Aylesbury shopping centre worker suspended for alleged anti-semitic social media posts

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Video footage appears to show the worker punching a superimposed Israel flag

A shopping centre worker in Aylesbury has been suspended for posting alleged anti-semitic videos on social media.

Sirtaj Rahman, who works as part of the security team in Friars Square in Aylesbury, has been suspended by the firm he works for. The Aylesbury worker has also been suspended from TikTok in connection to videos he has posted relating to the conflict in Gaza. Data from the video sharing site showed he had received over a million views on the platform, his public Instagram account has over 58,000 followers.

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One video shows the security guard, who also works as a bouncer at the Craftyard in Aylesbury, punching a punch bag. The video has been edited to show a Palestine flag superimposed onto Mr Rahman’s chest while an Israel flag has been imposed onto the bag.

Sirtaj Rahman, photo from Instagram @sirtajrahman83Sirtaj Rahman, photo from Instagram @sirtajrahman83
Sirtaj Rahman, photo from Instagram @sirtajrahman83

A spokesperson for Friars Square confirmed to The Bucks Free Press that Rahman had been suspended.

When contacted by The Bucks Herald, a spokesperson said the shopping centre had no further comments to make at this time.

Craftyard was also contacted by The Bucks Herald, a representative from the business said it would be releasing a statement on the matter, shortly.

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Mr Rahman strongly denies posting anti-semitic messages and claims he is just trying to raise awareness regarding issues with Israel’s invasion of Gaza.

He said on Instagram five days ago: “Recently I have been suffering a bit of a backlash for raising awareness of the terrible reality in Palestine.

"Firstly, I have had my successful TikTok account removed. Was it worth it? Yes, obviously it was. Every person who has been able to see what is truly happening in Palestine day-and-night would choose to do the same. I have been suspended from my daytime job because someone has accused me of sharing anti-semitism views...which is something that does not sit comfortably with me, because I stand for all humanity and part of my religion and who I am is not to speak badly of other religions, races, and judge others.”

A number of readers contacted The Bucks Herald to highlight the posts from the former bodybuilder, which they felt undermined the Jewish community and were concerned might impact people’s safety when visiting the town centre.

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Members of the public have also highlighted the fact Mr Rahman recorded videos commenting on the divisive conflict whilst wearing his work uniform.

Mr Rahman, who declined to comment on the record due to his ongoing suspension, believes his work in the Aylesbury community proves he is not anti-semitic.

He previously owned Pumping Iron Supplements, which operated in the town centre, and brought community groups together for a fundraiser following the Manchester bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in 2017.

In a recent video posted on his social media account, Mr Rahman promoted another clip which showed Jewish students calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Sources who have worked with Mr Rahman in the past noted he has acted with professionalism and calm in his challenging security role.