Politician, broadcaster, campaigner, speaker & writer of My Hair Is Pink Under This Veil
Rabina Khan is one of the most influential hijab-wearing politicians in London, serving as a Liberal Democrat councillor in the Borough of Tower Hamlets and advisor to Lib Dem Peers in the House of Lords. Born in Bangladesh and raised in Rochester, she is known for her passionate support of causes such as stopping youth knife crime and building more social housing. Her decade in politics has been both controversial and turbulent, but, as she says, defining who you are is about how well you rise when you fall. Rabina has served on housing boards including London Legacy Development Corporation in her work to tackle national housing issues. She has worked to connect people and communities and in 2014 she won the European Diversity awards.
She has written for The Independent, The Guardian, HuffPost, Operation Black Vote, Inside Housing and The London Economics. Please find the links to her articles below.
My Hair Is Pink Under This Veil
Rabina is represented by Lauren Gardner of Bell Lomax Moreton Literary Agents. Her book, My Hair is Pink Under This Veil, is scheduled to be published by BiteBack Publishers on 25th March 2021
It was in 2015, when Rabina Khan was standing as an independent candidate in the Tower Hamlets’ mayoral elections, that a male voter asked her what colour her hair was under her veil. She said it was pink. He smiled, so she smiled back adding, ‘Not really, it’s green.’ This interaction sparked the writing of an article, which developed into a talk at the University of Cambridge and grew into her first book.
My Hair Is Pink Under This Veil reveals how a Muslim woman reconciles her faith with British culture to construct a successful political career against a backdrop of blame, bias, ignorance and misogyny – including from her own community. It shows how the hijab has become a symbol of the modern Muslim woman’s personal style and strength.
Khan’s book challenges outdated views about Muslim women and shows that Muslims often identify more strongly with Britain and British values than many other British citizens. It explores misconceptions regarding Islam, inequality and integration, at a time when Britain faces its own issues with radicalisation, extremism and political divisions.
Campaigning and Media work
Rabina regularly appears in the media including radio, tv and podcasts commenting on current affairs issues notably diverse communities and women, the veil, housing, domestic violence, racism, and prejudice, levelling it up, Uyghur Muslims, the rights of refugees and the Covid-19 pandemic.
BBC Newsnight recently featured Rabina’s work concerning why diverse communities are hesitant to take up the Covid-19 Vaccine.
She has been interviewed by ITV on the rights of refugees, the BBC regarding the Uyghurs and the people of Hong Kong and the disproportionate impact on diverse communities of the Covid pandemic.
She has been asked to comment following the massacre in Christchurch in New Zealand including participating in BBC Radio 4 Woman’s Hour about attitudes towards Muslim women, particularly during times of heightened tensions.
Rabina has spent a great deal of time campaigning against knife crime and acid attacks whilst writing about these issues in the national media and forums, meeting with families who have been affected, speaking about it on LBC radio and at numerous events.
She also participated in interviews including an interview on BBC Radio London with Vanessa Feltz regarding the controversial Wall Street Journal article by Andy Ngo, A Visit to Islamic England.
Please find her media appearances at https://www.facebook.com/IAmRabinaKhan/