SNP Health Secretary accuses nursery of discrimination for rejecting his daughter based on her Muslim name
A nursery in Scotland has denied allegations from Health Secretary Humza Yousaf that it has denied entry to his daughter based on her last name.
According to Yousaf, Little Scholars Nursery in Dundee said there was no space for his two-year-old daughter Amal after his wife Nadia El-Nakla got in touch with them to ask if any places were available. But a couple of days later, when a white friend of theirs asked if there were availability for her two-year-old son, the nursery told her there was a spot for him.
Mr Yousaf said: "We are fooling ourselves if we believe discrimination doesn't exist in Scotland. I believe evidence we have proves our case beyond doubt. As well as reporting the nursery to the Care Inspectorate, we are also seeking legal advice."
Meanwhile, Yousaf wrote a thread on Twitter: "After our nursery application for our daughter was refused a 2nd time, my wife asked her white Scottish friend to put in an application for a child the same age. Within 24hrs of refusing our application my wife's friend's was accepted."
He added: "It doesn't matter what my position or how senior in government I may be; some will always see me, my wife and children by our ethnicity or religion first."
"We have given Little Scholars nursery every opportunity for an explanation for the disparity in treatment, none has been forthcoming."
Following Mr Yousaf's experience, a reporter for the Record newspaper repeated the exercise, finding that no place was available for 'Aqsa Akhtar' whilst 'Susan Blake' was accepted.
Mr Yousaf said that the incident was an example of a "private nursery discriminating applicants on the basis of their ethnicity/religion" and "with no explanation from Little Scholars, we will pursue the truth and get answers we deserve".
A spokesman for Little Scholars Nursery responded by insisting that they were "extremely proud of being open and inclusive to all", and that "any claim to the contrary is demonstrably false and an accusation that we would refute in the strongest possible terms".