Belgian Arab activist hot topic in British Labour leadership election

Jeremy Corbyn, one of the candidates to become the next leader of the British Labour Party, has come under fire after the tabloid newspapers ‘The Sun’ and ‘The Daily Mail’ revealed that he had shared a platform with the controversial Lebanese-Belgian activist Dyab Abou Jahjah. The Sun claims that Mr Abou Jahjah has glorified the killing of British soldiers.

However, this is something he denies in his blog.

The ‘Sun’ claims that Mr Corbyn invited what it describes as “the Belgian hothead” to the House of Commons in 2009. The two shared a platform during an anti-war demonstration in London.

The newspaper also publishes a series of quotes it says come from Abou Jahjah. These include “Every Dutch, British or American soldier that dies in Iraq is a victory” and that homosexuals are “Poofs that spread Aids”.

It was also reported that Abou Jahjah has since been banned from entering the UK for publishing a cartoon of Adolf Hiltler and Anne Frank naked together in bed with Hitler quoted as saying “write about this in your diary Anne”.

"Sleeping dogs have been called into action"

In a reaction published on his blog on Wednesday afternoon Abou Jahjah wrote “Ever since it was clear that Jeremy Corbyn makes a realistic chance of winning the contest for labour leadership, sleeping dogs have been called into action. Jeremy Corbyn is the worst nightmare of the ruling elite in Britain and beyond. A man who was consistent all through his political career in his socialist ideas, support for legitimate resistance, and promotion of dialogue among peoples.”

Writing about the cartoon of Anne Frank and Hitler Abou Jahjah (photo) says “The second reason I am accused of anti-Semitism is the fact that the AEL, an organisation that I have presided, launched a campaign of satirical cartoons and articles in response to the Danish cartoons in 2006 that stereotyped and stigmatized Muslims via their prophet. Our campaign tried to demonstrate the double standards dominating the freedom of speech discourse in Europe."

"In that campaign the AEL broke every possible taboo in Europe. All the cartoons where offensive to people for all kinds of reasons. The important thing to note regarding that campaign is that the AEL published a disclaimer with each cartoon stating that we do not endorse the message of any of these cartoons and that we are doing this as an exercise in Freedom of speech and in order to demonstrate the double standards."

"We were Charlie avant la lettre. And our campaign worked. Not only have we received thousands of hate mails including death threats from enlightened otherwise pro-satire Europeans, The AEL was also convicted in the Netherlands by a court because of the cartoons. We rested our case”.

He also strenuously denies having glorified the deaths of Western soldiers in Iraq.