MPs endorse Labour council candidate who claimed ISIS doesn't exist

MPs endorse Labour council candidate who claimed ISIS doesn’t exist

Two Birmingham MPs have endorsed a council candidate who claimed ISIS doesn’t exist.

Safia Noor, a Labour candidate in Birmingham’s Small Heath ward, also suggested people should “grow up” after the terrorist attack in Westminster last year, in which five people were killed along with the terrorist.

She apologised for the comments last year.

But party members have told BirminghamLive they were shocked to see her endorsed by city MPs Liam Byrne (Lab Hodge Hill) and Jess Phillips (Lab Yardley).

Mr Byrne is the author of a book, called Black Flag Down, which warns the west is in danger of losing the propaganda battle with extremist groups.

The two MPs are pictured on a leaflet published by Labour in advance of local elections taking place on May 3.

They praise Ms Noor along with another candidate, Zaheer Khan, saying: “Zaheer and Safia grew up locally and live locally. That’s why they understand the issues that matter to Small Heath.”

The leaflet states: “Liam and Jess back the new team”.



Labour MPs Jess Phillips and Liam Byrne endorse council candidate who said there is no proof ISIS exists

On March 22 2017 terrorist Khalid Masood drove into innocent victims on Westminster bridge – killing four – before stabbing police officer Keith Palmer to death.

The same day, Ms Noor posted publicly on Facebook: “Can people relax and stop fighting on Facebook, sadly people died in Westminster today but people die everyday in Syria Palestine Africa Rohingya Kashmir.. Need I carry on?!! Grow up and stop pointing fingers!”

On March 27, she commented on a Guardian article which carried the headline. “Westminster attacker Khalid Masood had interest in Jihad – police”.

Ms Noor posted to her followers: “So someone got stabbed after the attack last week as a result of media and government claiming that SO CALLED ISIS HAD CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY.

“There is no ISIS and there is no proof.”



Safia Noor’s Facebook post

In December 2017 she issued a statement saying: “Having read these comments back I accept I should have chosen my words more carefully. I didn’t intend to cause any offence and I apologise to anyone who found those comments offensive or upsetting.

“I completely condemn all terrorist acts.”

The Labour Party says the posts were removed very shortly after being posted and Ms Akhtar has offered an unreserved apology and condemned all terrorist acts.

But Birmingham Labour Party member and activist Majid Khan said she should not be a candidate – and he was shocked to see the MPs endorsing her.

Mr Khan said: “It is incredible that Safia Akhtar Noor has been selected in one of the five wards, which are most vulnerable to extremism, in Birmingham.

“Safia is a law student and should know better than to make such comments denying ISIS’s existence.”

Referring to the Birmingham Board of the Labour Party, which oversees the local party, he said: “Even more shocking is that she is supported and endorsed by Liam Byrne and Jess Phillips, and the Birmingham Board.”



Birmingham MP Liam Byrne with Peshmerga Cmmdr Rasul on the Kirkuk frontline against ISIS
Birmingham MP Liam Byrne with Peshmerga Cmmdr Rasul on the Kirkuk frontline against ISIS

Mr Khan said her comments meant she was effectively denying the genocide of the Yazidi people which had been carried out by ISIS.

Jess Phillips said: “She was selected by the members.

“She said stupid things. She has apologised. We have lots and lots of problems that we need to be concentrating on.”

A Regional Labour Party Spokesperson said: “All complaints are investigated in line with the Labour Party’s rules and procedures.”

Mr Byrne could not be contacted for comment.

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