Girl makes history with hijab in Houses of Parliament

16:22 23 November 2012

File picture: PA Wire

File picture: PA Wire

PA Wire/Press Association Images

A schoolgirl is believed to have become the first person to wear a hijab while speaking at the despatch box in the House of Commons.

Sumaiya Karim, 16, from Wokingham in Berkshire, was speaking during a debate on whether children should be given a greater say over the contents of the national curriculum, as the Youth Parliament held its annual session in the Commons.

Speaking out in favour of a radical overhaul of the system, which would give youngsters greater life skills, Sumaiya is thought to have made a small piece of history as she appeared at the despatch box in the Muslim headscarf.

She said: “If it’s true then it’s amazing. Wearing the hijab was my own choice. It’s a choice that I made a few years ago when I found the hijab.

“It’s about when the time is right and the time was right for me.”

Sumaiya, currently studying biology, chemistry, maths and history at A-level, wants to become a surgeon before embarking on a political career later in life.

In her speech, she called on ministers to allow a committee of young people to review the national curriculum, which she said should include a greater focus on political education, as well as sex and relationship advice.

She told more than 300 members of the Youth Parliament: “What does it mean when I say that I am dating someone? What’s commitment? What impact does having a baby have on my life?

“What’s parliament? How do I get through uni? What’s a cash ISA? And more importantly why does my favourite chocolate bar as a kid go from 10p, to 15p, to 17p, and now ridiculously 20p?

“These are questions that need answers. Parliament isn’t just a building, it’s the mother of all democracies. There are financial education schemes available but not for the whole of the UK population.”

In a vote, the youngsters chose to make national curriculum reform their campaign for the coming year.

Only 23 members voted to keep public transport as the issue for the youth parliament, whilst 154 voted in favour of making the national curriculum the campaign for the year.

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest London politics news

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Rabbi Laura Janner-Klausner from the Movement for Reform Judaism has said she doesn't think MP Naz Shah is anti-Semtiic

Rabbi Laura Janner Klausner welcomed Naz Shah into her home last week for an interfaith feast for Passover - and this morning said that she would like to take the suspended Labour MP to Israel.

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Should Ken hoist his rucksack on his shoulders and walk on out? (Picture: PA Images)

Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, has been suspended from the Labour party after he made comments about Hitler, Zionism and ‘the Israel lobby’ on the radio this morning.

Thursday, April 28, 2016
The Evening Standard publishs around 900,000 copies a day in the capital  (Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

The Evening Standard’s London mayoral coverage is “consistently and overwhelmingly” biased in favour of Zac Goldsmith, giving him both more and more positive coverage than his Labour rival Sadiq Khan, according to a study by Goldsmiths University academics.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Lee Harris is the CISTA candidate for the London Mayoral Election 2016. He advocates legalising cannabis and setting up marijuana cafes in the capital (Picture: London24)

“One love!” is the catchprase of the hippy, ‘head shop’ owning, 79-year-old CISTA candidate for London Mayor. London24 talks legalisation, munchies and more with counterculture legend Lee Harris.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Big Ben will stop ticking for months (Picture: Getty)

One of London’s best loved landmarks, Big Ben, is about to fall silent after hundreds of years bringing in the hour at Westminster.

Monday, April 25, 2016
Prince Zylinski relaxes with a green veg smoothie. Picture: Duncan Raban

Prince John Zylinski may be an outsider in the London Mayoral race but he thinks he’s got what it takes. If he gets elected, he promises to build a million houses and make cyclists get number plates - and ban Nigel Farage from London.

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more
Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Read more

Latest Tech News

Transport