The First Niqabi in European Politics? (Podcast)


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“The point for me is to change the politics of fear into the politics of hope.”

On this week’s TMV Podcast, Salim speaks to Sahar Al-Faifi, who is “a molecular biologist by training and an activist by passion”, who is currently running to be a member of the Welsh Parliament, a Plaid Cymru Senedd member. Together they speak on issues of political activism, the need for systematic change in the UK and Wales, and the harsh reality of being a woman who wears the niqab in the public eye.

To listen to the full and fascinating conversation, click below:

Starting off the conversation by explaining how the Welsh parliament system works, Sahar explains that if elected, she would be not only the first BAME woman elected but the first Muslim as well in the Welsh parliament. This incredible feat would not only be a symbolic win for minority groups across Wales and the UK as a whole, but a monumental step towards a more inclusive government for Wales.

Running for the Plaid Cymru Party (Party for Wales), Sahar explains that although she was previously never involved too much in party politics it was the anti-Brexit and pro-independence stance of the Plaid Cymru that helped her join the left-wing party – often compared to Scotland’s SNP party. Her experience in community activism helped her make the decision to get involved with politics – especially after seeing the necessity of a more inclusive and diverse government in Wales that represents all people.

Politics can be toxic today…and because it’s toxic, I want to change that. Because it’s divisive, I want to run and change that. The point for me is to change the politics of fear into the politics of hope.”

Explaining the need for proportionate representation, especially when it comes to the BAME and Muslim community in Wales, Sahar speaks of her own experiences of racism and Islamophobia. In a country balancing between independence and its tie to Boris Johnson’s rhetoric in Westminster, Sahar explains that Wales is the perfect example of how her election to parliament would be monumental in truly representing the people of the region.

For our generation, it’s about equal representation. We need equal access to all aspects of life, and that includes politics.”

To listen to the rest of the conversation with Sahar, click below:

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