UK lawyer fined over anti-Semitic Facebook posts

“His behavior was reprehensible and not to be minimized,” said a tribunal ruling on a UK lawyer’s anti-Semitic Facebook posts. 

Majid Mahmood, a partner at City Law Chambers in Luton and a director at Liberty Law Solicitors, has recently been fined £25,000 and ordered to pay costs of £9,595 by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal over his anti-Semitic social media posts.

Following the case launched by the UK’s Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), Mahmood was also suspended as a solicitor for 12 months, but that period of suspension is itself suspended, so he can continue to practice as a solicitor unless he re-offends.

In 2016, a social media user reported anti-Semitic Facebook comments posted by Mahmood, which he posted underneath a video about the airlifting of Jewish refugees.

Mahmood commented: “The[y] aint gods chosen people they’re Satans love child’s and it’s a shame e the plane carrying them didn’t blow up mid air [all sic].”

When another user remonstrated with him, he told them to: “go and f*** yourself.”

The user reported Mahmood to the CAA, which submitted a complaint to the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

The SRA merely obtained an apology from Mahmood and warned him not to post such comments again.

The CAA commenced the first steps in taking legal action against the SRA, and the matter was transferred to the SRA’s senior management, which corrected the decision and instead of closing the matter opened a formal regulatory investigation.

In its own investigation, the SRA itself revealed that in 2015 Mahmood had posted on Facebook: “Somebody needs to shoot all the Israeli Zionists dead then send their bodies to America as a present for Obama and his Zionist pals.” The incident was reported to the SRA, but not to CAA, and the SRA took no action on that occasion.

The SRA brought a case against Mahmood at the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal.

Mahmood, whose firm’s website proclaims that “the principal [sic] of equal opportunity and diversity are fundamental to our continuing success,” denied that he was an anti-Semite, saying he had some Jewish friends.

However, the SRA successfully argued that “the content of both posts was unambiguously anti-Semitic” and “indicated a preference for lethal violence”.

No Such Thing as ‘Minor’ Anti-Semitism

The Tribunal ruled that “the intemperate language used, the hatred manifested, including against Zionists as well as Jewish people, and wishing them dead by graphic means were terrible ideas for a solicitor to be promoting” and ordered that Mahmood must “pay a fine of £25,000, such penalty to be forfeit to Her Majesty the Queen” and that he must also “pay costs of and incidental to this application and enquiry in the sum of £9,595.”

The Tribunal also ordered that Mahmood “be suspended from practice as a solicitor for the period of 12 months from 2nd August 2017, that period of suspension to be suspended for 12 months from the same date.”

“We are particularly pleased that the Tribunal ruled that there is no such thing as a minor anti-Semitic act,” the CAA stated.

When the Tribunal decided to apply a fine at the “upper end of the scale”, Mahmood’s lawyer, Gregory Treverton-Jones QC, argued that Mahmood’s anti-Semitism was at the “lowest end.”

The Tribunal responded by ruling that “it was not open to a solicitor to behave in a more or less anti-Semitic way; he either behaved in an anti-Semitic way or he did not…[Mahmood] advocated violence against Zionists and Jews. He had no way of knowing how a particularly impressionable individual with a propensity for reading the public Facebook pages on which his posts were published would respond. His behaviour was reprehensible and not to be minimised.”

“Whilst we do not agree with the decision to allow Mr Mahmood, who has repeatedly made vile statements calling for death and destruction, to remain in practice as an officer of the court, we nonetheless welcome this decision,” the CAA stated. “We commend the Solicitors Regulation Authority for doing the right thing in bringing this action, and we applaud the Tribunal for sending this strong message that anti-Semitism within the legal profession will be severely punished.”

By: World Israel News Staff