Most readers will be familar with Salma Yaqoob: a Birmingham councillor for the far right Jamaat/Respect Renewal party.
Salma Yaqoob has been involved in extreme islamist politics for a number of years. She cut her teeth on a campaign to defend relatives of Abu Hamza, who had been arrested in Yemen where they were engaged in jihadism. She also wrote for Inayat Bunglawala’s “Trends” magazine, and penned a fantasy vision of Great Britain as an Islamic Republic, with Salman Rushdie fleeing for his life.
Salma Yaqoob is the spokeswoman for the lunatic Chairman of Birmingham Central Mosque, Dr “Dancing Cows” Naseem, the conspiracy theorist and advocate of capital punishment for homosexuality, who is the largest single funder of RESPECT. Her own press officer is a RESPECT activist called Adam Yosef, who has been in trouble for his outspoken homophobic abuse of Peter Tatchell.
Notoriously, she described the 7/7 London Bombings as “reprisal attacks” against American aggression.
Salma Yaqoob’s entire political career has been devoted to stirring up sectarian hatred.
A case in point is Yaqoob’s response to the anti-terror raids in Birmingham, one year ago. You’ll remember that, at the time, it was reported that the raids were in connection with a plot to kidnap a British soldier, cut his head off, and then place the video on the internet.
A responsible politician would have taken the opportuntity to condemn terrorism, and call for support for the police.
A sectarian troublemaker would say something like this:
Yesterday Councillor Salma Yaqoob (Respect Sparkbrook) said speculation over an Iraq-style kidnap and execution only served to heighten tensions between the police and Muslim community.
Ms Yaqoob said: “The reality is that people are asking why are we being picked on, why are we being persecuted, because that’s what it feels like when all they want to do is get on with their day-to-day lives.
The reason people are so fed up and cynical of the whole process is because the raids are so high profile. The area was full of reporters and television crews yesterday, but they will disappear quickly and when charges are dropped they’ll be nowhere to be seen.
“That said I think there would be a huge public outcry if these latest raids fail to turn up anything that results in a successful prosecution”
Well, the raids have today resulted in a guilty plea and a conviction, for a really appalling crime:
A 37-year-old Birmingham man has pleaded guilty to plotting to kidnap and kill a British soldier.
Parviz Khan, an unemployed charity worker, intended to seize and behead the unnamed Muslim serviceman “like a pig”, Leicester Crown Court was told.
Three other men, Basiru Gassama, 30, Mohammed Irfan, 31, and Hamid Elasmar, 44, have admitted other offences connected with Khan’s plot.
The jury was told how Khan, of Alum Rock, intended to kidnap the soldier while on a night out, behead him in a lock-up garage and then release footage of the killing on the internet.
Nigel Rumfitt QC, prosecuting Mr Mahmood and Mr Iqbal, who both deny two offences relating to the plot, told the court that Khan had planned to seize the serviceman in Birmingham’s Broad Street entertainment quarter.
“He would be taken to a lock-up garage and there he would be murdered by having his head cut off like a pig,” he said.
“This atrocity would be filmed… and the film released to cause panic and fear within the British armed forces and the wider public.”
Khan, who also admits intending to supply equipment to terrorists on the Pakistan-Afghanistan border, pleaded guilty to the plot earlier this month…”
Salma Yaqoob is invited to write op-eds for the Guardian. She is a favourite of the BBC, and is repeatedly invited on programmes like Question Time, where she is presented as a serious politician and a spokewoman for Britain’s muslims. In reality, she is a marginal politician, for a tiny party, whose interventions in local and national politics have been poisonous.
Let us hope that we hear a lot less of Salma Yaqoob in the future.