update deskAntisemitism

UK mayor expelled from Conservative Party over Jew-hatred

Atiqul Hoque, the first-ever Muslim mayor of Salisbury, wrote that Jews are to blame for crucifying Jesus.

Salisbury Mayor Atiqul Hoque (right) with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Oct. 18, 2023. Source: X/Salisburymayor.
Salisbury Mayor Atiqul Hoque (right) with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Oct. 18, 2023. Source: X/Salisburymayor.

The British Conservative Party expelled the Muslim mayor of an English city from the party following an investigation into his antisemitic comments.

Atiqul Hoque, the first-ever Muslim mayor of Salisbury in southwest England, suggested that Jews bear responsibility for the death of Jesus. Hoque’s expulsion from the Conservative Party came swiftly after an unnamed fellow Tory supporter lodged a formal complaint against him.

Hoque’s remarks were made during a WhatsApp exchange among a group of Salisbury city councilors last November. In response to a letter criticizing a local Tory parliamentarian’s stance on Israel, Hoque allegedly defended aspects of the letter while making inflammatory comments about Jews and their role in historical events.

The Telegraph unveiled messages believed to be part of the investigation against Hoque, in which he reportedly made offensive remarks on social media platforms including WhatsApp. These messages included condemning “Zionist paymaster[s].” 

Hoque also ended a 300-word message by saying, “Don’t forget who planted the crucifixion of our beloved Jesus Christ, peace be upon him, they are good at that,” alluding to an antisemitic trope regarding Jewish responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus.

The Salisbury Conservative Association said that Hoque’s comments breached the standards expected from public officials. It added that there was a thorough investigation before the decision to expel him from the party.

Hoque has denied any antisemitic sentiments and expressed disappointment that the matter was leaked to the Telegraph. He pledged to defend his reputation and claimed to have “Jewish friends and supporters.”

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