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Humza Yousaf Becomes Scotland’s First Muslim First Minister

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EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND – Humza Yousaf has made history by becoming the first Muslim to lead a major UK party and the youngest first minister of Scotland at 37.

Mr Yousaf, who succeeds Nicola Sturgeon, was confirmed as Scotland’s new first minister after a vote in the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday, March 29, 2023.

His MSPs and the Scottish Greens supported the Scottish National Party (SNP) leader, ensuring a majority. The three opposition leaders stood against him but knew they could not be successful.

Mr Yousaf, who is from an ethnic minority background, is the country’s sixth first minister.

Following the vote, he announced that Shona Robison, who has been serving as the social justice secretary and was a close ally of Ms Sturgeon, would be appointed as his deputy first minister.

He also confirmed he would have a “minister for independence” in his government, a role he pledged to create during the leadership campaign.

Speaking to reporters after the announcement, Mr Yousaf said he was “deeply honored” to be appointed as the first Muslim first minister in the UK. “I am acutely aware of the historic nature of my appointment, and the responsibility that comes with it,” he said.

He also pledged to work tirelessly to represent Scotland’s diverse communities and build a fairer, more equal society.

Ms Sturgeon congratulated Mr Yousaf on Twitter and said she had “no doubt he will do an outstanding job”. She added that she was “particularly pleased” to see Ms Robison appointed as deputy first minister.

The appointment of Mr Yousaf, who is widely regarded as a rising star within the SNP, has been welcomed by many in Scotland’s Muslim community.

“Muslims are an integral part of Scottish society, and Humza Yousaf’s appointment as first minister is a positive step towards greater representation and inclusivity,” said Mohammed Rafique, a community leader in Glasgow.

Mr Yousaf’s appointment comes at a critical time for Scotland, as the country prepares for a second independence referendum. With his pledge to create a “minister for independence”, he has made it clear that he intends to prioritize the issue during his time in office.

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