THE PROMINENT ROLE OF MUSLIMS AMONG LABOUR PARTY ANTI-SEMITIC INCITERS
To do full justice to the explosion of anti-Semitic slurs in the British Labour Party and the debate would require a lengthy essay. This would have to examine subjects such as the negative role of Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn, how his predecessor Ed Miliband prepared the ground for the current situation, the disproportionate presence of Muslims among the perpetrators, the reactions to the anti-Semitic slurs in the party itself as well as outside comments including those of Jewish voices, the pro-Palestinian bias of Labour and the lengthy history of British anti-Semitism. Below one of these subjects is addressed: the predominance of Muslims among the purveyors of Labour’s anti-Semitism.
Jeremy Corbyn, an extreme leftist parliamentarian won the Labour party leadership in September 2015, garnering almost 60% of the votes. Corbyn had once described it as his “honor and pleasure” to host “our friends” from Hamas and Hezbollah in parliament. When Prime Minister David Cameron asked him explicitly to take these expressions back, Corbyn stonewalled and refused to do so. It also became known that he had regular contacts with Holocaust denier Paul Eisen.
After several weeks of disclosures about anti-Semitic remarks by Labour representatives, it suddenly became known at the beginning of May that as many as fifty people had been suspended by the party for racial and anti-Semitic utterances.
While not all of the most extreme anti-Semitic slurs disclosed were made by Muslim representatives of the party, they represented a disproportionately large percentage of the anti-Semitic perpetrators. Salim Mulla was one of those suspended. This councilor and former mayor of Blackburn claimed that Israel was behind ISIS. As so often among Muslim anti-Semites around the world, in addition to attacking Israel they also incite against Jews. Mulla wrote: “Zionist Jews are a disgrace to humanity.” Beinazir Lasharie, a Labour councillor in Kensington posted a Facebook message saying: “Many people know about who was behind 9/11 and also who is behind Isis. I’ve nothing against Jews … just sharing it!”
A Muslim social-democrat in the Netherlands had expressed similar opinions in 2014. Yasmina Haifi, a non-practicing Muslim had held a lowly position on the Dutch Labor party candidates list for the 2012 parliamentary elections. In 2014, she was a project leader for the Dutch National Cyber Security Center, and tweeted at the time that “ISIS has nothing to do with Islam. It is a premediated plan of the Zionists to blacken Islam.”
The Haifi tweet received much attention because she held a position in the main anti-terror organization of the Dutch government. When she was subsequently suspended from her position, the Haifi affair took a new turn when a website was set up in support of her views.
The site moderator Ismail Selvi, who had in the past been expelled from the Dutch military academy, wrote: “This site is meant for people who support Haifi, thus for those who believe there is a relationship between Zionism and ISIS”. The site got many thousands of supporters. Haifi subsequently left the Dutch Labor party, most probably because she was afraid that she would be expelled.
Labour MP Naz Shah from Bradford had suggested that Israel should be relocated to the United States. When this was made public she apologized and stepped down from her position as an aide to the Labour Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer John McDonell. Shah was also suspended by the party. Yet another Muslim Labour MP Rupa Huq, representative for the Ealing constituency defended Shah on the BBC television’s “Today” program, saying that she had not made anti-Semitic remarks, she had merely shared the remarks of others.
It became known later that Rupa Huq herself had spoken at a Palestinian Solidarity Campaign meeting, where she was asked whether Britain should make an apology for the Balfour Declaration. She replied “1948, that happened under a British government. To my mind, an apology – yes. You could do one. A Labour Government could probably get that through.” When this became public, she told the Daily Mail that this did not reflect her actual views and that she had supported Labour Friends of Israel.
It was also reported that Shah had employed Bradford Labour councilor, Mohammed Shabbir as a parliamentary aide. Shabbir is alleged to have made anti-Semitic remarks, claiming Russian Orthodox Jews were involved in “the sex trafficking trade” and to have posted tweets about a “Palestinian Holocaust in Gaza”.
Ilyas Aziz from Nottingham was another Labour Muslim local councilor suspended by the party subject to investigations. He also indicated that Israel should be relocated to the United States. Aziz furthermore appeared to liken actions of Israel against the Palestinians to those of Nazis against the Jews.
On May 2, the same day that Aziz and Mulla were suspended by Labour, a third councilor was added to the list – Shah Hussain of Burnley. He had tweeted Israeli footballer Yosi Benayoun, saying that Israel was doing exactly the same to the Palestinians as Hitler did to the Jews.
Aysegul Gurbuz, Labour councilor in Luton, tweeted that Adolf Hitler was the “greatest man in history.” She added that “the Jews are so powerful in the US it’s disgusting”. Another of her — since deleted – posts stated that “if it wasn’t for my man Hitler these Jews would’ve wiped Palestine years ago. Sorry but it’s a fact.” Gurbuz hoped Iran would use nuclear weapons to “wipe Israel off the map.” She claimed that the tweets had been posted by her sister.
Also suspended was Khadim Hussain a former Lord Mayor of Bradford and now a local councilor there. He shared a Facebook post stating that the deaths of millions of Africans are not taught in schools but “your school education system only tells you about Anne Frank and the six million Zionists that were killed by Hitler”.
The most recent Muslim councilor suspended by Labour is the Iraqi born Miqdad Al-Nuaimi’ of Newport. His tweets included that “Jews in whose name #Israeli #Zionist regime commit war crimes should worry: its’s same arrogant mentality as #Nazis”.” Another tweet from 2014 read “#Israel regime & army are increasingly assuming the arrogance & genocidal character of the #Nazis. Curious&strong irony here.”
Muhammed Butt is the leader of Brent Council. He shared a post in April 2016 which claimed that “Israel is a terrorist state like ISIS.” He later apologized when it became public, and said that he had not noticed the post. He later resigned as the lead member for equalities at the cross-party organization London Councils, which represents all thirty-two boroughs and the City of London.
But, it has become known that Butt later sent an email to fellow Labor councilors, which read, “I urge all of you to look at your privacy settings on all your social media accounts and be aware of all your posts and comments that others could be making without your knowledge.”
Waseem Zaffar, a Labour councilor member in Birmingham city has claimed that UK government backing for Israel fuels support for extremist groups such as ISIS. He also was filmed accusing the Israeli government of backing state-supported terrorism and calling for a boycott of Israel.
Aslam Choudry is a Labour councilor in Brent who has shared a social media post saying that “Zionists were worse than animals.” When a complaint was filed he apologized.
Other prominent Muslims in the party have also made anti-Semitic remarks in the past. In 2014 MP Jasmin Qureshi who represents Bolton South East said that it was “quite strange” that the Israeli government was “complacent and happy” to allow Palestinians to be treated like “Jews who suffered genocide”. She later apologized. This happened when Ed Miliband, who is Jewish was the Labour party leader.
In 2014 yet another Muslim Labour MP Shabana Mahmood lay in the street outside a Sainsbury’s store in Birmingham together with dozens of pro-Palestine campaigners, protesting against the store’s “stocking goods from illegal settlements.” The store had to close for about half an hour. Simon Johnson, chief executive of the Jewish Leadership Council, reacted: “It is completely inappropriate for a Member of Parliament to promote public disorder that forced a supermarket to close.”
Labour has however no exclusivity on Muslim anti-Israeli hate mongerers.. Amjed Hussain is an activist of the Scottish National party whose picture appeared next to party leader Nicola Sturgeon and other leading party members at its manifesto launch. It was found out that he had recently shared a photo, with the slogan “Israel has no history – only a criminal record”. He also shared a video, which claimed that the 11 September, 2001 terrorist attacks were an operation carried out by Mossad, the Israel national intelligence agency. Another post shared by Hussain suggested that Israel was behind ISIS. When this became known he was removed from the election campaign.
The above illustrations are important for a number of reasons. Any in-depth look into a Western country will uncover extreme Muslim anti-Semitic inciters, usually operating from religious communities. Here the baseline of operations is in a major political party. In addition, Labour’s current woes also demonstrate what happens when a party bends over backwards to attract Muslim voters, something typical of many socialist parties in our times. A leftist leader such as Corbyn calling the Islamo-Nazi movement Hamas “my friends” facilitates anti-Semitic incitement by co-party members.