Monday, 9 May 2011

Hanzala Malik, Labour's Muslim MSP

Hanzala Malik, former Glasgow Labour Councillor, became an MSP following the elections to the Scottish Parliament held on 5 May 2011. Like his fellow Muslim, Humza Yousaf, Malik was appointed to his position, rather than elected, thanks to his top placement on the Labour party's Glasgow Regional List.

For years, Hanzala Malik and various other Muslims have been attempting to instil guilt in indigenous Scots about the supposed lack of ethnic minority representation at Holyrood, insinuating that Scots were evil racists. A Herald article on the topic from 2006 included this quote from Malik:

Hanzala Malik, Glasgow Labour councillor:"The parties themselves use terms like 'disgrace' to describe their feeling about the lack of ethnic minority representation, but the fact that since 1999 not one has been elected shows that they are being disingenuous about these claims. The situation is quite shameful and their attempts to introduce ethnic minority voices into the parliament has clearly been tokenism."

In 2007, Bashir Ahmad became the first Muslim member of the Scottish Parliament. Like Hanzala Malik and Humza Yousaf, he too got his position through the Regional List, rather than direct election. The estimated Muslim population in Scotland around this time was 40,000, constituting less than 1% of the whole. So the extent of Muslim representation then roughly corresponded with their share of the population. Despite this, the Muslims wanted more. They agitated for years within the party structures for more representation. And, in 2011, that agitation finally bore fruit, gaining two seats for the Muslims, again through the undemocratic mechanism of the Regional Lists.

In 2009, while serving as a Glasgow councillor, Hanzala Malik connived with Glasgow police to see that the Scottish Defence League (SDL) was denied permission to hold a demonstration in Glasgow:

The news came at the public meeting organised by SIF on Wednesday. On behalf of GCC, Baillie Hanzala Malik said that the council could not act solely on this, but could refuse permission if police lodged an objection. Inspector Brian Gibson of Strathclyde Police who was also present said that the police would have objections based on the racial and religious hatred implications of the protest.

When the Herald reported how many of Glasgow's city councils were boosting their earnings by taking positions on various pointless quangos and remunerating themselves handsomely for it, Hanzala Malik was one of those involved. He pocketed £6335 for sitting on the Surplus Land and Property body set up by the council.

In 2009, when members of a Pakistani pipe band due to perform in Scotland were denied a visa because the band had a track record of leaving Britain with fewer members than it came in with, Hanzala Malik stepped up to the plate to defend them.

Glasgow councillor Hanzala Malik said around 65 people in total had their applications refused, which he said was a “ludicrous” situation as many had visited Glasgow before.

He added: “We’ve advised the authorities of their names, their passport numbers and done everything we could, so for them still to be refused - I am pulling my hair out.”

When disgraced Glasgow Council leader and junkie Steven Purcell started to scheming for a way to make his comeback, he created a new Facebook page. Hanzala Malik quickly signed up as a friend.

Hanzala Malik was the "brains" behind the daft idea of twinning Glasgow with Lahore. I didn't actually realise Glasgow was twinned with Lahore. This is actually embarrassing.

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