It's been revealed Kamran Ishtiaq, president of the British Pakistani Youth Council, who in 2007 hosted David Cameron on a visit to Birmingham, once said he'd "salute" Adolf Hitler if he killed more Jews than Muslims in a 2014 Facebook post.
His comments have caused outrage, but Ishtiaq has said he stands by his statements. The post has nonetheless since been deleted.
"I feel that about the Jews who are killing the Palestinians now. Not the Jews who are leaving Israel — there are Jews who support Palestine. American Jews, yes I feel like that about them. The ones who are murdering the Palestinians. I do feel that about them. When I say Jews, it's not the Jews fighting the Jewish killers of Palestinians, the Jews who are with Muslims, but the Jews which are killing the Palestinians. If anything happened to any Jewish community here my youths would support them. Jewish people here are not Palestinian-killing like the Jews over there. They're peaceful like us Muslims here. They don't want nothing to do with that. It's like the terrorists. You can't hate all Muslims because you hate terrorists. You can't hate all Jews because you hate the killing Jews," he's was quoted as saying by The Daily Mail.
Kamran Ishtiaq, president of the 'British Pakistani Youth Council'. 😒 pic.twitter.com/o7wxQVkz4O— Piers (@PiersJH) May 3, 2019
Ishtiaq went on to state he didn't believe six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust, saying the figure was a "question mark" for him as "every attack" on Jews "is exaggerated".
"It [the figure] gives the Jewish people a reason, you know retaliation — ‘look what's happened to us? We were nearly being ethnic cleansed and have to stick together'. It gives them a point of unity, it gives them a reason to retaliate, revenge, you know, empathy, whatever, you could say. I can't think why Hitler killed them," he explained.
Khalid Mahmood, MP for Perry Barr, said Ishtiaq's "very inflammatory, offensive, anti-Semitic remarks" had no place "in society, in Birmingham, in the UK or anywhere else in the world, for that matter".
"These sort of people do not represent the views of the Pakistani or the Muslim community in Birmingham, and where these people exist they should be sought out and held to account for their views. He has access to young people. I think it is a serious matter for the authorities to look at. Authorities need to investigate this issue, because it certainly brings the whole of the community into disrepute and certainly we're not where the community wants to be at all," he said.
Then-opposition leader Cameron visited Ishtiaq's family grocery business in Ladypool Road, Sparkbrook in 2007 — speaking at the time he said the future Prime Minister was a "normal bloke".