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Mosque that hosted Sir Keir Starmer apologises for ‘hurt and confusion’ caused by visit | Politics News

Mosque that hosted Sir Keir Starmer apologises for ‘hurt and confusion’ caused by visit | Politics News

A south Wales mosque which hosted Sir Keir Starmer has apologized for the “hurt and confusion” caused by the visit after a backlash from some members of the Muslim community.

The South Wales Islamic Center released a statement on Tuesday evening seeking to “clarify our position” following the Labor leader’s visit on Sunday.

He said Sir Keir’s subsequent social media posts “severely misrepresented our congregants and the nature of the visit”, which he said “brought the Islamic Center of South Wales into disrepute and on the Muslim community as a whole.

The statement reignited tensions within the Labor Party over its stance on Gaza, with one source telling Sky News there had been a “pattern of behavior” that had been “deeply insensitive” towards the Muslim community and which had left some MPs and staff “in tears”. “.

Sky News understands there will be a meeting tomorrow where Sir Keir and his deputy Angela Rayner will meet Muslim MPs to address the current situation.

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The Labor leader made the visit to the mosque amid criticism from within his own party over the stance he had taken on the Israeli bombing of Gaza in the aftermath of the attack. Hamas terrorist attack on October 7.

In the days following the Hamas incursion, Sir Keir gave an interview to LBC in which he appeared to suggest that Israel’s decision to deny water and electricity to Gaza was proportionate and justified.

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“The crisis is getting deeper and deeper”

In the widely shared video, the Labor leader was asked what a “proportionate” response would look like, to which Sir Keir replied that the responsibility “lies with Hamas” and that Israel “has the right to defend itself”.

Presenter Nick Ferrari chimed in: “Is a seat appropriate? Cut off the electricity, cut off the water?

The Labor leader replied: “I think Israel has that right. It’s an ongoing situation.”

He added: “Obviously everything must be done in accordance with international law, but I do not want to stray from the fundamental principles that Israel has the right to defend itself and Hamas bears responsibility for terrorist acts.”

The comments prompted 23 Labor councilors to resign in protest.

The Labor leader then sought to clarify his remarkssaying that while he believed Israel had a “right to self-defense,” that did not mean it should suspend humanitarian aid to Gaza, home to 2.2 million civilians.

In the statement, representatives of the mosque said they “fully understand and share the anger felt by many in the Muslim community, both here in Wales and across the UK” and added: “We apologize for the hurt and confusion in our reception of this visit. because.

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IDF “ready to intervene if necessary”

“Our strength lies in our unity, and we are aware that this visit has weakened and undermined that unity.”

They said the Labor leader had visited the mosque “at short notice” but there had been an “intense and frank conversation which reflected the feelings being felt by Muslim communities at this time”.

“Members of the community directly challenged Keir over his statements about the Israeli government’s right to cut off food, electricity and water to Gaza, justifying war crimes as well as his failure to call for a cease-fire. fire immediately.”

The statement comes after Sir Keir posted a tweet about his visit, in which he said he had “reiterated our calls for the release of all hostages, for more humanitarian aid to arrive in Gaza, for the restoration of water and electricity, and a renewed interest in the two-state solution.

Sources questioned the Labor leader’s decision to mention the hostages at the mosque, with one saying: “People have been killed and we are calling for the hostages to be released. They have nothing to do with it. with that.”

“Our policy seems to be to alienate the Muslim community.”

A Labor MP also told Sky News: “Wouldn’t it have been better to say that you spoke with the faithful and recognized the grief and fear that many felt, that you stood with them against rising Islamophobia and that you undertake not to tolerate the situation in which they find themselves. Are Israel and Gaza being used to divide communities here?

“I think he just needs some lessons in less robotic and clumsy communications from Sadiq, Burnham and Sarwar, who seem to be doing better in terms of empathy and capturing the mood better.

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“You don’t need to publish every line in every tweet. How was this center going to help free the hostages? It was unnecessary and irrelevant to add.”

The MP called on the Labor leader to apologize for the initial LBC interview and support a ceasefire or “humanitarian pause”.

A number of Labor MPs have begun calling for a ceasefire or humanitarian pause, including chair of the International Development Committee Sarah Champion, Walthamstow MP Stella Creasy and former shadow cabinet minister Rosena Allin-Khan.

The United Nations, Palestinians and many other countries made the demand today at a high-level UN meeting, but Israel’s foreign minister said it was the “right of the land to destroy Hamas.

However, the government and the Labor Party have yet to call for a ceasefire.

The Labor Party has been contacted for comment.

Sky news

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