Respect Party leader Salma Yaqoob has called in the police after becoming the victim of a dirty tricks campaign apparently targeting white voters. Professionally produced leaflets bearing the Respect logo have been posted to addresses in Moseley, Kings Heath and Balsall Heath bearing a fictitious quotation from Yaqoob saying “I am not big on Britishness.” They also show Muslim protestors in Luton jeering troops on their return from Aghanistan.
Yaqoob, a Sparkbrook councillor and prospective parliamentary candidate for Hall Green, commented: “This isn’t just a personal attack on me, it’s an attack on the whole community and is clearly designed to be divisive. Anyone who knows me would understand that what whatever my thoughts on the war in Afghanistan, I would never target soldiers for criticism – only politicians.”
The leaflets combine fact with fiction, since they also include another quotation from Yaqoob which is accurate in an obvious attempt to confuse even well read members of its target audience – white voters in the constituency who are sent the leaflets by post.
One person who received a copy was Louise Maycock of Balsall Heath who contacted The Stirrer. “It wasn’t stuffed through my letter box. It was sent to me personally at my home address”, said Louise. “It was inflammatory and specifically designed to whip up Islamophobia.”
When asked if she had any idea who would produce such a leaflet, Yaqoob remarked: “You have to ask yourself who would benefit from these kind of attacks.”