Thursday, June 30 2016

Tabloids Round on Two 'Traitorous Muslim Councillors'

  The Daily Mail, Daily Express and Daily Star today drew the public’s attention to the acts of councillors Salma Yaqoob and Mohammed Ishtiaq (both members of the Respect party) at a meeting held yesterday to pay tribute to Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher for his “outstanding bravery not involving direct contact with the enemy.”

From the DE:

“Salma Yaqoob and Mohammed Ishtiaq drew fierce criticism after ‘sitting with their arms crossed’ and failing to join a standing ovation in honour of Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher.”

“He became the most highly-decorated serving Royal Marine when he received the George Cross for ‘outstanding bravery not involving direct contact with the enemy’.

“More than 100 members of Birmingham City Council attended a meeting to pay tribute to L/Cpl Croucher, but councillors Yaqoob and Ishtiaq, both members of the Respect Party, refused to get to their feet for the standing ovation.”

The DE headline refers to this act as “shameful”, while a Conservative councillor who was also present, referred to Salma Yaqoob and Mohammed Ishtiaq as “traitors.” He said:

“Not so long ago, these two would have been locked up as traitors. Sadly, we can’t do that any more – but these two deserve it.”

In her blog, Councillor Yaqoob defended her and her colleague’s actions:

“Almost ten years of war in Afghanistan has produced nothing but death and destruction on all sides. Any talk of democracy and progress is long forgotten. And the war has plunged neighbouring Pakistan into a hell of daily car bombs and suicide attacks. This disastrous and interminable war is driving more and more people into the arms of the religious extremists.

“This disaster is not the fault of the individual soldiers. It is entirely the fault of our hypocritical politicians who cry crocodile tears over the plight of our troops, and do nothing to bring this war to an end.

“Of course it is easier to mask the dereliction of their duty to interrogate the flawed premise of the war by awarding medals and platitudes instead. And it is easier to stifle any dissent by portraying it as a lack of respect for troops and patriotic duty.

“I have every sympathy with Lance Corporal Croucher and all his comrades serving in Afghanistan. Indeed, I have spoken out before now on the disgraceful lack of support that returning soldiers receive from the very governments that sent them to war (including on BBC's Question Time). But I  refuse to stand with those politicians who lack the moral courage to question sending our soldiers to lose lives and limbs in a war that they know cannot be won.”

“If our politicians really want to demonstrate their support for our troops, they should abandon substituting medal pinning and phoney patriotism for rigorous and honest debate. And they could also try reflecting the will of the majority of British people who are opposed to our military presence in Afghanistan, and put their efforts into getting these soldiers home and safe where they belong.”

It is relevant at this point to ask whether, if these two councillors had not been Muslim, their religious identity would have been splashed all over the headlines as it was in the DM, DE and DS?

If a councillor of Jewish faith or Christian faith had highlighted the ‘false patriotism’ of politicians in the same way as Councillors Yaqoob and Ishtiaq, would the headline have read “Jews snub war hero”? It’s highly doubtful. Questions would rightly be asked on what their religious identity has to do with their political act here.

Today’s story has been picked up by the far-right extremist group, the English Defence League, who will no doubt draw on the words ‘Muslims’ and ‘traitors’ used in this story and use it as fuel for their Islamophobic sentiments and actions.

Last Updated on Friday, 04 February 2011 16:33


0 #10 @2011-02-05 06:44:56Not Neo-Conned 2011-02-10 23:01
"As British citizens, we should be grateful to these soldiers that they are doing a job which we ourselves don't like doing because of the sacrifice it demands. Without such men, we would not have the peace and security that we all take for granted"

Rubbish. Speak for yourself, not the rest of us.
I don't like doing that "job" because I am not a brainwashed thug wearing tribal colours & risking my life for self-serving politicians like Bliar, Brown etc. Follow the money trail back to the Military-Industrial Complex, war is big business.
How exactly are the Bush-Bliar wars in Afghanistan & Iraq making us safer? After 7/7 members of the security services admitted that these foreign policy wars were actually endangering us further.

The soldiers are nationalistic useful idiots at best.
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0 #9 Integration vs Nazi-like blood law rightsMuslim 2011-02-08 06:06
"lippy self-publicist is quite simply an enemy alien" - Not according to the law of the land, she is our elected public representative. You apparently subscribe to jus sanguinis rather than jus solis, just like the Nazi-supporters.

Surely by your own definition, Christianity too is a Middle Eastern "superstition"?

"so behave, yourselves silence would be a wise course of action for you" or what?

We are citizens with equal rights & are integrating by asserting our legal right to involve ourselves in the bigger issues in broader society. This is not the 1950s, where brown-skinned "foreigners" with funny names & different religions should not be seen nor heard. Is the silence bit an implied threat, playground bully?
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0 #8 Councillors SnubChaz Huss 2011-02-06 05:52
This was not the time or place to stage an anti-war protest – this man risked his life for his comrades.He was invited by the Lord Mayor.
I have met Matthew he is a man of great courage and devotion to his country.
Has a Ex British/Pakistani service man you was wrong to do this.
All you have done is managed to given the EDL more things to throw at the Pakistani/Muslim community and you have just destroyed your credibility.
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0 #7 Global Jihadtom watson 2011-02-05 13:50
since you are having a global jihad and insist that there is a war on Islam" obviously this lippy self-publicist is quite simply an enemy alien whatever her nationality just as people of German ancestry were seen as enemy aliens in WW II

its no more or less than we expect of you lot.
Take your Middle Eastern superstition elsewhere. these are Christian lands culturally so behave, yourselves silence would be a wise course of action for you
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0 #6 Ilyas 2011-02-05 06:44
I am a Muslim and against the war as much as councillors Salma Yaqoob and Mohammed Ishtiaq are however I do not agree with their actions.
I believe, this was not the time or the place. Whether you like it or not, it has brought dishonour to the soldiers, and no nation will tolerate it. As British citizens, we should be grateful to these soldiers that they are doing a job which we ourselves don't like doing because of the sacrifice it demands. Without such men, we would not have the peace and security that we all take for granted.

They are fighting a war which they themselves may not agree with. So we should take our grievances to the politicians and not to the soldiers.
Only two people are to be blamed for the fact that this story will be picked by the far-right extremist group, the English Defence League, and news papers like DM etc. And they are Salma Yaqub and Ishtiaq. I have a lot of respect for Salma Yaqub but unfortunately in this instance she has not acted with wisdom which her position as a councillor demands.

I am also disappointed with i-Engage's article that it has failed highlight this point and jumped on the bandwagon to blame others.
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0 #5 John 2011-02-04 16:44
I do not think, that people realise what they are doing .

A snub like this, to a man who only by sheer luck retained his life in trying to save a fellow man. Is viewed in non-muslim society as grossly ignorant behaviour.

Muslims are viewed very negatively in the UK. Acts like this just makes matters worse. You would soon complain if a religous leader was snubbed in such a way.

You complain of negative views, you go a long way to cause them.
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0 #4 They are not Uncle Toms are they!Muslim 2011-02-04 15:23
They are not blindly supporting the violent jingoism & the trained killers. One would think that is is they who kill people. Glad I voted for principled politicians, not those whose condemnation of violence is one-sided & partisan. How dare they oppose "our" violence...
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0 #3 What goes around somes aroundNael 2011-02-04 15:09
Besmillah, I am a Muslim who happend to be British & I had enough of these news paper who are zionist to the core, they should be suid for preaching hate to British public about Muslims and Islam, they showed Panoroma on BBC showing that Muslims are preaching hate , if that's true then what we should call these news paper as , leave the answer to audiance, I say to the sister when they said bad things to the prophets, it did nothing but made them more stronger so you got the hint.
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0 #2 i believeFaeez 2011-02-04 13:44
i believe the respected councillors had the right and they did right (standing applause) its time you say the right thing and stand up or sit down and be counted for wasting precious lives............
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0 #1 Riaz Bhatti 2011-02-04 08:32
Salma Yacoub is a brave and principled politician, qualities which are increasingly becoming a rarity in our political leaders.
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