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‘Crushing the Left’: Why the Labour Party Suspended a Muslim Woman’s Candidacy

Owen and Mehdi on Faiza Shaheen, Rafah lies, and the media’s Islamophobia

In this episode, Owen and Mehdi discuss the UK’s looming July 4th election, the Labour Party’s decision to suspend Faiza Shaheen’s candidacy, and Nigel Farage’s latest attempt to normalize Islamophobia. 

Mehdi brings up UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s not-so-hopeful start to the campaign, when he got soaked in rain while announcing the early election date. This election comes as Sunak’s Conservative Party has become widely unpopular, after going through three different prime ministers in the space of one parliament with no election. 

“The Conservatives have just destroyed themselves more comprehensively than any government ever in British democratic history,” Owen told Mehdi. 

As polls predict a huge defeat for Sunak and the Conservatives in the general election, Mehdi and Owen discuss the current state of the Labour Party, including the party’s recent decision to suspend the campaign of left-wing candidate Faiza Shaheen. Her wrong doing? Liking a tweet about a Jon Stewart sketch. 

“It's an old clip and a tweet describing what's happening in the clip, and the intensity with which pro-Israel figures, the pro-Israel lobby, people in the media, go crazy if you dare to criticize Israel or say things that people don't want to hear. And that gets her suspended,” Mehdi said to Owen.

“What makes their [the Labour Party] heart beat a little bit faster is crushing left-wing opponents. And the fact she's spoken out on Gaza is definitely something which has made them want to get rid of her,” Owen added.

On the topic of Gaza, Mehdi called out the U.S. State Department for refusing to call Israel’s invasion of Rafah a full ground invasion, comparing John Kirby to Comical Ali. Mehdi and Owen also discussed Nigel Farage’s Islamophobic comments on Sky News last weekend, as well as the irony of Farage being interviewed by a host with his own history of Islamophobia. 

‘Two Outspoken’ is a twice-monthly conversation between broadcaster, author, and Zeteo Editor-in-Chief Mehdi Hasan and political commentator, author, and activist Owen Jones. Mehdi and Owen will be discussing the news of the week, offering their analysis on the state of American and British politics, and even, from time to time, taking questions from Zeteo subscribers.

Two Outspoken
A US-UK political conversation between two friends on the left, Owen Jones and Mehdi Hasan.
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Appears in episode
Mehdi Hasan
Owen Jones