Malia Bouattia: Some will never accept a progressive Muslim woman of colour in a position of power

In an extraordinary and emotional speech at the National Union of Students conference in Brighton, outgoing President Malia Bouattia castigated her political enemies who she says have undermined her leadership and harassed her throughout the past year.

Bouattia, who was defeated by Shakira Martin in Wednesday’s presidential election, said this had been one of the most difficult years of her life and the level of abuse that she had received had been completely unprecedented.

She added: “The harassment, the hatred and the death threats that I have received have led me to conclude that in the context of growing Islamophobia that there are those that would not accept a progressive Muslim woman of colour in a position of power.”

She ended her speech with the words “Free, free Palestine!”

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