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Respect’s Abjol Miah lays down challenge to New Labour candidate Rushanara Ali

October 29, 2009

“Rushanara Ali must give straight answers on the question of Palestine and her attitude towards Muslim weddings”. That was the challenge laid down today by Councillor Abjol Miah, leader of the Tower Hamlets council Respect group of councillors and Respect prospective parliamentary candidate for Bethnal Green and Bow.

“Ms Ali has expressed her support in words, very recently, for the Palestinian cause. This is very welcome, if somewhat belated. But we need to see action.

“For years those of us committed to the Palestinian cause have been calling on the council to twin with Jenin on the West Bank. Ms Ali should lend her weight by calling on the council leader to come out in support of twinning.

“We also need her to condemn the Zionist lobby in the Labour Party which saw a strong motion of support for the people of Gaza watered down to nothing by Tower Hamlets Labour councillors in February.

“She must also come out in support of the third Viva Palestina convoy which is leaving London on December 6th to break the appalling siege of Gaza. We need East London to be providing ambulances to go on the convoy to relieve the siege. Rushanara should be campaigning for that. And she should be joining the call for the council to end its contracts with Veolia which has been up to its eyeballs in helping to consolidate Israeli control over the so-called occupied territories.

“It is easy to say you are sympathetic to the plight of the Palestinians and mutter platitudes about having tea with ministers when you are courting votes. But what the Palestinians really need are concrete measures of support and strong opposition to the continued aggression of the Israeli state.”

Councillor Miah also raised the issue of Ms Ali’s attitude towards Muslim weddings and her close colleague Jim Fitzpatrick.

“Fitzpatrick is a disgrace and should resign. He has insulted a wedding couple and, unbelievably, demanded that the law should dictate how Muslim couples and their families should make their wedding arrangements. I want to see some straight answers from Rushanara Ali about her attitudes on these matters.

“Does she believe that the bride and groom and their families should determine the seating arrangements at wedding celebrations or should this be dictated to us by the state?

“Does she accept the comparison Fitzpatrick made between separate rooms for men and women at Muslim weddings and racial segregation in the Deep South of the US?

“Does she agree with Fitzpatrick that separate rooms for men and women at weddings held in publicly funded buildings should be made illegal?

“Is she opposed to the separate hall hiring policy of the London Muslim Centre?

“And does she agree with the majority of Tower Hamlets Labour councillors that the Islamic Forum of Europe is a respectable and respected community organisation as opposed to Fitzpatrick’s demonisation of the IFE?

“Finally, will she be supporting Jim Fitzpatrick in the next general election?

“Our voters in Bethnal Green and Bow deserve straight answers to these questions,” concluded Councillor Miah. “Rushanara is going to have to provide them or she will lose all credibility.”

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Fan permalink
    April 14, 2010 3:10 am

    I was trying to write some comments on Rushanara Ali’s youtube video but unable to cos of the blocks to any outside comments imposed on them. even the wikipedia is blocked as well, no one can change a word by the looks of things. There are ppl out there trying to keep her really protected away from issues public want her to speak on. they are basically trying to sneak her through the back doors. In reality what’s going to happen if she did get elected is she will stay very invisible from the BG&B public, voting on thing the Labour inner circle want her to vote on. But luckily for the people of BG&B they have real choice with Abjol Miah.

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