Leader of Bangladeshi community adds to pressure on councillor to quit after 'Islam book' tweet

Sunny Choudhury is president of the Brighton District Bangladeshi Shomity
Sunny Choudhury is president of the Brighton District Bangladeshi Shomity

Pressure on Ben Duncan to stand down as Green Party councillor for Queen's Park has increased.

Pressure on Ben Duncan to stand down as Green Party councillor for Queen's Park has increased after an open letter from Sunny Choudhury, president of the Brighton District Bangladeshi Shomity, to Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.

In his letter, in response to a tweet from Cllr Duncan about the "Islam book", Mr Choudhury, an executive committee member of Brighton and Hove District Labour Party, said:

"I am writing to you as the president of the Brighton District Bangladeshi Shomity (BDBS) regarding the tweets of Councillor Ben Duncan, the Green Party Councillor for Queen’s Park.

"The tweet said 'Blasphemous 7yo wants "Islam book" to press flowers in (it’s big and heavy). Should I stone her to death when I get home from work?'

"As a Muslim and one of the founding members of the Brighton Muslim Community Centre I find these comments deeply distasteful and hurtful to me and other Muslims. Comments such as this are not befitting of a Brighton and Hove City Councillor and do more to divide our community than bring people together. The local Muslim community is hurt and angry that such profane language was used by the Green Party Councillor Ben Duncan.

"Cllr Duncan’s tweet reinforces the false notion that Islam is a violent religion when love and prosperity are at the centre of its teachings. Islam is not a joke and there are over 1,600 million Muslims worldwide.

"An elected public representative making such a derogatory tweet is totally unacceptable. The Quran is a divine book. No one has the right to insult. Nowhere in Islam does it say that if a flower is pressed in to an Islamic book, that, that person should be stone to death.

"I am writing to you, as the Green MP for Pavilion, to call for the resignation of Ben Duncan from his position as a councillor on Brighton and Hove District City Council.

"I am also copying this letter to Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party, Green Party Convenor and Leader of Brighton and Hove City Council Jason Kitcat, and Penny Thompson, chief executive of Brighton and Hove City Council, so they are aware of the concerns in the Muslim community at Councillor Duncan’s actions and tweets.

"Will you reply to me as a matter of urgency, such an irresponsible person should not be a holder of public office. Therefore, I urge you to take immediate action, remove him from the Green Party whip, and encourage to the honourable thing of resigning from his council position.

"Due to the seriousness of the issue, I will be putting the letter into the public domain."