Jeremy Corbyn has been slammed for allegedly making an Islamist salute, with the gesture linked to a radical anti-Semitic group.
Pictures of the far-left Labour leader making the gesture surfaced on social media, with critics saying it is associate the Muslim Brotherhood, who work towards creating a global Islamic caliphate.
They are banned as a terror group in Russia and across the Middle East and Arabia and are widely considered to be anti-Semitic.
He struck the pose in 2016, after being elected Labour leader, at the Finsbury Park mosque in his Islington constituency that was once an Islamist hub linked to numerous attacks. It has since reformed.
Some defending Mr Corbyn said the gesture represents innocent people killed after the Muslim Brotherhood was deposed in Egypt after the ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings there.
However, counter-extremism expert and former government adviser Maajid Nawaz, who highlighted the image, argued it was also associated with a radical group comparable to neo-Nazis and should not be defended.
It was an “Islamist Muslim Brotherhood” gesture “symbolising support for [former Muslim Brotherhood President] Morsi’s fallen Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt”, he said.
— Aaron Klein (@AaronKleinShow) August 14, 2018
Nawaz claimed the “symbol arose at a theocrats’ rally, in support of theocracy, where theocrats were (unjustly) killed [and] raising it is raising support for those who died while calling for theocracy.”
He also tweeted: “Non-terrorist, Islamist theocrats like the Muslim Brotherhood, are to Muslims what the BNP are to the English: bigoted, identitarian and dangerous.
“It should be as taboo for a left-wing politician to be associated with that group, as it is the BNP.”
The Labour party press office criticised the claims, calling the controversy “another ridiculous story” and claiming in a statement:
“This is a well known gesture of solidarity with the victims of the 2013 Rabaa massacre, in which 1,000+ people were killed and thousands more injured by security forces after a military coup in Egypt.”
Mr. Nawaz hit back on Twitter, accusing the Labour party of “fibbing.”
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 23, 2018