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UK Niqabi Tory Candidate Hopes to Inspire Change

A niqab-wearing candidate may not be a familiar scene in any British local elections. Thus, niqabi candidate Fajila Patel hopes to inspire change and challenge misconceptions when she represents Conservative party in the upcoming May 5 Blackburn with Darwen council elections.

“I wanted to help make a difference in my own community and help to bring about change,” Fajila, 38, told Lancashire Telegraph.

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“You can only do that by getting involved. It is not easy and people may not always agree with what you say or do but you can only try.”

📚 Read Also: Study: Wearing Hijab Can Make Woman Seem More Credible Witness

Mother of four, Fajila is the wife of the Altaf (Tiger) Patel, who became a household name last year for his viral videos. 

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“The main reason is I want to break down barriers. I wanted to help inspire other women to come forward and be confident enough a stand as a councillor. We all know that local politics in our community continues to be male dominated,” Fajila said.

📚 Read Also:  Veiled Racism: Europe between Banning Niqab, Forcing Face Masks

Misconceptions

Though she will run for the Conservative Party, Fajila does not totally agree with its policies.

“I do not agree with everything a Conservative Party politician says or does. In the same way that not every Labour campaigner agrees with everything a Labour politician says.

“Some comments are indefensible. I am not trying to make a statement I am just trying to show that as a woman I can make a difference.”

Cllr Tiger Patel said: “The local Conservative Party has been supportive and she wanted to help break down barriers. I am supporting her much as I can.”

The estimates of 2009 suggested a total of about 2.4 million Muslims over all the UK. According to the Pew Forum, the number of Muslims in Britain could now be around 3 million.

Islam sees hijab as an obligatory code of dress, not just a religious symbol displaying one’s affiliations.

As for the face veil, the majority of Muslim scholars believe that a woman is free to cover or show her face or hands.