Khadim Hussain is a local councillor for Keighley Central Ward. This week Mr Hussain sensationally announced his resignation from the Labour Party following claims of anti-Semitism. Here is Hussain’s resignation post on Facebook:
Khadim is clear that the allegations of anti-semitism against him are ‘unfounded’. Indeed, his supporters echo this. One of his supporters on Facebook expressed his anger:
– Not only is he convinced this is a vast injustice, a witch hunt against Khadim the social justice warrior, he’s also convinced that any allegations of anti-Semitism against Khadim, are simply a conspiratorial attempt to silence criticism of Israeli policy.
So, with all of those denials, and the victim-playing, let’s take a quick look at what Khadim has posted on his social media recently. Firstly, who is responsible for ISIS, in the Councillor’s mind:
– The Jews! Of course! This is blatant anti-Semitism. It is disheartening that Labour Party supporters (of which until very recently, I’d count myself as one) attempt to twist this sort of bigotry into something that is simply framed as criticism of a random state. But it is, as I said, blatant anti-Semitism in that instead of any meaningful analysis of the past few decades of Middle Eastern politics, of the role of romanticising the Caliphate, of the massive civil war in Syria, of the role played by both Saudi Arabia and Iran in competing for influence, of the US and Russia in a power play, or how restrictions of individual rights of expression and belief might contribute to animosity, or Saddam’s successful attempts to further the rift between Sunni and Shia (an absurd and pathetic religious squabble) it instead jumps straight to reviving centuries of false blood-libel and simply blames Jewish folk, through the tried-and-tested means inventing conspiracy used to dehumanise & provoke suspicion (based on nothing…… the article that Hussain posted is full of “you’d have to be mad to believe that it’s not Israel!” conjecture). When confronted with a clear problem, if not civil war, in his own religion, Khadim would rather just blame Jews.
Now, you may think I’m using the term ‘Jews’ when Khadim clearly means Israel (though focus on this one state, this Jewish state, rather than a much wider contextual analysis that the situation requires, choosing to ignore all the states that surround Israel implies either a very simple mind, or bigotry at its heart). Well, Khadim answers that himself, by reposting an image that refers to all those Jewish people murdered in the holocaust as “Zionists”:
– A shocking image for a Labour politician to be posting and propagating. If not just for the child-like “shut up about the dead Jews already!” mentality of the entire piece, nor just for the fact that Khadim has no problem referring to millions of Jews as ‘Zionists’ (something he doesn’t like), nor for just the grotesque use of murdered Africans to take a dig at Jews, but also that Khadim seems to again ignore the problems his own religion caused in Africa. In 1866 – two years after the Egyptian cotton boom – Dr David Livingston writing from Africa noted the horrifying treatment of slaves by their Arab ‘owners’:
“We passed a woman tied by the neck to a tree and dead, the people of the country explained that she had been unable to keep up with the other slaves in a gang, and her master had determined that she should not become the property of anyone else if she recovered after resting a time. . . . we saw others tied up in a similar manner . . . the Arab who owned these victims was enraged at losing his money by the slaves becoming unable to march, and vented his spleen by murdering them.”
– The point of this picture was not to highlight the brutality that Africa faced during the colonial period. Indeed, those victims were simply used to highlight the actual point. The point was to re-emphasise at every possible moment how European colonialism was a grave evil (true), that Jewish folk – dehumanised here as 6 million ‘Zionists’ – always get all the attention (ironically exactly what the anti-Israel lobby do by focusing little to none of their energy on the abuses of the states that surround Israel). If the abuse of Africa were at all the point of the image, Khadim might have spent – or ever spent – some time explaining that his own religion and its supremacists were also culpable for the mistreatment of Africa. He might further accept that if we are to talk about World War II in the school classroom in the United Kingdom, we may extend the sphere of discourse to include both the Grand Mufti’s, and Hassan al-Banna’s flirtations with Nazism, that in turn lead to groups like Hamas using Nazi propaganda from time to time. It might take us up to the present day, when a publication – Al-Hayat al-Jadida, Official daily newspaper of the Palestinian National Authority – published right next to the only Jewish state in the World published an article in March 2013 that praises the man who committed a mass genocide against those neighbours:
“Had Hitler won, Nazism would be an honor that people would be competing to belong to, and not a disgrace punishable by law. Churchill and Roosevelt were alcoholics, and in their youth were questioned more than once about brawls they started in bars, while Hitler hated alcohol and was not addicted to it. He used to go to sleep early and wake up early, and was very organized. These facts have been turned upside down as well, and Satan has been dressed with angels’ wings.”
– Khadim’s narrative can be found all too often recently in the Labour Party. It takes three steps. Step 1) Find a way to blame Jews for something, usually conspiratorial, attempts to dominate the Globe, a flashback to Catholic Church-inspired blood-libel, if it requires ignoring the influence and history of your own ideological position, that’s fine. Step 2) Plead ignorance when your anti-Semitism is highlighted, and try to claim you’re just anti-occupation. Step 3) Whether it be your religion or your political ideology, play the victim for it. The media is against you, the Zionists are out to get you (or steal your shoe), you are probably being oppressed. Khadim followed this formula to the letter, and Labour’s current leadership – a man who referred to Hamas as ‘dedicated to social justice’ – cannot possibly understand why this is unacceptable.