By-election candidate criticised for tweeting antisemitic video
- Credit: Rob Hoveman
A Tower Hamlets election candidate has today apologised for sharing an antisemitic conspiracy video fronted by a prominent white supremacist on social media.
Abjol Miah, who is running for the Liberal Democrats in the Shadwell by-election on Thursday, shared a clip titled “CNN Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix” on Twitter in 2014.
The video is presented by former KKK chief David Duke and in it he spouts antisemitic conspiracy theories about Jews controlling the world.
Mr Miah said: “I would like to sincerely apologies for sharing the content. The video in no way represents my views or those of the Liberal Democrats. I have worked closely with members of Tower Hamlets’ Jewish community, built trust and understanding and learned about the discrimination which they continue to face. I am very upset that my earlier error might damage that trust.”
Tory councillor Peter Golds described the video as “vile” and said “the Liberal Democrats need to have a good look at who they have let into their party”.
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Mr Miah is the second Shadwell by-election candidate to apologies for liking and sharing offensive content on social media.
Labour candidate Asik Rahman liked the pages of Dr Zakir Naik – who was barred from the UK in 2010 for praising Osama Bin Laden and saying “all Muslims should be terrorists” – on his Facebook account. Mr Rahman also followed and shared posts by Mufti Ismail Menk, who has called gay people “worse than animals”.
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Last week he unliked both sites and said he was “wholeheartedly sorry for liking these individuals’ pages”.
Mr Miah has stood for four different political parties in the borough. He first served as a councillor in 2006 for George Galloway’s Respect party and was later a member of disgraced former mayor Lutfur Rahman’s administration before standing as a People’s Alliance of Tower Hamlets candidate last year.
The now Lib Dem candidate also featured in a 2010 Dispatchers documentary where it was claimed he was a leading figure in the Islamic Forum of Europe – an organisation which has been linked to extremism.
The Liberal Democrats said he “strongly refutes this claim” and the party “wish him all the best ahead of the by-election”.
Mr Miah added: “I’ve always worked for progressive and inclusive values in my community work. Religious extremists have been a hugely damaging influence here in Tower Hamlets and I, and my colleagues, have been attacked in the past by extremist elements, who have argued that Muslims should not vote and that women should not stand for election.
“Thankfully, the community here is increasingly rejecting those who seek to create division and looking to progressive, mainstream voices. With the Liberal Democrats, I am pleased to stand up for those values.”
Elections are taking place in Shadwell and Lansbury wards on February 7 after two Labour councillors quit over Christmas.
Cllr Muhammed Harun resigned after he was accused of housing fraud. It is alleged Mr Harun owned two properties while living in housing provided by the council. The local authority said it is investigating.
Cllr Ruhul Amin resigned from his seat in Shadwell for personal reasons.