Councillor who said 'there is no ISIS' given new role - protecting kids from extremism
Opponents have voiced outrage after Safia Akhtar Noor was was appointed to a committee whose duties include tackling fundamentalism
A politician who claimed there was 'no proof' that ISIS exists has been given a key role protecting children from radicalisation.
Birmingham councillor Safia Akhtar Noor was suspended as a school governor after making the comment following the Westminster terror attack last year.
She said on Facebook that people should "grow up and stop pointing fingers" following the atrocity, which left five dead.
As a result she was suspended as a school governor, with Yew Tree Community School saying her statements had breached its code of conduct, Birmingham Live reports.
Now opponents have voiced outrage after she was appointed to a committee whose duties include tackling extremism.
Despite the row sparked by her comments, the law student was allowed by Labour to stand in May’s local elections, where she won a seat for Small Heath.
Now, it has been revealed Councillor Akhtar has been appointed to the Children’s Social Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee.
Alex Yip, Conservative councillor for Sutton Wylde Green, questioned her selection to the committee, which will include ensuring that children are protected from radicalisation.
“It is shocking to think that the Labour administration would appoint Councillor Akhtar, of all the ones available, to this scrutiny committee.” he said.
“Although she has apologised for saying they [her social media postings] should have been worded more carefully, they still represent her views.
“Considering that the school at which she was a governor suspended her, saying her comments breached its code of conduct, it beggars belief that Labour think it appropriate for her to oversee safeguarding of children, including protecting them from the threat of radicalisation.”
On March 22 last year Birmingham terrorist Khalid Masood mowed down innocent victims on Westminster bridge, killing four, before stabbing police officer Keith Palmer to death.
On the same day Ms Noor posted on Facebook: “Can people relax and stop fighting on Facebook? Sadly people died in Westminster today but people die everyday in Syria, Palestine, Africa, Rohingya, Kashmir.. Need I carry on?!!
“Grow up and stop pointing fingers!”
In another message posted the same day only to her followers, Ms Noor said: “Terrorist attack ... and even the terrorist died?!
“Let me guess, he was a Muslim!”
On March 27 last year, she commented on a Guardian article which carried the headline ‘Westminster attacker Khalid Masood had interest in Jihad - police’.
Ms Noor posted to her followers: “So someone got stabbed after the attack last week as a result of media and government claiming that SO CALLED ISIS HAD CLAIMED RESPONSIBILITY.
“There is no ISIS and there is no proof.”
Ms Noor, who has posed for photographs with Labour MPs including Yvette Cooper, Jess Philips and Shabana Mahmood, previously issued a statement to the Birmingham Mail apologising for her postings.
“Having read these comments back, I accept I should have chosen my words more carefully,” she said.
“I didn’t intend to cause any offence and I apologise to anyone who found those comments offensive or upsetting.
“I completely condemn all terrorist acts.”
The councillor has been contacted for comment.
But Birmingham Labour Group Party secretary, Councillor Martin Straker-Welds, said: “The Labour Party undertook a preliminary investigation that revealed not only that the posts had been removed very shortly after being posted but that Ms Akhtar had also issued a statement where she offered an unreserved apology and condemned all terrorist acts.
“Councillor Akhtar has our full support."