Leftist Humza Yousaf, frontrunner to become Scotland’s new First Minister, allegedly caved to “pressure” from a mosque to skip a vote on same-sex marriage – but he has faced little scrutiny of his religious views compared to Christian rival Kate Forbes.
With Nicola Sturgeon stepping down as leader of the left-separatist Scottish National Party (SNP), which governs Scotland’s devolved government — roughly equivalent to a U.S. state government — alongside the Scottish Greens, other SNP MSPs are vying to fill her shoes as the country’s First Minister, with Humza Yousaf, a practising Muslim, and Kate Forbes, a practising Christian, leading the pack.
A pro-mass migration, anti-Brexit, and thoroughly “woke” party, despite its notional raison d’être as a civic nationalist party, the SNP establishment is already raking Forbes over the coals for admitting that she holds views which are socially conservative on, for example, abortion, same-sex marriage, and transgenderism, in line with her faith as a member of the Free Church of Scotland.
Indeed, the finance secretary is likely facing an internal investigation for saying “a trans woman is a biological male” — a possible breach of party rules against “transphobia”.
Yousaf, best known for championing Orwellian speech control laws and railing against the number of white people in influential positions in Scotland,which is 96 per cent white, according to the its 2011 census, had meanwhile faced little interrogation on such issues, despite Islam often being interpreted as taking a similarly dim view of such progressive shibboleths — until now.
While Yousaf has claimed that he would not “use my faith as a basis for legislation” — a contrast with Forbes, who has been open about the fact that she would have voted against gay marriage if she had been an MSP at the time the Scottish Parliament legalised it in 2014 — former SNP health secretary Alex Neil has claimed Yousaf, who was then a member of the SNP government, made arrangements to avoid the key vote due to “pressure” from his Glasgow mosque.
My comments from yday's debate directed to my fellow Govt colleagues
Is easy to point out Opposition failures, we have to accept that we've not made enough progress for our minority communities
I take this as a personal failure & recommit myself to a fairer Scotland for all pic.twitter.com/yskVDS9TGu
— Humza Yousaf (@HumzaYousaf) June 11, 2020
“I’ll tell you exactly what happened. As the minister in charge [of passing the gay marriage law], I got to know everything,” Neil told Times Radio.
“We had a free vote at stage three, which I think was the right thing to do,” he said.
“Any minister who wasn’t going to vote for the bill, or wanted to skip the vote, had to get permission from the first minister to do so.
“Basically, there was a request from Humza, because in his words ‘of pressure he was under from the mosque’, for him to be absent from the vote,” he alleged.
“Alex Salmond, as First Minister, gave him permission to do that. A ministerial meeting was arranged to take place at exactly the same time as the vote in Glasgow to give Humza cover for not being there.”
Neil added he did not believe Yousaf “was against the bill… because he wasn’t” and added that the Muslim MSP actually “voted at stage one” — but “because he voted at stage one, in his words he was ‘put under pressure by the leaders of the mosque in Glasgow about the possibility he might vote for it at stage three’.”
What Neil did say was that he believed Yousaf’s alleged double-dealing with respect to the bill’s passage suggested he was spineless.
“I think Kate Forbes has proved she has got backbone. I question whether Humza has the necessary backbone to take Scotland forward,” Neil said.
Scottish Justice Secretary Complains of 'Racist' Backlash After Saying Whites Have Too Many Top Jobs https://t.co/D4YNIwIQSL
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) July 5, 2020
Neil was substantially more candid in an interview with the Scottish Daily Mail, telling the right-leaning tabloid: “[I]f he was so devoted to the principle of equal marriage why did he deliberately manoeuvre it so that he skipped the vote and wasn’t there and was dishonest about his reasons why? That’s not leadership, that’s absolute gutlessness quite frankly.”
Interestingly, Yousaf’s credentials with respect to social justice dogma, or at least the seeming double standards he and his Christian rival are being held to with respect to it, have begun to be flagged even by the likes of the Guardian.
“Some Forbes supporters have questioned whether the relentless probing of her religious views betrays misogyny or intolerance, noting that Yousaf – a practising Muslim – has not been similarly pursued on his faith,” the leftist newspaper observed in coverage of Forbes apologising for voicing her conservative views.
The Guardian also highlighted the fact that Yousaf has not been doing as especially good job in his current role as health secretary, with National Health Service (NHS) Scotland patients facing waiting times at accident and emergency (A&E) departments of up to 60 hours and the Covid recovery plan in shambles.
This is not true. Humza deliberately skipped the vote https://t.co/SZdWrzPqeK
— Alex Neil (@AlexNeilSNP) February 24, 2023
Yousaf, for his part, has denied that he purposefully arranged to miss the gay marriage vote, insisting that he had unavoidable government business to attend to meeting with the Pakistani consul over the fact that one Mohammed Ashgar, a man with British citizenship, has been sentenced to death for blasphemy in the Islamic country.
The Herald, however, reports that it has seen Yousaf’s ministerial diary and that the meeting with the consul was arranged before Ashgar had been sentenced, and was not a last-minute affair but set up weeks in advance of the gay marriage vote.
“He can deny it if he wants but he’s not being honest about this and he knows it,” Neil tweeted in response to Yousaf’s denial.
SNP's Yousaf Seethes at Media After Video of Him Faceplanting Goes Viral https://t.co/VQ9AnUKf4Z
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) September 19, 2021
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