A LABOUR politician who was allegedly married to two women at the same time and reportedly described Israel as an extremist state is now in charge of equality in Birmingham.
Councillor Waseem Zaffar is the new cabinet member for Transparency, Openness and Equality on the city council — tasked with making sure it is being fair an honest.
The 34-year-old was reportedly a lead speaker at a pro-Palestine rally.
He also wedded Ayesha Imdad in a lavish Islamic ceremony in 2014 while still being married to his first wife, Faraz Begum, according to reports.
Videos of Zaffar allegedly emerged online showing him shouting “if you want to know what extremism and terrorism is, you go and look at what the Israelis are doing to those civilians in Palestine” while crowds chant “Isreal is a terrorist state”.
Zaffar’s comments will raise further questions about anti-Semitism in the Labour Party, which last month suspended MP Naz Shah and ex-London mayor Ken Livingstone following their anti-Semitic comments.
MPs and campaigners have called for Zaffar to resign or be removed from his new position and be suspended by the troubled Labour Party.
Tory MP Andrew Bridgen said: “This is outrageous – while other people have been kicked out of the Labour party for holding these kinds of views, Waseem Zaffar has been given a cabinet job.
“Labour promised to root out anti-Semitism, but as every day passes it looks more and more like the party is determined to sweep it under the carpet.”
Zaffar left his first wife, Miss Begum, 37, in 2010 and sent her a controversial Islamic ‘divorce’ in the post without any warning, according to the Mail.
He reportedly obtained the document from an imam in Birmingham.
The reported documents, which are rarely issued and frowned upon by most Muslims, can be obtained by men without the knowledge or consent of their wives from specific mosques or Sharia courts and all a man has to do is state “talaq”, meaning “I divorce thee”, three times.
Zaffar’s actions contrast sharply to his public image as a backer of several women’s rights campaigns who posted on his website that “there’s no place for anti-Semitism, not in Birmingham, not anywhere.”
A Labour spokeswoman said Mr Zaffar’s views “are not shared by the Labour Party and Cllr Zaffar has been reminded of his responsibilities as a Labour councillor”.