Green Party councillor apologises amid victory speech outrage

Mothin Ali during victory speech | Credit X: @MyFamilyGarden1

A Muslim Green Party councillor has apologised for the ‘upset caused’ after his viral pro-Palestine victory speech and chants of Allahu Akbar sparked huge right-wing backlash. 

On May 3, Mothin Ali, 42, was filmed celebrating his win in the local elections during which Mr Ali gave a short victory speech where he thanked Allah and dedicated the win to Palestine.

“We will not be silenced. We will raise the voice of Gaza. We will raise the voice of Palestine.”

However, Mr Ali has since expressed regret for the upset caused after a right-wing backlash ensued in the media and online.

In the statement released on the Green Party website, Mr Ali said:

“I am sorry for any upset my comments caused about the Gaza conflict. That was not my intention. Like many across the world I have been deeply impacted by the dreadful conflict currently underway in Gaza. The International Court of Justice said this conflict meets the case for plausible genocide.

I do not support violence on either side: violence leads to more violence and this is what I have tried to convey. I have consistently called for an immediate ceasefire and a release of all hostages. I hope to be working with a broad coalition including both the Jewish and Muslim Greens soon to discuss sensible ways for us to work on communicating our shared passion of bringing the conflict to an end.”

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He also added that it wasn’t “unusual” for somebody of the Muslim faith to use the words Allahu Akbar as an “expression of gratitude and celebration”.

“Some have sought to misrepresent this and it suggests Islamophobia to me.”

It is unclear exactly what Palestine related comments he has apologised for but it could be related to past comments he made which resurfaced in an article by a pro-Israel news site.

According to the article, Ali wrote an X post on October 7 saying: “White supremacist European settler colonialism must end!”

In videos posted online following the attack, the accountant said Israel would, “use the pretext of the fightback by Hamas fighters or supposedly Hamas fighters this morning” to attack Gaza.

People should “support the right of indigenous people to fight back,” he claimed, before adding: “They are not victims, they are occupiers, they are colonialists, they are European colonialists…

“It’s one of the last European colonies in the world, and that’s why the European people don’t want to let it go. They use the weapon of antisemitism so effectively that anyone who criticises Israel is labelled as antisemitic.”

Ali also allegedly said: “Every single person, every single people have a right to fight back, every single people have a right to live free of occupiers. That includes people who are brown, that includes people who are Muslim, that includes people who are Arab. Just because they are brown and Arab doesn’t mean they don’t have a right to fight back.”

Mr Ali was elected as a Green Party councillor for the Gipton and Harehills ward in Leeds after winning more than 3,000 votes.

Ali also thanked Allah for his win and chanted “Allahu Akbar!” while his supporters, many of whom were Muslim, cheered around him.

In response, many right-wing social media personalities and channels started a campaign of condemnation of Mr Ali.

The Sun’s Trevor Kavanagh condemned the video on Talk TV saying: “It was really unpleasant seeing someone angrily shouting in the name of Allah… this is a very sinister development for British democracy!”

While GB News presenter Nigel Farage said on X: “There have been no democratic elections in Gaza for nearly 20 years, yet Gaza is being voted on in English towns and cities. What a mess we have allowed ourselves to become.”

Elsewhere, the Leeds Jewish Representative Council had written a lengthy letter to the Green Party leadership asking for Mr Ali’s suspension, saying the acceptance speech is the culmination of Mr Ali’s “substantial history of views which are concerning to the Jewish community”.

An investigation was launched against Mr Ali by the Green Party. Mr Ali removed his X account and restricted direct messages on other social media sites.

A few days after his win the apology statement was released.

Mr Ali is a father-of-three, works as an accountant and runs a gardening blog in his spare time said he has been subjected to “hate and hostility” since his victory video went viral.

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