Another day, another UKIP gaffe! On Tuesday, the new general election candidate for Hendon was forced to deny he is Islamophobic, after saying he is “fearful” of Britain’s Muslim community.
Raymond Shamash joined
UKIP in 2012 after becoming disillusioned with Conservative Party
policy on immigration, which he described as the “number one
issue in this election.”
His comments about Muslims come only days after the previous
Hendon candidate, Jeremy Zeid, resigned after he called on the
Israeli government to extradite US President Barack Obama.
Shamash, a semi-retired dentist from Hertfordshire, told the
Jewish Chronicle he was “not Islamophobic,” but rather
“fearful” of the Muslim community.
“What is Islamophobia? It is not someone who hates Muslims –
it is someone who fears them,” he said.
“There are 2.8 million people [in the UK] who are
ideologically and religiously opposed to us. I am fearful of a
minority that sees us Jews as a potential target for
“There are 300,000 Jews in the UK, there are around 2.8
Muslims. The scale, the pace, you cannot compare.”
“Our Jewish schools are fortresses, our cemeteries desecrated
by graffiti. After the Paris attacks, I felt fear and I fear for
the future of the Jewish community in Britain,” he added.
The 68-year-old said he wanted to tighten the borders against
further immigration, despite his own family moving to the UK from
Iraq in 1910.
“When my antecedents came here, they came here to work hard.
They did not come here to claim benefits. When the Jewish
community came here, they were grateful,” he said.
“That situation is now reversed. People want to come to Great
Britain because they think it is a soft touch. We are opening the
doors here for people who are against the tenets of our society –
religiously and ideologically. That is as far as I will go,
speaking to a journalist,” he added.
He added that people should vote for him because Labour and the
Conservatives “could not be trusted.”
“They talk tough on immigration but do nothing,” he
said. “They will never leave the EU, the party is deeply
divided on the issue. They do not want to leave. They have no
control over our borders.”
“I love our welfare state. But it is either our welfare state
or uncontrolled immigration – we cannot have both.”
Shamash was only selected as the candidate for Hendon on Monday,
when Jeremy Zeid resigned after posting on Facebook that Obama
should be locked up like a Nazi war criminal.
His comments were in response to news the US government had
declassified documents revealing the existence of Israel’s
nuclear program, which is officially secret.
Zeid bowed out of the general election race after writing on his
Facebook page: “Once Obama is out of office, the Israelis
should move to extradite the ba****d or ‘do an Eichmann’ on him
and lock him up for leaking state secrets.”