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  • Writer's pictureLeonardo Puglisi

Councillor who voted to ban same-sex parents books will run for Labor later this year

Updated: May 16

EXCLUSIVE: 6 News can confirm Mohamad Hussein won party preselection for the September local elections.

The Labor councillor who voted to "rid" Cumberland City Council libraries of books that show same-sex parents will run for the party later this year.

6 News can confirm Mohamad Hussein, who represents South Granville Ward, won Labor preselection earlier this year and will seek re-election at the local government elections on September 14.

Hussein was one of six councillors to vote for an Our Local Community (OLC)-introduced amendment which stated: "That Council take immediate action to rid same sex parents books/materials in Council’s library service".

The motion was passed 6-5, with all present OLC councillors − Steve Christou, Paul Garrard and Helen Hughes − along with Greg Cummings (The Independents) and Michael Zaiter (Independent Liberal) voting in favour.

Five Labor councillors voted against, but it was Hussein's vote in favour that saw the motion carried.

6 News understands another Labor councillor, Ola Hamed, may have walked out of the council meeting and did not vote on the motion to ban books showing same-sex parents.

The only other Labor councillor, Sabrin Farooqui, was not at the meeting after being granted leave of absence on 17 April, and it's understood she may be overseas. Independent councillor Eddy Sarkis, who left OLC in February, was also not at the meeting after being granted leave of absence.

In a statement to 6 News, Hussein stated:

"I stand by my decision...this decision was NOT targeted at anyone or groups in the Cumberland City Council. This decision was made in line with my religious beliefs and I will not be compromising those beliefs."

He said he would not make any further comments on the matter.

NSW Labor MP Rose Jackson, a member of the Minns ministry, says she condemns Hussein and tweeted that "book bans should exist nowhere".

Cumberland elected a Labor majority in 2021, with two Independent Liberals also elected after the Liberal Party chose not to endorse any candidates.

Hussein was preselected by Labor earlier this year and will seek re-election in September, amid some calls on social media for him to be expelled from the party. It is understood he will be second on the party's South Granville ticket, a winnable position that he was also in at the last elections in 2021.

Ola Hamed was also preselected and will seek re-election in Granville Ward in the highly winnable first spot on the ticket.

As 6 News reported back in February, both incumbent Labor councillors for Regents Park Ward − Kun Huang and Sabrin Farooqui − lost preselection for unclear reasons.

Rainbow Labor, the association that represents LGBTQ+ Labor members, has been sought for comment by 6 News.

For more coverage of the 2024 New South Wales local elections, click here

1 Comment

May 19

Maybe he should be a Palestinian politician, because they put their religion (Islam) first. Jesus, sometimes I can understand why people support Pauline Hanson. They come to this country and shove their religion in our politics, and it gets in the way of OUR FREEDOM. If we have more Muslims like him in our politics, we can kiss LGBT rights goodbye. But hey, I give him props for rescinding. 👍 Btw habibi (he is a handsome chap), Labor is very pro-LGBT. You can't even breathe out anything that is critical of your homo brethren. 🤣 So how could a Muslim be there? Go to Greens, as they avidly support Palestine and Islam? Oh wait, these people also worship the alphab…

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