‘Total disgrace’: George Galloway blasted over ISIS comments opposing UK airstrikes
Galloway told MPs that their strategy to beat the jihadist militia Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL) was wrong-headed and that action in Iraq would spread “further and deeper around the world, just like the [last] Iraq war”.
"There was no Islamist fundamentalism in Iraq before Mr Blair… and Mr Bush invaded and occupied," he said.
Galloway also told MPs that Islamic State did not “concentrate as an army” and did “not have bases”, meaning that airstrikes would generally be ineffective. He also criticised a prospective UK alliance with other nations in the region such as Saudi Arabia.
“We have imaginary armies, the Saudi, Emirati, Qatari… they’re all imaginary armies. They haven’t even told their own people they’re on the masthead! Has anyone even seen a picture of them, fighting in Syria?”
“Saudi Arabia is the nest from which ISIL and these other vipers have come,” he added.
However, the Bradford West MP came under fire after he suggested that Iraqi civilians welcomed Islamic State out of anger at western military intervention.
"That population is quiescent because of Western policies and Western invasion," he told the Commons, adding: "The only way a force that size could successfully hold the territory they hold is if they have a population acting as the water in which they are swimming."
MP Ian Austin (Labour, Dudley North) immediately called Galloway’s comments a“total disgrace”.
And by contrast, George Galloway just made one of worst speeches I've heard. Claimed ISIL victims quiesced in their persecution. Disgrace.
— Ian Austin (@IanAustinMP) September 26, 2014
“How appalled people will be to hear him say women buried alive, women as slaves, are quiescent in their persecution by these people!” he said.
Galloway’s speech has been touted by some media outlets as the ‘most controversial’ throughout Friday’s Iraq debate, in which the majority of British MPs have voted in favour of conducting air strikes in Iraq.
In the final tally, 543 MPs voted in favour of air strikes, while 43 MPs opposed the governments’ motion.
Earlier this month the MP was ‘brutally’ assaulted by a man, allegedly for his anti- Israeli views.
The attacker, who police say was a 39-year-old man and has since been arrested, allegedly called the MP “a Hitler” and also leapt on him.
Apart from his parliamentary duties, Galloway is also the host of RT’s programme “Sputnik”.