I fled the Taliban 20 years ago and was welcomed to the UK with open arms – I want the same for other migrants
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Saturday is International Day of Tolerance, and I am asking British people to maintain their accepting attitude towards migrants. Having fled the Taliban as a little girl, I know what it is like to try to integrate into a new society. But I am now studying for a PhD at Cambridge and call the UK home.
Let us continue to challenge discriminatory rhetoric and predispositions regarding migrants. We are not burdens but rather assets to the UK economy, and social and political environments.
If it was not for the UK being welcoming and accepting of my family 20 years ago, I would not be where I am now, and the charity dedicated to integrating migrants, the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, for which I am strategic development manager, would not exist.
Let us welcome those fleeing war and extremist groups, because we are all human.
That donkey jacket
Sean O’Grady, in his excellent demolition of the Boris Johnson act, referred to Johnson’s appearance at the Cenotaph last Sunday: “If, for example, Corbyn or Jo Swinson had turned up at the Cenotaph for Remembrance Day looking like they were suffering from a particularly brutal hangover, coat undone, forgot their cue and left the wreath upside down, the press would have wet themselves with indignation.”
How many of us remember the vile opprobrium heaped by the same press on Michael Foot at an earlier Remembrance Day for wearing “that donkey jacket”?
What will happen if we leave?
Liz Sidebotham (Letters) suggests that now we know what our Brexit deal is, we should have the chance to delete or repeat. I agree wholeheartedly.
It may be because Brexit has gone on for so long, and has become so convoluted, but I can’t remember anyone, neither politicians or some newspapers, telling me the truth on what will really happen if we leave.
There have been lots of golden promises but no real facts. Have I been asleep for the past six months?
Minimum wage and income tax
The economically challenged cleric Archbishop John Sentamu berates Britain about the level of its national minimum wage without making the obvious point that if we want the working poor to have more money, we should stop taxing their income.
The current £12,500 allowance for income tax was set as a target when that was the annual minimum wage. Sadly the fiscal drag beloved by the saintly Gordon Brown et al means that tax of around £2,265 is now taken off a national annual income of £18,135.
Sentamu lauds his “living wage movement” started by faith leaders in a church hall in 2001, claiming that one would need “a distorted notion of morality to disagree with its aims”. True – but one needn’t agree with such a ham-fisted way of getting there.
Rev Dr John Cameron
ITV election debate
Companies that have taken out commercials for ITV’s Boris Johnson versus Jeremy Corbyn debate on Tuesday should ask for refunds if Jo Swinson is not invited to join them. Because I suspect that there will be thousands of people like me who will boycott the broadcast if she’s not there to represent Remainers. After all, if we want to watch fiction, we can turn to another channel.
Climate action and the Mediterranean
Venice embodies the very best of the treasures on the Mediterranean from the canals to the Gondola, the basilica, St Mark’s Square and the Rialto bridge, among others.
Freak floods, heatwaves, high sea levels, weather instability, raging monsoons and food insecurity have devastated lives. They are all threatening to fuel conflicts and migration, and cause the greatest amount of human displacement in modern times. This necessitates the urgency for climate action – otherwise we will lose this Mediterranean gem infinitely.
Dr Munjed Farid Al Qutob