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Police investigating ‘vile’ Islamophobic letters sent to councillors

29th Oct 2021

Elham Asaad Buaras

West Yorkshire Police are investigating after a series of “vile” hate-filled letters were sent to four Labour councillors in Wakefield earlier this month.

The anonymous letters, described as “vile”, contained Islamophobic language and suggested Muslims were “dangerous to society”.

Labour councillors Steve Tulley, Michael Graham, Betty Rhodes and Olivia Rowley, all received a version of the note which singled out the former leader of the city’s Conservative group, Nadeem Ahmed, for particular ire.

“As a devout Christian, we cannot allow Muslims to take over,” one of the letters suggested.

The notes were all signed off by “a Conservative colleague”, although the party has said none of its members were responsible for the letters.

Councillor Ahmed was ousted as leader of city’s Tories in August despite leading them to their best election results in years in the spring.

While no official reason has been given for his forced resignation, it is thought his centrist world view and willingness to work across the aisle did not always make him popular with right-wing members of his own party.

Responding to the letters, he said: “If someone doesn’t like me because of my politics, I take that on the chin. But trying to sow this kind of hate because of race or religion or sexuality or anything like that, it’s pathetic and it does need addressing. People who send things like that, they have nothing better to do. They need to get a life.”

In a statement to The Muslim News West Yorkshire Police said it was “currently investigating allegations of malicious communications and sending communications of an offensive nature”.

South Elmsall and South Kirkby Councillor Steve Tulley said, “There’s just no place for this in society. It’s just not acceptable. I hope the police get to the bottom of who’s responsible for it.”

Wakefield West Councillor Michael Graham said the letter’s contents were “vile”.

He said: “Getting letters sent to your home with that kind of vitriol is just another example of what we have to deal with. It’s not why I became a councillor.”

Wakefield’s Conservative group leader Nic Stansby said she was deeply upset at being told of the letters and sympathised with those who received them.She said: “I was shocked and disgusted by it. It certainly wasn’t sent by any of our councillors.

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Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

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