A video of a Muslim teacher, Latifa Abuchakra, speaking at the NEU-NUT Section Annual conference 2018 has gone viral. Latifa takes a compelling stand against OFSTED- UK’s largest teaching union, the chief of which faced immense backlash after she questioned and allegedly pressured schools to ban the Muslim hijab.
“Shame on OFSTED for victimising young girls” she says as she explains how the ramification of their comments and action go away beyond the school gates encouraging racist and fascist groups across the country. She rejects what she calls their “imperialistic saviour thinking” and explains how hijab make her feel empowered, not oppressed. Referring to Quran she says, “My faith has given me the right to choose 1400 years before the Universal Declaration of Human rights told me I could”
Latifa also calls out muscular liberalism, an idea advocated by former UK PM David Cameron and now being popularly borrowed by the media and other politicians. She defines it as just another word for racism and Islamophobia. In her short but powerful speech, she manages to touch on various subjects like the French ban on religious symbols and the burkini, “punish a Muslim day’ and appeals to the gathering to challenge this stance as a collective. She presents these hard hitting facts while balancing it with streaks of humour.