Which Muslim MPs voted for nuclear weapons?

Rushanara Ali

Seven Muslim MPs voted to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system in a vote in Parliament last night, whereas four opposed it.

Labour MPs Rushanara Ali, Rosena Allin-Khan, Khalid Mahmood and Shabana Mahmood voted in favour of the motion. As did Conservative MPs Nusrat Ghani, Rehman Chishti and Sajid Javid.

On the other hand, Labour MPs Naz Shah, Imran Hussain and Tulip Siddiq voted against. As did SNP MP Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh.

Rupa Huq abstained and Yasmin Qureshi was absent from the vote.

The SNP’s Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh was the only Muslim MP to actually speak in the debate.

She said: “The use of nuclear weapons would not only make us the exception to the rule in the international community, but run counter to every single pronouncement that has ever been made by every post-war Government about the UK military’s terms of engagement.

Naz Shah voted against Trident
Naz Shah voted against Trident

“We have heard today that this Government and those on the Opposition Benches are prepared to support the renewal of Trident whatever the cost. That word ‘whatever’ has borne very heavily upon this Chamber, not least in the context of the last week. It is not about ‘whatever.’ Whatever the consequences? Whatever the cost? No, it cannot be about that; it is immoral, it is defunct, we should not be supporting it, and I will support my colleagues on the SNP Benches as we vote against the renewal of Trident this evening.”

The UK is thought to have 160 nuclear warheads and doesn’t rule out using them first against an enemy. Some military analysts and politicians suggest that the Trident nuclear weapons system is military useless in a post-Cold War world.

And others say the £100 bn plus long-term cost of replacing it would be better spent on conventional forces or schools and hospitals.

The Prime Minister Theresa May told MPs it would be “an act of gross irresponsibility” for the UK to abandon its nuclear weapons. And she accused critics of the Trident system of being “the first to defend the country’s enemies.”

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn warned of the effect that using an “indiscriminate weapon of mass destruction” could have. But he faced repeated criticism from rebels in his own party who are in favour of renewal.

In the end, and as expected, parliament voted 472-117 to renew Trident.

The ruling Conservative Party and 60% of the opposition Labour Party voted for, and a minority of Labour MPs and the Scottish Nationalists voted against.

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