British Muslim Lord Mayor reveals he kept a hate-box full of vile abuse sent to him
Monday May 13, 2019
By Nick Harley
Sheffield’s youngest mayor reveals the dozens of vile racist letters sent to him
Green Party MEP candidate and Sheffield Lord Mayor Magid Magid speaks during the launch of the Green Party’s European election campaign in central London .AFP
Sheffield’s first Muslim Lord Mayor has revealed he kept a hate-box in his chambers due to receiving dozens of hateful abusive messages.
From courting controversy as he entered his inauguration to the Star Wars theme tune, the Somali refugee, who became the city’s youngest mayor has revealed the darker side of his year in office.
As he steps down on Wednesday, Magic Magid has published a disturbing letter of one of the dozens of racist correspondence he has been sent during his term in a bid to stamp out abuse.
The letter is full of racist content and even mentions murdered politician Jo Cox, who was killed by a far right extremist.
He tweeted: “During my time as Lord Mayor, I kept a hate-box in the corner of my parlour, filled with dozens of abusive and hateful letters that were regularly awaiting me at the Town Hall.
“The vile, racist language. The demeaning insults. The threat of harm. The sinister reference to a great woman who was brutally assassinated by a far-right terrorist. But I’m not sharing this to ask for sympathy or anger.
“Nobody can scare us into silence. When the time comes, we will act – and nobody can threaten us into inaction. Yes, hate is pervasive and it causes real harm. But by embracing courage, compassion and a vision of hope – we can defeat it. For the sake of humanity’s future, we must defeat it.”
His poignant words come as the flamboyant mayor seeks to continue his career in politics as he prepares to stand as a Green Party candidate in the European elections.
In his role as mayor, he swapped suits for trainers and t-shirts, recruited poets and musicians to perform at council meetings and was renown for wearing different hats in each meeting.
He famously wore a sombrero – “in solidarity” with Mexico – when he made international headlines for banning US President Donald Trump from visiting the city.
For many he was a breath of fresh air, as he brought Somali beats to the traditional council chambers, but during his tenure he faced with bids from the council to charge him with breaching the Lord Mayor’s code of conduct and a petition of 47 constituents attempted to get him ousted.
But a counter petition received more than 17,000 people supporting him.
The 29-year-old was born in Somalia and moved to Sheffield at the age of five as a refugee.
He has been named the Green Party candidate for Yorkshire and the Humber in this month’s European elections.
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