I can only assume that if one of the failed 21/7 London suicide bombers had been in the council chamber, Coun Yaqoob would have been demanding the council applaud the failed suicide bomber for their past heroic actions.So said Cllr Martin Mullaney of Cllr Yaqoob, who along with Cllr Ishtiaq, declined to join in the ovation for Lance Corporal Croucher - awarded the George Cross for throwing himself onto a grenade to protect his comrades and surviving through luck, as his backpack took the force of the blast.
I disagree with Cllr Yaqoob on many issues - I regard the Respect Party as opportunists and oppositionalists who would be entirely incapable of government (you can see why Liberal Democrat Martin is so incensed by Salma - she's treading on traditional Liberal Democrat turf). I think she and Cllr Ishtiaq were wrong not to applaud the courage of one man, but I also defend her right to hold the views she does. We're not America, where disagreement with foreign policy means that you can be classified as disloyal. Disagreeing with your government is part of the democratic process and if those are her views, she had every right not to applaud L/Cpl Croucher.
For Cllr Mullaney to turn round and accuse her of supporting Islamic extremism is offensive and he should withdraw those remarks - or back them up with something more than a fictional essay written some while back. If he can't, he's just playing up to the wilder fantasies of the Islamophobes.
UPDATE: A tweet from someone I respect said that the 'surviving through luck' phrase seems a bit mean spirited. It was not intended to be. L/Cpl Croucher threw himself on a grenade without thought for his own safety - that is an act of such humbling courage that it deserves accolade. He is a very lucky man to have survived the explosion, but that does not in any way belittle his courage.