Posts Tagged ‘UK’

Salma Yaqoob on Obama speech: ‘Words welcome but action needed’

Salma Yaqoob reflects on Barack Obama's speech

Salma Yaqoob reflects on Barack Obama's Cairo speech

President Obama has given his first major speech on relations between the United States and the Muslim world.

Birmingham Councillor and Respect party leader Salma Yaqoob gave her response:

“President Obama’s call for a ‘new beginning’ in relations between the United States and the Muslim world is very welcome.

“The absence in his speech of any bellicose threats to Iran stands in stark contrast to his predecessor, George W Bush, as do his comments about the ‘intolerable’ situation facing the Palestinians.

“However, in view of the damage done to the United States’ reputation across the Muslim world, actions not words will be required to really mark a new beginning.
“Many Muslims in Britain are of South Asian origin and are alarmed at how the US intervention in Afghanistan is also destabilising Pakistan.

The sooner there is progress to redress the injustice of the Palestinians and end the occupation of Afghanistan, the quicker a new chapter can be written.”

Salma Yaqoob calls for a big turnout on Birmingham jobs march

Salma Yaqoob is backing Unite's national March for Jobs

Councillor Salma Yaqoob is backing the national ‘March for Jobs’ taking place in Birmingham this Saturday, 16 May. She is calling for a big turnout to send a strong message to the government that protecting jobs must come first.

Councillor Yaqoob said:

“There is hardly a family in the country which has not been affected by the recession. With unemployment now over 2.2 million, every day brings new job losses, and people across Birmingham are worried for their future. Huge sums of money have been used to bail out the banks. We need to see the same commitment to keeping people in jobs, and investing in vital industries to see them through this crisis.

“The government has its priorities wrong; with billions earmarked for wasteful and unnecessary projects like ID cards and the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system. It is time to send a strong message to the government that protecting jobs must be its first priority. That is the right way to protect individuals and families, but also to boost the economy at a time of economic crisis.”

The demonstration, organised by the Unite union, will assemble at 11am on Saturday 16 May at Highfield Road, Edgbaston (corner of Hagley Road), and march to Centenary Square for a rally.

More on Unite’s official website here.

Question Time: Salma Yaqoob on Geert Wilders

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Respect leader and Birmingham City councillor Salma Yaqoob featured on this week’s Question Time panel, joining presenter David Dimbleby and alongside Labour MP Liam Byrne, Conservative MP Justine Greening, former Sun editor and columnist Kelvin MacKenzie and television gardener and writer Monty Don.

Salma spoke on a number of issues including Dutch MP Geert Wilders, the economy and banking,  child truancy, climate change and the drug reclassification policy.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

On yesterday’s UK entry ban of controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders, she said:

“Personally, I am uncomfortable with censorship.  Does Mr Wilders have the right to provoke or even be offensive?  Yes, he does under freedom of speech, and if he’s being barred from the country simply because he offends people’s religious sensibilities then no matter how personally distasteful I might find his views, I wouldn’t support a ban.

“However, society does have a right and indeed a duty to protect itself from people who incite hatred and incite violence and if he was deemed to be in breach of our laws in this regard then, in that context, a ban would be justifiable.”

“Although I find his [Wilder’s] indignation about being banned and calling for the upholding of the freedom of speech abit hypocritical considering he advocates banning the Qur’an,” she added.

Salma Yaqoob challenges Kelvin MacKenzie on Question Time

Salma Yaqoob challenges Kelvin MacKenzie on Question Time

She also spoke on the state of our economy and finances and whether certain employees of banks, that were saved using public money, deseved bonuses.  She challenged Sun columnist Kelvin MacKenzie, who claimed such bank employees were ‘talented people’ who couldn’t be stopped.

“Talented people?  They have wrecked our economy! It’s absolutely shameless and digusting,” she responded.

“These are people who’ve wrecked our economy and I don’t believe a word of this ‘contract’ argument. These people would not have a job now were it not for the British tax payers bailing out the banks. They’re lucky they’re on a salary, never mind the cheek to ask for a bonus in these circumstances.

“It’s also politicians who should be in the dock because it was their decision to take away the safety mechanism, to introduce de-regulation which allowed the unvetted greed. It allowed the bankers to make the risky decisions without any proper scrutiny. It freed them up to reward themselves with these incredible bonuses and at the same time politicians from the Conservative party as well as the Labour party championed this neo-liberal economic orthodoxy which has brought us this disaster,” explained Salma.

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

Salma Yaqoob on BBC Question Time

“I think it’s really disgusting that we have now a public culture where if you commit huge crimes, which are resulting in millions of ordinary people losing their jobs and their homes, you only have to come up with a half-hearted apology, no accoutability, no sanctions, no punishments – and if you’re a politician you can lead our country into war on a lie and not have to resign – there is something really deeply wrong with a democratic system we have where instead of people being made an example of, we now have the lesson that ‘you can do this in the future, you can be this reckless because there’ll be no deterrent’,” she concluded.

Watch the complete programme on BBC iPlayer via the links below (UK only).

BBC Question Time – (12th February 2009)

BBC Question Time Extra [BBC News 24] – (12th February 2009)

An edited 30-minute verson of Thursday’s Question Time will be shown on Saturday 14th February 2009, at 8.30pm on BBC News 24.

Website link and presenter biogs here.

National Gaza Massacre Demonstration: London – Saturday 3rd January 2009

Four-year-old Lama Hamdan killed by an Israeli missile on 29 December.

Four-year-old Lama Hamdan killed by an Israeli missle

“Israel is committing a shocking series of atrocities by using modern weaponry against a defenceless population – attacking a population that has been enduring a severe blockade for many months.”

The UN Human Rights Council

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STOP GAZA MASSACRE

Hands Off Gaza: Stop the Bombing: Free Palestine

Saturday 3rd January 2009
Assemble 12:30pm | Embankment, London, WC2

Nearest tube Embankment.  View map >>
Called by Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, British Muslim Initiative, CND and many other organisations.

Speakers include Salma Yaqoob, Jeremy Corbyn, George Galloway, Tony Benn and more…

Download the national demonstration leaflet >>

Local protests around the country >>

Birmingham
Coaches leave 8.30am  – Carrs Lane Church, Carrs Lane, (opposite Moore St station).

Tickets: £8 (Unemployed/students), £12 (Employed)

For tickets, call Nick on 07828013091 or Naeem Malik on 07721427690

10 MAB Coaches, Departing from Birmingham Central Mosque (Highgate, B12), 8.30am
Tickets: £5 each
Contacts: 07870948503 | 0776691344

National coaches here >>

Protests in Scotland here (facebook group) >>

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Join the demonstration – message from Tony Benn

Tony Benn

Tony Benn

“The Israeli Government, armed and supported by President Bush, with its savage attack on the people of Gaza now represents the greatest threat to security in the Middle East and the world peace movement is mobilizing on a massive scale to defeat this aggression.
I appeal to everyone who can possibly do so to attend the many demonstrations that are being held here so that the British government is left in no doubt as to the strength of opposition there is to this war. ”

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More:  Stop the War Coalition >>

Yaqoob and Galloway slam press over ‘reckless’ Mumbai bombings coverage

Mumbai Attacks Headline in the Daily Telegraph

The Daily Telegraph leads the Mumbai Attacks news story with an irresponsible headline

Calls for investigation after ‘baseless’ claims
Asian Image, UK – 30 Nov 2008
Respect MP George Galloway and the party’s leader, Cllr Salma Yaqoob, have called for an urgent investigation by the Press Complaints Commission into newspaper claims the Mumbai terrorsits hailed from Britain…

Respect MP George Galloway and the party’s leader, Cllr Salma Yaqoob, have today called for an urgent investigation by the Press Complaints Commission into “reckless, inaccurate and inflammatory” claims by several newspapers about the