Excerpt:

Drums, loudhailers, chanting slogans. It is a very old-fashioned kind of politics that can be heard on the high street in Kings Heath, Birmingham.

But Salma Yaqoob, the prospective parliament candidate at the centre of the hubbub, represents a quiet revolution. "Bankers bailed out, people sold out," she shouts into the loudhailer outside the banks. The passing cars sound their horns in support.

She is the most prominent Muslim woman in British public life. She wears a headscarf, a powerful symbol of a faith she has accommodated with her passionate leftwing politics. She is standing as a candidate for the tiny and fractured Respect party.

In some streets around the new constituency of Hall Green, her poster is on every window. Since her narrow defeat for Westminster in 2005, she has built up support through her work as a local councillor, as well as building a national profile through her appearances on BBC's Question Time.


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