Birmingham councillor Salma Yaqoob, who snubbed a George Cross hero by remaining seated during a standing ovation, is at the centre of a new row after being accused by a political opponent of being happy to see people stoned to death if they do not follow a strict Muslim way of life.
Coun Yaqoob was sharply criticised when she refused to join in a round of applause for Afghanistan veteran Lance Corporal Matt Croucher.
Along with Respect Party colleague Mohammed Ishtiaq, she remained on her seat in the city council chamber as everyone else in the room rose to give guest of honour L/Cpl Croucher a spontaneous round of applause.
The protest led prominent Liberal Democrat councillor Martin Mullaney to accuse Coun Yaqoob of wanting to see Britain become an Islamic republic.
He also suggested that she would have risen to applaud a suicide bomber.
Writing on a website, Coun Mullaney claimed: “If Coun Yaqoob had her way, she would be implementing Hadood Law, with hands cut off and stonings.”
He went on: “I can only assume that if one of the failed 21/7 London suicide bombers had been in the council chamber, Coun Yaqoob would have been demanding the council applaud the failed suicide bomber for their past heroic actions.”
He provided a link to an article by Coun Yaqoob entitled The Islamic Republic of Great Britain.
In it, she describes a story set in the future with Prince Charles, who has become King, quitting the throne and living in the Tibet as a Buddhist monk.
Prince William, now known as William bin Charlie, becomes King and presides over an Islamic Britain where Hadood law is in force.
However, Coun Yaqoob writes that initial fears of an increase in one-handed people because of brutal punishment have not been realised.
Coun Mullaney’s comments were described as “malicious and extremely damaging” by Coun Yaqoob, who is demanding an apology.
She said: “I wrote that article when I was a student, many years ago.
“It is intended to be ironic, a mickey take.”
Coun Yaqoob, national chairman of the Respect Party, said she did not support stoning or cutting off limbs as a form of punishment.
“I stand for the opposite. I stand for genuine democracy, for all people being equal and showing respect for each other.
“Coun Mullaney is the one guilty of intolerance because he is making things up.
“He is giving an entirely false picture of me.”
Moderators of the Re Stirred website removed Coun Mullaney’s remarks within minutes, describing them as unacceptable and “a step too far”.
Coun Mullaney, who is the city’s cabinet member for leisure, sport and culture, said: “I acted in good faith. It is a well known fact that in strict Islamic states these punishments do take place.
“When she talks about Hadood Law being in place, any reasonable person would assume she supports stoning and cutting off limbs.”
Conservative city councillor Matt Bennett joined in the debate, accusing Coun Mullaney of “straying close to Islamaphobia”.
Coun Bennett (Con Stockland Green) added: “I did not support what Salma did in the council chamber, which was disrespectful. But to suggest that she would have stood and applauded a failed suicide bomber is nasty.”
Before Christmas, Birmingham Tory councillor Gareth Compton got into trouble for joking on Twitter that an Islamic journalist should be stoned to death.
He was suspended from the party, but police decided against pressing race charges.