Salma Yaqoob, one of the best known activitsts in the moribund RESPECT Party, cut her political teeth campaigning for the British jihadists who were imprisoned by the Yemeni authorities for their terrorist activities. A numer of tourists, who had been captured by the Islamic Army of Aden-Abyan, were killed during the attempt to rescue them. The so-called Yemen Eight included both the son and the stepson of the radical Islamist preacher, Abu Hamza al-Masri who is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for soliciting murder and inciting racial hatred.
She also wrote a playful article in Inayat Bunglawala’s “Trends” magazine, in which she imagined Britain as an Islamic Republic. The piece ended with a terrified Salman Rushdie fleeing the country.
You’ll also remember that at Ken Livingstone’s “Clash of Civilisations” debate, Salma Yaqoob called the 7/7 terrorist murders “reprisal attacks“.
Well, she has outdone herself today. In a disgraceful article in the Muslim News and on the RESPECT website, she attacks the Government’s Preventing Violent Extremism initiative in the following manner:
The recent convictions of three young Muslim men on charges of conspiracy to cause explosions highlight the ongoing and real threat of terrorism.
In video messages explaining their motivations the culprits make a clear and explicit linkage between their intentions and the impact of Western foreign policy in Muslim lands.
Yet despite it coming from their own mouths that it is anger over foreign policy driving their hate, the Government continues to deny it as the primary factor.
Instead it blames a “dangerous Islamist ideology” for creating a hatred of the “Western way of life” as if such ideology is free standing and exists in some kind of vacuum.
In this discourse all Islamic political or social activists who are critical of the Government, from whatever political hue, get lumped together with the sinister description of “Islamists”.
The impression is created that all Muslims who are critical of the impact of foreign policy – and certainly any Muslim who recognises the rights of those in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq to resist the occupation of their countries – give succour to those who preach the language of violent extremism here.
In each of those three countries – Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq – the only groups that are presently engaged in terrorist activities – groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda and the Mahdi Army – are jihadist groups. When Salma Yaqoob defends those who recognise “the rights of those in Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq to resist the occupation of their countries”, she is defending jihadist politics.
We’ve heard all of this before. The notion that we can protect ourselves from terrorism only by accomodating Islamist politics, and promoting a “balance” in our approach to “preventing extremism” – a “balance” that involves respecting the politics of jihadism – is the classic Islamist talking point of the day. We saw Azad Ali promoting it last week.
Today, of all days, we understand what that form of “resistance” means in practice.
From time to time, on extreme Left websites it is suggested Salma Yaqoob will have a bright political future in mainstream politics. Will it be Labour? Will it be the Liberal Democrats?
Let us hope that Salma Yaqoob’s career progresses no further than her local council seat, in Birmingham Sparkbrook.