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A Muslim, the son of a Pakistani, married to a woman whose father is Palestinian: the new leader of the ruling party in Scotland - voila! news


87-year-old Hamza Yusuf is the first non-white Muslim minister in Scotland. He previously met with a senior Hamas official, his wife's brother lives in Gaza. He called for Palestine to be recognized as an "independent state" and for an arms embargo on Israel - and said that Gaza is a place where "people are dying of starvation a slow death"

Hamza Youssef is on his way to becoming First Minister of Scotland after winning the SNP leadership race.

The 37-year-old Joseph replaced Nicola Sturgeon as party leader, beating the other two candidates, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan.

Now Joseph is awaiting a vote to be held later today (Tuesday) in the Scottish Parliament at the Palace of Holyrood in Edinburgh.

Joseph is expected to be sworn in as the first minister tomorrow, if he receives the approval of the Scottish Parliament today.

Born in the city of Glasgow.

Hamza Yosef, 37 (Photo: Reuters)

Pakistani father, Kenyan mother

Yusuf, Scottish Member of Parliament for Glasgow Pollock, was born in Glasgow on April 7, 1985 to a Pakistani father and a Kenyan mother.

He was educated at the private school in the city and became interested in politics as a child.

At the University of Glasgow, Yosef studied politics and graduated with a master's degree in 2007.

During his studies, he joined the SNP.

He also served as president of the Muslim Student Union and was involved in the Student Representative Council.

From there Yosef's path was paved to the parliament.

He started as a parliamentary assistant to Scotland's first Muslim MP - Bashir Ahmed of the SNP.

After Ahmed's death, Youssef continued in his role as an aide to several MPs, including Sturgeon and then First Minister Alex Salmond.

Yosef is currently married to Nadia Al-Nakala, a psychotherapist.

The two fell in love after Joseph divorced his first wife and got married in 2019.

They have one child.

Joseph also has a stepdaughter from his first marriage to Gail Lithgow, a former employee of the NSP company.

The two got married in 2010 and were married for six years.

Hamza Yosef and his family (photo: screenshot, Twitter)

his political path

Yosef was elected as a member of parliament in 2011.

At 26 he was the youngest member of the Scottish Parliament at the time.

In 2012, he was appointed Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and International Development and made history as the first non-white Muslim minister at Holyrood.

In 2016, when Sturgeon was the first minister, Yosef was appointed Minister of Transportation.

Following cabinet changes in 2018, he was promoted to Minister of Justice before receiving the Ministry of Health in 2021.

When he announced his candidacy for the position of first minister, Yosef said: "You must put yourself forward, if you think you have seen the most suitable person for the position. And I think so. It is the most senior position in the country, and a person with experience is required."

In his campaign, Yosef pledged to "work tirelessly" to improve women's rights.

He also pledged to give young people from low-income backgrounds free football club memberships and to look into increasing parental allowances - £25 a week for poorer families with children under 16.

According to him, "the advantage of serving as the first minister is that you can choose your priorities. I want to see us continue to raise the payments to ensure that it helps the poorest in society."

Hamza Yosef (Photo: Reuters)

Driver without insurance

When he served as transport minister in 2016, Yosef was arrested by the police driving a friend's car without insurance.

Yosef claimed that it was an "innocent mistake": "It was a personally embarrassing mistake. However, it emphasizes the importance of insurance."

He was fined £300 and had six points added to his licence.

As health minister, Youssef was criticized for the state of the NHS in Scotland. Last month, Conservative Party leader Douglas Ross called Youssef "the worst health minister, but it seems which is expected to progress.

He was a transport minister who drove without insurance, he delayed a major transport project.

And he clapped like a good boy when Nicola Sturgeon launched an unfinished ferry."

Sturgeon launched the Glen Snooks ferry in 2017, the windows of which were painted black to look ready to launch. The ferry has yet to be launched and is still waiting at the shipyard today.

Salmond told Sky News during the campaign that Youssef missed a key vote on same-sex marriage in 2014 due to "religious pressure".

Yosef said in response that "I remember that the reason I was absent was completely different."

He claimed that he was absent from the historic vote due to the case of a Scottish citizen who was to be executed in Pakistan.

Joseph will lead a party whose main goal is to end the three-hundred-year union with England.

But while four out of ten Scots support independence, according to a recent poll, the departure of Sturgeon - a charismatic and strong leader - could slow the momentum.

He emphasized that he would continue Sturgeon's policy of making it easier for transgender people to get official recognition when they change their gender.

He also spoke about the need to consolidate the argument in favor of Scottish independence.

Retired from her position as First Minister.

Nicola Sturgeon (Photo: Reuters)

Attitude towards Israel

Joseph's choice may not bode well.

Yosef previously met with the former leader of Hamas in the West Bank, Muhammad Sualha, who fled to London in 1990.

Also present at the same meeting was Sheikh Qazi Hussain Ahmed, a Pakistani politician who praised the Taliban, and Jenny Tong, a liberal democratic member of parliament who said that the "Jewish lobby" in the United States is "forcing all political parties to obey the will of Israel."

According to the "Jewish Chronicle", Yosef refused to comment on the statements, but said that he has "a long history of standing up against any form of hatred, including anti-Semitism."

Yosef previously called for "recognizing Palestine as an independent state", for an arms embargo on Israel and said that Gaza is a place where "people are dying of hunger and a slow death".

His wife's father, an SNP activist, is Palestinian and her brother lives in Gaza with his family.

He previously spoke about the concerns for his wife's family during Israeli attacks in Gaza.

In 2015, Minister of Foreign Affairs,

When asked about his views, the spokesperson for the campaign said on his behalf: "If I am elected first minister, I will act on the basis of values ​​of equality and inclusiveness. One of the first things I will do is meet with the Jewish community and other religious communities."

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Source: walla

All news articles on 2023-03-28

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