Galloway's Party Faces 'Cash For Power' Questions
Senior Respect leader is spokesperson for Islamist party that backs the death penalty for gays and lesbians.
London - 25 November 2005
A top Respect party leader, parliamentary candidate and major financier - Dr Mohammed Naseem - has been revealed as a senior official of the Islamic Party of Britain, which advocates the banning of gay organisations and the execution of homosexuals.
Respect MP George Galloway is now being asked to explain why his party promoted Dr Naseem to its national council and accepted from him thousands of pounds in donations.
Dr Naseem was Respect's largest election campaign donor, funding nearly a third of the party's total general election expenditure earlier this year.
'Cash for influence' queries
"Did Dr Naseem buy his way into power and influence within Respect, following his pledges of huge financial support?" queried Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights group OutRage!
"Was financial support from Dr Naseem instrumental in persuading the Respect leadership to exclude gay rights from its general election manifesto?
"Did Dr Naseem's large monetary donations help him secure nomination as Respect's parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Perry Barr in the 2005 general election?
"Proof of the homophobic rot at the heart of Respect is the party's open embrace of people and organisations that support the death penalty for homosexuality. Respect not only takes money from people involved in far right Islamist groups that want to ban gay organisations and kill lesbians and gays, it puts these people on its national council and makes them parliamentary candidates.
"We stand in solidarity with the Muslim community against prejudice and discrimination. Our objection is to the fundamentalist, anti-human rights wing of Islam, which threatens Muslims here and worldwide. Instead of allying with fundamentalists, Respect should be linking up with liberal, progressive Muslims, and defending Muslims who are victimised by the fundamentalists.
"Respect defends only Muslims who are persecuted by neo-Nazis and by the British and US governments. It does not run campaigns in defence of Muslims who are persecuted by fundamentalist Islam. The double standards of the Respect leaders is breath-taking. They have abandoned any commitment to universal human rights. They have failed to show solidarity with the struggles of Muslims who are fighting Islamist fundamentalism," said Mr Tatchell.
Research by Brett Lock of OutRage! shows that Dr Mohammed Naseem is a member of Respect's national council and is the party's major funder. He was also the Respect parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Perry Barr in the 2005 general election.
"Dr Naseem is on the executive of the Islamic Party of Britain (IPB) and he acts its home affairs spokesperson, with direct responsibility for issues such as homosexuality," said Mr Lock.
According to the Islamic Party of Britain's website: "People afflicted with unnatural conditions like homosexuality or pedophilia (sic) need treatment, not encouragement."
The IPB's home affairs policy would "safeguard public decency by preventing any public advocacy for homosexuality". A violation of this law would fall under "public incitement". For "public displays of lewdness witnessed by several people", the "death penalty" would apply.
"As the IPB's home affairs spokesperson, Dr Naseem is their Shadow Home Secretary. If he were Home Secretary, Dr Naseem would apparently ban gay organisations, books, newspapers, films and television programmes. A gay person witnessed having sex in a park or toilet would be executed.
"It appears Dr Naseem supports criminal sanctions against gay rights advocates like Sir Ian McKellen and Lord Chris Smith, and would endorse the death penalty for gay pop stars George Michael and Jimmy Somerville who were caught in sexually compromising situations.
"According to the Electoral Commission, to which all registered political parties are obliged to submit their financial statements, the single largest donor to Respect's 2005 election war-chest was Dr Naseem.
"He paid £15,457.00 towards Respect's election campaign, a whopping 29% of the total campaign budget of £53,486.67.
"Dr Naseem's donation was more than 50 percent greater than the next largest single donor, and three times what George Galloway contributed," reported Mr Lock.
These facts and figures can be checked on the Electoral Commission's website. Just select "Respect" from the drop-down:
Dr Naseem was the Respect parliamentary candidate for Birmingham Perry Barr:
Dr Naseem is a member of Respect's National Council:
Dr Naseem is an active Respect Party campaigner:
Dr Naseem is chair of the Birmingham Central Mosque:
Dr Naseem is also on the executive of the Islamic Party of Britain (IPB):
Dr Naseem is the IPB's Home Affairs spokesperson:
As such, laws concerning homosexuality fall under his remit.
So what is the IPB's position on homosexuality? The IPB outlines its stance in response to a specific question submitted by a member of the public:
Of course, the IPB exhibits the standard right-wing religious fundamentalist hallmarks, linking homosexuality to paedophilia and saying both are "a danger to society". They view the campaign for gay human rights as a conspiracy:
Dr Naseem doesn't stop here. As Home Secretary, he would ban gay organisations, or to put it in his Party's words, would "safeguard public decency by preventing any public advocacy for homosexuality". Any violation of this law would fall under "public incitement". For public displays of "lewdness witnessed by several people", the penalty would be "death."
Respect claim on their website (although it is rare to see it in their printed material not specifically aimed at the gay community) that they support LGBT rights:
"Their proclaimed support for LGBT rights is belied by the fact that Respect seems happy to have as a leading donor, national council member and candidate a man who leads an Islamist party promoting the death penalty for public displays of homosexuality," said Mr Lock.
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