A senior Labour councillor from Blackburn has been suspended after VoteWatch exclusively revealed that he had shared pro-Hamas posts on social media and supported a call for the Pakistani army to help Palestine fight Israel.
Hamas is an Islamist group proscribed as a terrorist organisation by multiple nations, including the US and UK. For carrying out numerous terrorist attacks and promoting Jihad, the group is proscribed in its entirety in the UK, following Parliament’s approval of an Order which was laid in Parliament on 19th November, 2021. Hamas has carried out multiple terrorist attacks against innocent civilians in Israel.
Members of Hamas or those who invite support for the group can legally be jailed for up to 14 years.
Last weekend the terrorist organization carried out a series of war crimes against innocent Israelis, storming into Israel, executing civilians, and kidnapping a number of men, women and children.
Labour councillor Salim Sidat, who represents Audley and Queens Park ward, appeared unhappy with the BBC’s reporting of the incidents, which are still ongoing, and shared a meme condemning the broadcaster for what he perceived to be bias in their reporting of the murder of innocent civilians.
Joining him was Labour councillor Mohammed Irfan, who shared a post by a constituent downplaying the terrorist acts and falsely claiming that they only took place over ‘a few hours’.
“Wall-to-wall coverage of Israelis experiencing for a few hours what Palestinians have continuously experienced decade after decade is incredibly telling about the discrepancy in the value of human life in our corporate news,” the post read.
Shockingly, going one step further, Cllr Irfan, who represents Billinge and Beardwood, then shared and ‘liked’ a post calling for the Pakistani army to join Hamas/Palestine in fighting Israel.
VoteWatch found that Cllr Irfan had previously posted other controversial comments on social media, including one Facebook post calling for someone to be shot in the head.
Suella Braverman expects the police to “use the full force of the law” against displays of support for Hamas after an escalation of attacks on Israel’s borders, she wrote on Sunday morning.
The home secretary’s comments came after videos emerged of people in the UK appearing to celebrate after Palestinian militants from the blockaded Gaza Strip launched a surprise attack and seized dozens of hostages.
Metropolitan police patrols have been increased in areas of north London where many members of the UK’s Jewish community are based, with some people already coming under fire by pro-Hamas protestors for their support of Israel.
This isn’t the first time that the Blackburn Labour Party has been embroiled in an antisemitism scandal.
Last year, a Labour Councillor who called Jews ‘murderers’ and claimed Israel created ISIS, was readmitted into the party despite continuing to share anti-Jewish comments online, VoteWatch exclusively revealed.
Councillor Tasleem Fazal from Blackburn and Darwen Council was suspended in 2020 after a video emerged on social media in which he was heard hurling a barrage of abuse at Jewish protestors.
The Labour Party in Blackburn has been the focus of numerous VoteWatch investigations, with scandals taking place almost on a monthly basis.
In May of last year, another Blackburn Labour Councillor was suspended after spreading antisemitic conspiracy theories, including that Israelis were ‘kidnapping children and harvesting their organs’.
Councillor Yusuf Jan-Virmani, who represents the constituency’s Audley and Queen’s Park ward, was suspended from the Labour Party after using his slot at a council meeting to make stereotypical claims about Israelis.
Calling Israel’s elected officials a “right-wing extremist government”, Cllr Jan-Virmani went on to say:
“Mr Mayor, councillors – I am not aware of any animal that is so cruel as the Israelis. Not even crocodiles. They bomb schools day and night… hospitals, they bomb them – they flatten them.
“They kidnap the kids and harvest their organs… that’s been proven. That’s from the United Nations.
With regards to Councillor Irfan, Leader of the Labour-run Blackburn with Darwen Council Cllr Phil Riley confirmed he has been suspended. An investigation is now underway.
“Yes another concerning incident in the long litany of anti-semitism within Blackburn Labour,” Julian Arnold, Chairman of the Blackburn Conservatives, told Votewatch. “It is time for the national labour leadership and Sir Keir Starmer to take action not just words against these people in his party”.
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