UK: Muslims in Parliament lack 'principles', says leading Conservative
This is not the first time Warsi expresses criticism of Muslims:
* UK: Muslim peer says cultural issues can be criticized
* UK: Muslim peer warns of increase in polygamy
* UK: Muslim peer pelted with eggs
Though this does seem to be the first time that an article about her does not mention the fact that she's Muslim herself.
A leading member of the Conservative shadow cabinet has argued against more Muslims going into Parliament because they lack "principles", a video obtained by The Independent reveals.
Baroness Warsi, the party's spokeswoman for community cohesion, was recorded saying that she did not want to see more Muslim MPs or Muslim Lords because "Muslims that go to Parliament don't have 'asool'". Asool is Urdu for "morals" or "principles".
A Conservative spokesperson said her remarks were take out of context. They said the word "asool" should have been translated as "Muslim principles" and wasn’t intended to imply that Muslim parliamentarians were immoral.
They also acknowledged that "this may not have been the best way of making her point" but insisted that she had been taken out of context.
"She was saying you shouldn't vote for a Muslim MP on the basis of their Muslim principle, you should vote for an MP based on their ability to represent the community regardless of their ethnic tick box."
Sayeeda Warsi was talking in Rotherham at a dinner in honour of the visiting president of Pakistan-controlled Kashmir on 2 April in response to an earlier speaker who urged more Muslims to enter politics.
Lady Warsi, speaking in a mixture of English and Urdu, said: "[He] says that we need more Muslims MPs, that we need more Muslims in the House of Lords. I would actually disagree with that because I think one of the lessons we have learnt in the last five years in politics is that not all Muslims that go to into politics have asool."
"Not everyone puts their community before their own career," she added.
There were four Muslim MPs in the last parliament – all Labour – and there are more than 80 Muslim candidates standing for election today.
Khalid Mahmood, a Labour MP who is hoping to be re-elected in Birmingham Perry Barr said he was "disgusted" by the remarks.
Mahmood said: "It's offensive to me to say that the Muslim MPs have got no principles, it's not for her to say that.
"She's the vice chairman of the Tory party, for them to allow her to carry on making these sort of statements is offensive to all Muslims.
"Baroness Warsi should apologise for her comments. I am going for election for a third term running and I have worked very hard." he added.
Mr Mahmood said: "'Asool' means moral principles, not Muslim principle. It has no religious link." Several other Urdu speakers contacted by The Independent argued that "asool" has no religious conotations.
The Times had been due to publish an account of the remarks last Wednesday after being passed a transcript of an audio recording made by a local Urdu and English newspaper called Mahana ILM.
However the story was not published because The Times had been unable to get hold of a copy of the video and confirm Baroness Warsi's comments for themselves.
Source: The Independent