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Yasmin Alibhai Brown

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Full Name  Yasmin Damji
Religion  Shia Islam
Occupation  Journalist, author
Parents  Jena Damji
Ethnicity  Ugandan Asian
Role  Journalist
Nationality  British
Name  Yasmin Alibhai-Brown

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown
Born  10 December 1949 (age 65) (1949-12-10) Kampala, Uganda
Notable credit(s)  Independent and Evening Standard columnist
Spouse  Colin Brown (m. 1990), Shiraz Alibhai (m. 1972–1990)
Education  University of Oxford, Makerere University
Books  Who Do We Think We Are, Mixed Feelings: The Com, After Multiculturalism, The Settler's Cookboo, No Place Like Home
Similar People  Michael Fabricant, Rod Liddle, Myriam Francois‑Cerrah, Douglas Murray, James Delingpole

Children  Leila Brown, Ari Alibhai

What are british values yasmin alibhai brown and rod liddle debate

Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (née Damji; born 10 December 1949) is a Ugandan-born British journalist and author, who describes herself as a "leftie liberal, anti-racist, feminist, Shia Muslim". A regular columnist for the i and the London Evening Standard, she is a well-known commentator on immigration, diversity, and multiculturalism issues.


Yasmin Alibhai-Brown alibhaibrowncomimagesyasmin2jpg

She is a founding member of British Muslims for Secular Democracy. She is also a patron of the SI Leeds Literary Prize.

Matthew flinders interviews yasmin alibhai brown

Early life and family

Alibhai-Brown was born into the Ugandan Asian community in Kampala in 1949; her family belonged to the Nizari branch of the Shia Islamic faith, and she identifies as a Shia Muslim. Her mother was born in East Africa and her father moved there from British India in the 1920s.

After graduating in English literature from Makerere University in 1972, Alibhai-Brown left Uganda for Britain, along with her niece, Farah Damji, shortly before the expulsion of Ugandan Asians by Idi Amin, and completed a Master of Philosophy degree in literature at Linacre College, University of Oxford, in 1975. After working as a teacher, particularly with immigrants and refugees, she moved into journalism in her mid-thirties. She is married to Colin Brown, chairman of the Consumer Services Panel of the Financial Services Authority. The couple have a daughter, and Alibhai-Brown has a son from a previous marriage.

Career and views

A journalist on the New Statesman magazine in the early 1980s, Alibhai-Brown contributes a weekly column to The Independent. She has also written for The Guardian, The Observer, The New York Times, Time magazine, Newsweek, and the Daily Mail, and has appeared on the current affairs TV shows Dateline London and The Wright Stuff. Alibhai-Brown has won numerous awards for her journalism, including Media Personality of the Year in 2000 (awarded by the Ethnic Multicultural Media Academy (EMMA)), the George Orwell Prize for Political Journalism in 2002, and the EMMA Award for Journalism in 2004.

Alibhai-Brown was a research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a think tank associated with New Labour, from 1996 to 2001. She ended her connection with the Labour Party over the 2003 war in Iraq and other issues, and supported the Liberal Democrats in the 2005 and 2010 general elections. She is senior research associate at the Foreign Policy Centre, an honorary fellow at Liverpool John Moores University, and honorary visiting professor at Cardiff and Lincoln Universities.

In the New Year Honours 2001 Alibhai-Brown was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) "for services to journalism". In 2003 Benjamin Zephaniah's public refusal of an OBE inspired her to return the award. She wrote that her decision had been made partly in a growing spirit of republicanism and partly in protest at the Labour government, particularly its conduct of the war in Iraq, and has since criticised the British honours system as "beyond repair".

In May 2011, Alibhai-Brown wrote in The Independent that Muslims and others should stop focusing solely on the wrongdoings of Israel, saying that "We Muslims need to accept our burdens too." She also said that, "It is no longer morally justifiable for activists to target only Israel and either ignore or find excuses for corrupt, murderous Arab despots. That kind of selectivity discredits pro-Palestinian campaigners and dishonours the principles of equality and human rights." Brown previously condemned ethnic minority campaigners against racism failing to mention white victims of racially motivated crimes, suggesting they were guilty of double standards. Highlighting cases such as the murder of Ross Parker, Alibhai-Brown wrote: "Our values are worthless unless all victims of these senseless deaths matter equally", adding "to treat some victims as more worthy of condemnation than others is unforgivable and a betrayal of anti-racism itself".

In May 2012, Alibhai-Brown received an anonymous three-page letter alleging that veteran BBC presenter Stuart Hall had sexually abused the writer while she was a schoolgirl in the 1970s. After Alibhai-Brown passed the letter to police, an investigation was initiated, culminating in Hall being arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual assault. On 16 April 2013, Hall pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting 13 girls, aged from nine to 17, during the period 1967–86. The police credited Alibhai-Brown's actions as instrumental in triggering an investigation into Hall's past.

In 2016 Alibhai-Brown won the Columnist of the Year Broadsheet at the National Press Awards.


Alibhai-Brown has attracted criticism for her views. Michael Wharton has accused her of an excessive pursuit of political correctness: "At 3.6 degrees on the Alibhai-Brown scale, it sets off a shrill scream that will not stop until you’ve pulled yourself together with a well-chosen anti-racist slogan."

Stephen Pollard accused her of racism while calling her opinions "utterly vile" in The Jewish Chronicle in June 2008. In October 2009, Luciana Berger, then director of Labour Friends of Israel, criticised Alibhai-Brown for writing in her column: "All three parties were lavishly entertained by the over-influential Friends of Israel." Berger said that Alibhai-Brown had not attended the LFI event or provided any evidence to sustain her comment. Berger insisted the hospitality ("house wine or orange juice and chips. Crisps and peanuts if you got to a bowl in time") was not lavish.

On 25 August 2008, she appeared on Channel 5's The Wright Stuff television discussion programme. In a discussion about an employment issue relating to white men, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown joked: "Take his advice. Don't apply. It would be great if you lot just went away; white, middle-class men. We'd just walk in, wouldn't we?" When challenged by the host for the day, Richard Bacon, "Is that not a racist comment?" she replied: "Of course."

Commentator Douglas Murray accused her of disregarding the lives of British soldiers killed in action: "The vindication of her own opinion is of more importance to her than the lives of British and American troops and Iraqi civilians."


Yasmin Alibhai-Brown Wikipedia