Kamran Ishtiaq, who has been President of British Pakistani Youth Council since 2009, said in 2014 that he would “salute” Hitler for killing Jews, and has now reportedly reaffirmed his views.
After posting a picture of Hitler on his Facebook page, which received 40 likes, he was admonished by another Facebook user who wrote: “Hitler was a racist bro”. Mr Ishtiaq responded: “I know that and to be honest he would have killed Muslims too if he got a chance. But you know what, I would salute him still if he killed 90 Muslims and 92 Jews.” He then followed up with another comment, adding: “Now why he is my hero cuz, he just killed Jews, didn’t get a chance to kill Muslims… lol.”
In a long telephone interview with BirminghamLive, he confirmed that he stood by his statements, whilst also questioning whether six million Jews really died in the Holocaust, suggesting that the figure might have been “exaggerated” in order to justify Jewish “revenge”. He also suggested that the Jews may have done something “to the Germans” to cause the Holocaust.
Asked by BirminghamLive whether he still felt that Jews deserved to be massacred, Mr Ishtiaq said: “To be honest with you, I feel that about the Jews who are killing the Palestinians now. Not the Jews who are leaving Israel — there are Jews who support Palestine. I was reading today in the media that there are Jews leaving Israel because Israel didn’t live up to their expectations. OK, but Jews, American Jews, yes I feel like that about them. The ones who are murdering the Palestinians. I do feel that about them. And what I wrote there, it’s about the Jews.”
He added: “When I say Jews, it’s not the Jews fighting the Jewish killers of Palestinians, the Jews who are with Muslims, but the Jews which are killing the Palestinians, yes. The murderers. I mean if anything happened to any Jewish community here my youths would be there frontline to support them. Jewish people here are not Palestinian-killing like the Jews over there. They’re peaceful like us Muslims here. They don’t want nothing to do with that. It’s like the terrorists. You can’t hate all Muslims because you hate terrorists. You can’t hate all Jews because you hate the killing Jews.”
Asked about Jews killed by the Nazis, Mr Ishtiaq said he did not believe that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust: “To be honest, I don’t believe that. Every attack, anything on Jews is exaggerated. Yeah. I think that was an exaggeration too. He killed Jews, yeah. He did kill Jews, there’s no doubt in that. He killed Jews. But that figure is a question mark for me.”
Asked why he thought the Nazis killed Jews, he replied: “We don’t know what happened then. If they were doing this now, killing Palestinians, we don’t know what they done to the Germans at that time.”
Asked why the figure would be exaggerated, Mr Ishtiaq said: “It gives the Jewish people a reason, you know retaliation — ‘Look what’s happened to us? We were nearly being ethnic cleansed and have to stick together’. It gives them a point of unity, it gives them a reason to retaliate, revenge, you know, empathy, whatever, you could say.”
Asked if he thought Hitler was wrong to kill the Jews, he said: “Er, no, I can’t think for Hitler. I can’t think why Hitler killed them. I just made that statement [on Facebook]. So why and how, I couldn’t tell you. I stand by the statement I made, yes.”
Mr Ishtiaq said his views about Jews were shared by young people he worked with: “They feel ten times worse. My job is to get that feeling out of them, but I need positives to erase that feeling out of them. The Jews, the Israel [sic], have not given me a positive. Them feelings are getting day by day worse after what the Israelis are doing.”
Campaign Against Antisemitism is reporting Mr Ishtiaq to West Midlands Police, as well as to Birmingham City Council as he absolutely should not be anywhere near children if he holds such views.