Question Time: Salma Yaqoob on Geert Wilders

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Respect leader and Birmingham City councillor Salma Yaqoob featured on this week’s Question Time panel, joining presenter David Dimbleby and alongside Labour MP Liam Byrne, Conservative MP Justine Greening, former Sun editor and columnist Kelvin MacKenzie and television gardener and writer Monty Don.

Salma spoke on a number of issues including Dutch MP Geert Wilders, the economy and banking,  child truancy, climate change and the drug reclassification policy.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

On yesterday’s UK entry ban of controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders, she said:

“Personally, I am uncomfortable with censorship.  Does Mr Wilders have the right to provoke or even be offensive?  Yes, he does under freedom of speech, and if he’s being barred from the country simply because he offends people’s religious sensibilities then no matter how personally distasteful I might find his views, I wouldn’t support a ban.

“However, society does have a right and indeed a duty to protect itself from people who incite hatred and incite violence and if he was deemed to be in breach of our laws in this regard then, in that context, a ban would be justifiable.”

“Although I find his [Wilder’s] indignation about being banned and calling for the upholding of the freedom of speech abit hypocritical considering he advocates banning the Qur’an,” she added.

Salma Yaqoob challenges Kelvin MacKenzie on Question Time

Salma Yaqoob challenges Kelvin MacKenzie on Question Time

She also spoke on the state of our economy and finances and whether certain employees of banks, that were saved using public money, deseved bonuses.  She challenged Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie, who claimed such bank employees were ‘talented people’ who couldn’t be stopped.

“Talented people?  They have wrecked our economy! It’s absolutely shameless and digusting,” she responded.

“These are people who’ve wrecked our economy and I don’t believe a word of this ‘contract’ argument. These people would not have a job now were it not for the British tax payers bailing out the banks. They’re lucky they’re on a salary, never mind the cheek to ask for a bonus in these circumstances.

“It’s also politicians who should be in the dock because it was their decision to take away the safety mechanism, to introduce de-regulation which allowed the unvetted greed. It allowed the bankers to make the risky decisions without any proper scrutiny. It freed them up to reward themselves with these incredible bonuses and at the same time politicians from the Conservative party as well as the Labour party championed this neo-liberal economic orthodoxy which has brought us this disaster,” explained Salma.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

“I think it’s really disgusting that we have now a public culture where if you commit huge crimes, which are resulting in millions of ordinary people losing their jobs and their homes, you only have to come up with a half-hearted apology, no accoutability, no sanctions, no punishments – and if you’re a politician you can lead our country into war on a lie and not have to resign – there is something really deeply wrong with a democratic system we have where instead of people being made an example of, we now have the lesson that ‘you can do this in the future, you can be this reckless because there’ll be no deterrent’,” she concluded.

Watch the complete programme on BBC iPlayer via the links below (UK only).

BBC Question Time – (12th February 2009)

BBC Question Time Extra [BBC News 24] – (12th February 2009)

An edited 30-minute verson of Thursday’s Question Time will be shown on Saturday 14th February 2009, at 8.30pm on BBC News 24.

Website link and presenter biogs here.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. […] Question Time: Salma Yaqoob on Geert Wilders By birminghamrespect February 12, 2009 Respect leader and Birmingham City councillor Salma Yaqoob featured on this week’s Question Time panel, joining presenter David Dimbleby and alongside Labour MP Liam Byrne, Conservative MP Justine Greening, former Sun editor and columnist Kelvin MacKenzie and television gardener and writer Monty Don. […]

    Reply

  2. Hi Salma, I was very impressed with your approach and the things you said on Question Time last night. I have informed the 3 main parties of our unique approach in creating personal empowerment within families with our coaching and emotional literacy techniques. Parents and children are able to take responsibility for their lives making better life choices and creating respectful family relationships. Everyone acknowledges the importance of the family unit and goes through the motions but that’s as far as it goes. I’m making you aware of what we do in the hope you will have a greater commitment to making a change. Do have a look at our website http://www.developyourchild.com and contact me if you would like to know more.
    Bestest
    Alan

    Reply

  3. Posted by Rabia on February 18, 2009 at 23:46

    Dear Salma,

    I was very sad and disturbed to hear your views on Geert Wilder. As a woman dressed in a Hijab you are supposed to present the views of the muslim community. YOur views indicating you do not personally support the ban are an insult to all the muslims and indicate how out of touch you have become from your own commnity.

    Every muslim should defend the Quran. You clearly did not.

    I will now distance myself from the RESPECT party.

    Best Wishes
    Rabia

    Reply

  4. Posted by ameer on April 3, 2009 at 15:10

    I watched the episode of question time with amazement as I saw a fellow Muslim express views that I had never heard before.

    Salma, you were explaining that, living in a democratic society with laws a rules that we must abide by, it is important for us to understand that other people have the right to express views against our religion.

    I was very impressed with your approach to such a delicate topic and was amazed by your ability to tackle difficult and topical questions (which I’m sure you had your own personal views for and against) without hesitation in a clear, calm, and concise manner. You tackled the topics in an objective manner and seemed to appreciate the different values that other members of Britain hold.

    I have a new found interest in the Respect Party and am very pleased to see a woman in politics, especially one who seems to actually understand and appreciate values and morality in the manner that you do.

    As a 16 year old boy you have opened my eyes to another view on hostility towards Muslims, that it is not out right to dictate other people’s views, though we have a right to be hurt by them.

    I hope that non-Muslims in Britain were able to see you on Question Time and see that a woman in a Hijab can be clever, witty, and articulate; as well as see a Muslim who holds views that are not only ‘moderate’, but also patriotic towards British society.

    In response to the previous comment by ‘Rabia’, perhaps she should consider that Islam and the Quran demand that we abide by all the laws of our land, as long as they do not go against out religious teachings. Perhaps she should reflect on the fact that as Muslims it is our duty to have our voices heard in a manner that agrees with the system of this country. Salma, you are presenting the views of Islam, your standing is a blessing to Islam in the West.

    Thank you 🙂

    Reply

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