Steerpike Steerpike

Humza Yousaf attacks Farage and Braverman

(Photo by Jane Barlow Pool/Getty Images)

Humza Yousaf is back with a bang. Now the embattled politician has taken to the Grauniad’s opinion pages to write a fiery piece on ‘anti-Muslim hatred’. In an explosive entry, the ex-SNP leader claims that Muslims across the continent are ‘fearful’ due to ‘growing popularity and mainstreaming of the far right’. ‘It is increasingly difficult to persuade fellow Muslims that Europe does not have a problem with our very existence,’ he notes.

In 2024, almost half the world’s population will take part in elections. Many countries have already gone to the polls, and in a number of countries, particularly across Europe, the biggest gains have been made by those who make a living out of vilifying Muslims. 

It is not too late for politicians of all persuasions to confront and face down the anti-Muslim hatred rampant in our political discourse. The real danger is that by appeasing the far right, we also risk emboldening IS-inspired extremists too. If we allow this to happen, the consequences could be devastating.

Strong stuff. But when he hones in on the UK’s upcoming election, Yousaf can’t quite resist at taking a pop at rival politicians. The former Tory Home Secretary Suella Braverman gets a special mention, as Yousaf writes: 

Islamophobia is so acceptable that they now barely bother disguising it. Just take the example of the former UK home secretary Suella Braverman, who can openly write a newspaper column stating ‘the Islamists, the extremists and the antisemites are in charge now’.

Golly. And it wasn’t long before Scotland’s former leader turned the guns on Reform UK’s Nigel Farage:

Farage – who, during this campaign, has said that Muslims do not share British values – has a history of making Islamophobic remarks. In 2015, he said that people had fears of Muslims as a “fifth column”; in 2013, he suggested Muslim migrants were ‘coming here to take us over’. Farage has failed to get elected seven times and yet, despite this and regardless of the fact that he has made a living out of fanning the flames of religious and racial tension, the British media appears obsessed with platforming him.

Ouch. It’s quite an attack from a former party leader to a current one. Mr S reckons that Yousaf will be left a little disappointed, however. As Reform’s popularity ratings continue to rise — and even overtake the Tories — Farage is unlikely to be getting ‘deplatformed’ any time soon…