald Trump a state visit… what we are doing is endorsing all those views, all those things that I fought hard against,” she stated.
Earlier in her speech, Shah said that she last year invited Trump to come to her home city of Bradford to meet with her constituents so he could realize that Muslims are not a threat.
“I wanted to take him out for a curry, I invited him for a curry,” she said. “I wanted him to see the contributions Muslims make to this country and my constituency. I wanted him to meet real Muslims, not the ones he has invented.”
However, she said that now that Trump is president, inviting him to her neighborhood would only “reinforce and condone” his racist attacks against Muslims.
Trump’s campaign had been hit with many controversies since its inception in early 2015, but he still managed to stun the world by defeating the heavily-favored Democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the election.
Thousands of people since then have held demonstrations in cities across the US and world capitals to protest against Trump's policies.
During his presidential election campaign, Trump had called for a "total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States."
Trump’s December 2015 proposal was widely condemned by Muslim and human rights groups as well as his Democratic rivals and many of his Republican proponents who describe the proposal as divisive, counterproductive and contrary to American values.
But he still signed an executive order on January 27 that imposed a temporary travel ban on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen and placed an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees. The move also suspended admission of all refugees for 120 days.
Trump’s order was blocked not long after being released by a federal judge.
Trump however is refusing to back out of his plan to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States. He is now likely to issue a revised immigration order which reportedly includes the same seven countries targeted in the initial ban.