Councillor Magid Magid, elected as Sheffield’s first Somali councillor in May 2016, made his “maiden” speech in Sheffield City Council on 6th July – which was also the first day of Eid.
Cllr Magid spoke on the rise of racism and xenophobia that followed the EU referendum result and asked the council to “unequivocally condemn those who use the result of the EU referendum to spout their vile hatred and who aim to divide us.”
The date was also the first day of Eid. Cllr Magid, who had been fasting for the previous past 30 days of Ramadan.
He represents the ward of Broomhill and Sharrow Vale. He spoke of his many constituents, saying how European and international migrants living in Sheffield “enrich our lives and the society we live in.”
Cllr Magid, who came to Sheffield as a refugee from war-torn Somalia with his family when he was 4, said of his notable achievement:
“This city that has welcomed me, my family and many others which I call home is very diverse and it’s only right and proper that Sheffield City Council should reflect that reality. As Sheffield’s first Somali councillor, I’d like to think I’m making my own small contribution to that particular cause. I am proud and honoured to be a councillor and I intend to work hard with courage, conviction and humility while also striving to make a positive difference.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
Eid al Fitr is a festive day for Muslims that celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadhan. Sheffield has a thriving Somali community, the first case of Somalis coming to Sheffield being in the 1940’s.
The text of the Green Party amendment is:
Amendment to be moved by Councillor Magid Magid, seconded by Councillor Robert Murphy
The Council Agenda is here. The original motion was
NOTICE OF MOTION GIVEN BY COUNCILLOR CRAIG GAMBLE PUGH That this Council:-
(a) is very concerned by the increases in hate crime reported in the days following the EU referendum and condemns those who use the referendum as cover to seek to hurt and divide our communities;
(b) was appalled by the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, USA on 12 June 2016 in which 49 people were killed and 53 others were injured;
(c) fully condemns hate crime in all its forms, including crimes that are targeted at a person because of hostility or prejudice towards that person’s:
(ii) Race or ethnicity;
(iii) Religion or belief;
(iv) Sexual orientation;
(v) Transgender identity;
(d) is concerned that 284 hate crimes were recorded in Sheffield by South Yorkshire Police in 2014/15 – a 22% increase on the previous year;
(e) is committed to defending the rights of everyone in Sheffield to live their lives free from fear and discrimination;
(f) acknowledges the work the Council and its partners are doing to combat hate crime in the city, including:- (i) raising the profile of hate crime, including publicity materials and briefings for community forums; (ii) the Hate Crime Strategic Group’s work to identify new ways of increasing 3rd party reporting centres; (iii) the Hate Crime Scrutiny Panel work to review hate crimes and incidents and share best practice; and (iv) the work being done by the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner to ask communities how they would find it best to report hate crime and hate incidents; and
(g) encourages the public to report hate crime to the police or to local agencies and community organisations, including Sheffield City Council, Victim Support and Citizens Advice Bureaux, who can report incidents of hate crime to the police on behalf of a member of the public.
The Green amendment was
1. the deletion of paragraphs (a) and (b) and the addition of new paragraphs (a) and (b) as follows:-
(a) is proud that Sheffield is a diverse, tolerant and inclusive city, but is disturbed by the increases in racism, xenophobia and hate crime reported nationally in the days following the EU referendum, and unequivocally condemns those who would use the referendum as cover to seek to hurt and divide our communities;
(b) was appalled by the attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, USA on 12 June 2016 in which 49 people were killed and 53 others were injured, as well as by other recent tragic terrorist attacks including in Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, Turkey on 28 June in which 42 people were killed and 239 people were injured, the suicide attack in Baghdad, Iraq on 3 July in which, currently, 165 people have died, and the deadly attack in Dhaka, Bangladesh on 1 July in which 28 people were killed in a 12 hour siege;
2. the addition of a new paragraph (e) as follows, and the re-lettering of original paragraphs (e) to (g) as new paragraphs (f) to (h):-
(e) believes that Sheffield City Council has an excellent track record of showing compassion and solidarity for victims of terrorism from other European countries, including by on occasion raising the flags of other nations over the Town Hall following terrorist outrages, and also believes that terrorism knows no borders and demands not only global cooperation to face down terrorism, but also global empathy for its victims;
3. the addition of a new paragraph (i) as follows:-
(i) calls upon the Administration to develop a clear policy for raising other nations’ flags over the Town Hall, with a view to ensuring that this Council’s commitment to global empathy with the victims of terrorism is reflected through the equitable and non-discriminatory use of this important symbolic gesture.
The amendment was not carried, after Labour councillors voted to reject it.