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Ear to the Ground

First Muslim in U.K. Cabinet Resigns Over Gaza Policy

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Posted on Aug 5, 2014

    Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, of Pakistani origin, was the first Muslim to serve in the United Kingdom cabinet. ukhomeoffice (CC BY 2.0)


Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, who had been the first Muslim to serve in the U.K. cabinet but was later demoted to senior minister of state at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and minister for faith and communities, quit Tuesday morning with a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron stating that she found the administration’s “approach and language” during Israel’s recent operations in Gaza “morally indefensible.”

The Guardian:

Warsi announced her departure on Twitter on Tuesday, saying: “With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza.”

In her resignation letter, Warsi said the government’s “approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically”...In an interview with the Huffington Post, Warsi said: “Our position not to recognise Palestinian statehood at the UN in November 2012 placed us on the wrong side of history and is something I deeply regret not speaking out against at the time.”

The Tory peer said that, having now stood down, she wanted to “speak more freely” on the issue and her first demand after handing in her resignation letter was for the UK to introduce an arms embargo against Israel.

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—Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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