Respect expels 'antisemitic' Tower Hamlets candidate

By Jennifer Lipman, September 28, 2010

George Galloway’s Respect party apologised after it emerged that one of its national council members had posted “antisemitic” comments about Jews on Facebook – despite campaigning against racism against Muslims.

Abul “Abz” Hussain, who stood unsuccessfully in May to become a Tower Hamlets councillor suggested in one post that a “Jew” should be swapped for aid to Gaza. He has now been expelled from the party.

The former law student at the London School of Economics also joked about chopping off a Jewish person’s peyot (sideburns) and confiscating their kippah.

Mr Hussain, who lists himself as a fan of Zakir Naik, the Muslim preacher who has been banned from the UK, also wrote about Jews: “Here’s a penny go put it in the bank and [you] just might get a pound after ten years interest!”

His comments came despite another post in which he urged LSE to discipline participants in a stunt in which students dressed up as Guantanamo Bay inmates and chanted “Oh Allah.”

He said that if students had dressed up as Nazis, the university would have been “hounded by the Zionist lobby” and the students dismissed.

In a letter addressed to the LSE Director, Mr Hussain wrote: “Religious prejudice is totally despicable and serves no purpose but to insult and intimidate…The actions were racist.

“By no logic can one argue that the actions were trivial and had no malicious or racial undertone.

“Only a severe punishment will suffice to rectify the situation. Any other form of punishment will be a double standard to that served had the students acted in an antisemitic manner.

Mr Hussain, who lists “making money” and “bodybuilding” as his interests on Facebook, also posted a note before the 2010 general election urging his friends to vote for Respect.

He called for George Galloway to be re-elected as an MP so he could speak up for the Palestinians.

In a statement, Respect said the party was “totally hostile” to antisemitism.

“Such views are demonstrably incompatible with party membership.”

Last updated: 11:58am, October 20 2010