A British Imam of Indian origin, who had appeared on a UK Prime Ministerial debate on BBC, is now on the dock for controversial comments he had made in the past regarding Jews and rape.
Imam Abdullah Patel was a member of the public invited by the BBC to question the leadership of the Tory Party during the debate. He had asked Boris Johnson about Islamophobia and whether “words had consequences”. Patel was one of the most commented upon members of the public on the night.
Since then, Patel was back into the spotlight due to obnoxious remarks he had made on Twitter. “Every political figure on the Zionist’s payroll is scaring the world about Corbyn. They don’t like him. He seems best suited to tackle them,” read a tweet which was perceived to be anti-semitic. The irony of an anti-semite complaining about alleged Islamophobia wasn’t lost on anyone either.
Patel denied that his comment was anti-semitic and that it referred to Israel’s policies. “The criticism was not of the Jewish community because if you go through my tweets, you’d see support for the Jewish community. They’re our brothers and sisters, and the Jewish community and I – especially in Gloucester – work very closely together. We actually visited a synagogue just a while ago,” he said.
Another tweet of his read, “Lets make something clear: ‘Generally, men are the predators, but women need to realise this and be smarter. It takes 2 to tango, and if you put yourself in that position, don’t expect every man to pass up the opportunity to take advantage of you. Don’t be alone with a man!’”
The BBC, in a statement, said that Patel had recently deactivated and reactivated his account on Twitter. “Had we been aware of the views he expressed there he would not have been selected,” a spokesperson for the broadcaster said.
— BBC News Press Team (@BBCNewsPR) June 19, 2019
Patel was also suspended as Deputy Head of Al-Ashraf Primary School at Gloucester in the west of England. “The Trust has decided to suspend him from all school duties with immediate effect until a full investigation is carried out. The school and trust do not share the views attributed to him,” said Yakub Patel, the Chair of the Al-Madani Educational Trust, which runs the girls’ school.
The BBC has come under intense criticism over its failure to perform a proper background check of the people it had invited as it was revealed that one other supposed member of the public was actually from the Labour Party.
The Sun said, “If the scandal of the BBC’s Tory leadership debate doesn’t trigger wholesale reform over its political bias nothing will. It has rarely been more blatant. Here was the corporation caught red-handed passing off Corbyn stooges as ordinary people chosen to ask searching questions of the candidates for PM.”
The Sun also remarked that “the BBC is awash with lefties using the broadcaster, funded by your compulsory licence fee, to push their anti-Tory, anti-capitalist, pro-socialism agenda. They don’t recognise their bias because in their warped worldview they occupy the centre ground, not to mention the moral high ground, and not the far left where most people see them.”
The Tory Leadership, too, has threatened to boycott future BBC debates after the debacle.