A candidate for the Legislative Council says she has been subject to ’terrifying’ racism and Islamophobia.
And Haafizah Hoosen says she no longer feels safe in the island, which has been her home since she was eight.
She announced she was standing for one of the vacancies in LegCo earlier this month, saying she believes she has the ’skills, drive and passion to contribute to the role’.
But she has taken to Twitter to condemn comments made about her in person and online, and she claims racism and Islamophobia are ’widespread, tolerated and even accepted’ in the island.
She tweeted: ’The Isle of Man is my home, it has been since I was eight years old and everyone deserves to feel safe in their home.
’Once my candidacy was formally announced and publicised, it became very apparent that racism and Islamophobia is not dead and since the announcement I have been the subject of multiple racist and Islamophobic comments online and (terrifyingly) in person.
’While a large portion of the population on the island are supportive, for which I am thankful, racism and Islamophobia are still widespread, tolerated and even accepted.
’The island has been a place where I felt safe but in light of recent events that’s changed.
’The normality and justification of comments like these have shown me that not all Manx people are treated or viewed equally when you differ from the norm (be that race, religion, gender, sexual orientation).
’I have never intended to call attention to the negativity I have received. But viewing this is as part of the process would be acceptance. And this is something I cannot and should not feel the need to condone.’
The election to fill four vacancies in Legislative Council takes place on March 12.
Ten candidates have put their names forward so far.
Ms Hoosen has been nominated by Clare Barber (Douglas East), who praised her ’analytical mind, passion for critical thinking and ability to objectively review legislation and policy’.
Her background is in medical and scientific research and she is currently working on a PhD in parasitology education in developing countries with De Montfort University in Leicester.
Ms Hoosen is currently a project officer with Douglas-based Fuzzelogic Solutions.
She has worked as a research and development manager for the Department of Health and Social Care.
Before that she worked as a trainee biomedical scientist and a laboratory assistant at Noble’s Hospital and as a part-time lecturer at De Montfort University.