UK Muslim counsellors' refusal to applaud Afghan war hero outrages colleagues

London, Feb 4 (ANI): The act of showing outright "disrespect" for a young Afghanistan war hero by two UK Muslim counsellors during an award ceremony has spurred a outrage among their colleagues who insisted that the duo should be "ashamed" of their 'disrespectful' move.

The Muslim counsellors Salma Yaqoob and Mohammed Ishtiaq, from the Respect party, sat firm on their seats and refused to clap for Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher, who was conferred with the George Cross, while their fellow counsellors gave him a standing ovation.

Twenty-six-year-old Lance Corporal Matthew Croucher was conferred with the George Cross award for throwing himself on a Taliban hand grenade to save his comrades, but survived only because his backpack took the force of the blast.

The Daily Mail quoted Yaqoob and Ishtiaq, as saying that their refusal to clap for the Royal Marine was a point of principle.

The duo was later condemned by their fellow councillors at Birmingham City Council, saying they should be ashamed for disrespecting a soldier who had risked his life for the sake of his country.

"They should be ashamed of themselves. This was not the time or place to stage an anti-war protest - this man risked his life for his comrades. I was happy to give this hero a standing ovation and I have invited him to be guest of honour when we open new houses for ex-military personnel later this year," Conservative Cllr John Lines said.

The paper quoted Peter Douglas Osborn, another Conservative councillor, as saying: "As far as I am concerned it is no longer the Respect party, but the disrespect party."

L/Cpl Croucher, from Solihull in the West Midlands, now runs a security firm after leaving the Royal Marines 40 Commando division. He was guest of honour at the meeting, where he highlighted his work with the Royal British Legion. (ANI)

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