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The first Muslim minister in the UK cabinet, culture minister Sajid Javid, has spoken out against immigrants who live, work and settle in the UK without learning or having a good enough grasp of the English language.
Born in Rochdale in the North of England to immigrant parents who moved to the UK before his birth, Sajid Javid has come into the spotlight recently after he replaced Maria Miller as minister of culture in April of this year following her forced resignation. His opinions and views are grabbing the attention of the political community, both within and external to the Conservative party, leading to political commentators tipping him as a potential future Conservative party leader.
Speaking out in an interview with The Sunday Telegraph recently, Mr Javid claimed he knew of some immigrants who had been living in the UK for over 50 years without the ability to speak English – something he states is simply ‘not good enough’.
Sajid Javid has also spoken on the controversial topic of the Islamic legal system, Sharia law. When asked his opinions on calls from some members of the Muslim community to integrate Sharia law into the UK legal system, Mr Javid responded by stating that immigrants to the UK should ‘respect our way of life’, and went on to explain how he doesn’t believe that Sharia law has any place in the UK law. He told The Sunday Telegraph ‘Where people want to have their own private arrangements between them, that is a matter for them. But there is no place for Sharia law in British law.’
Recognising that the British population seem to be concerned about what they see as excessive immigration, Mr Javid said that ‘politicians do need to respond’ to the concerns that are arising. Again referring to those he knew who had been living in the UK for extended periods of time without learning English, he said that the ‘vast majority’ of immigrants he knew were respectful of UK values and wanted to make a contribution, with only the minority letting them down.
Now tipped as a future party leader, political commentators have been closely observing him since he became minister of culture, having reached the cabinet in his first parliament. Whilst this is a career feat in itself, it is perhaps more remarkable that his rise has been in the right-wing Conservative party – the political side that has often been criticised for being the least diverse in terms of sex, and more prominently, ethnicity. As the first British Asian to head up one of the UK’s government departments, Mr Javid is pushing the boundaries to help address the obvious issues of diversity that are evident across British politics.