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When the children of the empire rule the metropolis they despise

By Rebeca Crespo*

Humza Yousaf is the first Muslim to take the reins of the Scottish Executive.

Following the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon as a result of the controversy over her proposed trans law that lowered the right to opt for a change of gender from 18 to 16, Yousaf is the new leader of the Scottish National Party (SNP) and, consequently, will assume the post of the first minister.

Yousaf, until now, a regional health minister, was born in Glasgow; his father had emigrated from Pakistan in the 1960s, and his mother was Kenyan-born.

, When the children of the empire rule the metropolis they despise
Sadiq Khan, Rishi Sunak, and Humza Yousaf (Photo internet reproduction)

In his first speech after being elected as the SNP’s new leader, he pleaded against racism:

“The color of your skin or your faith is no barrier to leading the country we call home,” he said.

It was not the first time Yousaf had advocated “anti-racist” policies for Scotland.

In June 2020, when he was justice minister and protests – and the violent Black Lives Matter movement – had spread around the world following the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer, Yousaf gave a speech in which he claimed that whites made up too large a proportion of the country for Scotland not to be considered racist.

“The Conservatives, Greens, and Liberal Democrats have never had a single person of color in their ranks of MPs in 20 years of devolution.”

“I’m not saying that to point fingers; I’m saying it because we have to change things.”

“They have never had a single non-white MP from Scotland in their history,” he prompted.

“Why are we so surprised that the top jobs in Scotland are held almost exclusively by white people?”

“My portfolio, for example.”

(Scotland’s Humza Yousaf complains that there are ‘too many whites’ up there.)

“The president is white, the justice secretary is white, all the High Court judges are white, the barrister is white, the solicitor is white, the chief constable is white, all the deputy chief constables are white, all the assistant chief constables are white, the head of the Law Society is white, and all the prison governors are white,” he detailed in a speech that has now gone viral again as a result of his election as chief executive.

“Undoubtedly, in the private sector, black and minority ethnic people are similarly underrepresented at senior levels. It is a collective failure that includes every one of us,” said Yousaf, who also ended his speech with Floyd’s last words before he died.

However, despite Yousaf’s statement that can be understood as “in Scotland, there are too many whites”, the reality belies the new chief minister.

The United Kingdom, which in 2022 received more than 500,000 immigrants, currently has three black political leaders who profess religions different from the majority religion in Europe.

Rishi Sunak, the nation’s prime minister, and Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, and Yousaf.

In a continent with a Christian tradition and where most political leaders are determined to hide their faith, even in countries with a Catholic majority, the three shamelessly promote their religion and often transfer it to the political arena.

On his first night at the chief minister’s official residence, Bute House, Yousaf shared a photo on his social media with his family “leading prayer” after breaking the traditional Ramadan fast.

“My family and I, spending our first night at Bute House after today’s parliamentary vote. A special moment leading my family in prayer at Bute House as is customary after breaking the fast together,” he wrote on his Twitter account.


Rishi Sunak is the first “premier” of Indian origin and of Indian religion in an Anglican country.

He was born in the English city of Southampton into an Indian family.

In the United States and while studying for a master’s degree at Stanford University, he met his wife, Murty, daughter of an Indian billionaire, founder of the Infosys company, whom he married in 2009.

His wife owns 1% of her father’s company, a stake valued at £690 million, and between them, the couple has a fortune of €839 million, more than that of Charles III.

As Yousaf has now done on his first day as head of the Scottish Executive, Sunak held a reception in Downing Street to celebrate Diwali, one of the most important festivals for Hindus, a day after being appointed prime minister.

“Great to be part of tonight’s Diwali reception at No. 10,” Sunak wrote on Twitter.

“I will do all I can in this job to build a UK where our children and grandchildren can light their Diyas (oil lamps) and look forward to the future with hope.”


Sadiq Khan, a member of the Labour Party, became, in 2016, the first Muslim to govern a Western capital and was re-elected in 2021 for a second term with 69% of the vote.

The son of Pakistani immigrants and a Muslim, he decided to celebrate Christmas, one of the most important holidays for Christians, by pilgrimaging Mecca, Islam’s holiest site.

Khan has also made London the first European city to install streetlights to celebrate Ramadan.

The mayor has installed 30,000 lights in the West End to commemorate this holy month for Muslims.

Coventry Street, which links Leicester Square to Piccadilly Circus, is illuminated with “Happy Ramadan”.


In 2021, 27.5 million people declared themselves Christians in the United Kingdom, or 46.2% of the population, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

The percentage drop is 13.1% if the 2011 census is taken as a reference when the percentage was 59.3% or 33.3 million people.

On the other hand, other religions grew, and the “no religion” option was the second most chosen.

Thus, in a decade, the number of people without religion rose from 14.1 million (25.2% of the population) to 22.2 million (37.2%).

Muslims, Hindus, and Buddhists grew: Islamists went from 4.9% of the population to 6.5%, Hindus from 1.5% to 1.7%, and Buddhists from 0.4% to 0.5%.

Regarding Muslim growth, the data in millions represent a rise from 1.2 million in 2011 to 3.9 million in 2021.

*Journalist. Editor of La Gaceta de la Iberosfera. Contributor to Estado de Alarma TV, El Toro TV and Decisión Radio. Twitter: @rebecacrespo_

With information from LGI

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