Anum Qaisar MP - Islam
Anum Qaisar MP
MP for Airdrie and Shotts
My nationality is Scottish, my ethnicity is Pakistani and the religion I follow is Islam. These three strands make up who I am, and shape the way I live my life. Being a proud Scottish-Pakistani Muslim, you'll often find me during Ramadhan (the holy month of fasting), breaking my fast by drinking Irn Bru and eating curry!
I'm proud to represent my constituency of Airdrie and Shotts which is diverse. I've visited different religious places and during a conversation at Airdrie New Wellwynd Parish Church, I reflected on the many similarities between Islam and Christianity. As followers of different religions I am always struck by how much we have in common, opposed to the divisive narrative peddled by the extreme right.
However, throughout my life I've experienced Islamophobia. The day after the horrendous 9/11 attacks, I was asked if my Dad was a terrorist, and a month later the local Mosque where I grew up was set on fire in a deliberate attack. Whilst experiencing Islamophobia has been difficult at times, I have continually challenged this rhetoric. I'm currently the only Muslim MP representing a Scottish constituency so I do feel a weight of responsibility on my shoulders.
At the end of the day, in my opinion, it doesn't matter what religion we follow - as long as we treat each other with kindness and respect.