Luftur Rahman wins in Tower Hamlets


by Rumbold
23rd October, 2010 at 10:35 am    

Luftur Rahman, the former Labour council leader, has been elected as the mayor of Tower Hamlets. Mr Rahman was exposed earlier this year as working with a group, the Islamic Forum of Europe, which pushed an Islamist agenda at the council:

The council chamber has hosted at least one debate with an anti-homosexual Islamic preacher. Until last month, Tower Hamlets public libraries stocked hundreds of items of extremist Islamic literature, bought at taxpayers’ expense and available to borrow. These included hundreds of audio tapes of sermons by the extremist preacher Anwar al-Awlaki, blamed for inspiring September 11, the Fort Hood terrorist massacre and the underwear bomb plot.

After Dispatches exposed this entryism, Mr Rahman’s position became increasingly precarious, and led to his removal as leader of the council and Labour’s candidate for mayor of Tower Hamlets, leading Mr. Rahman to stand as an independent. Thanks to the support of people like Ken Livingstone, Mr. Rahman was elected, winning just over half the vote. No doubt part of this vote was due to the support of the IFE, but it also reflects a communalist, block voting tendency (which major parties are happy to exploit when it suits them).


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Filed in: Islamists,London Politics






42 Comments below   |  

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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Luftur Rahman wins in Tower Hamlets http://bit.ly/a3Oh8Q


  2. Martin Bright

    Nicely balanced assessment on Pickled Politics RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Luftur Rahman wins in Tower Hamlets http://bit.ly/a3Oh8Q


  3. Paul Evans

    “@martinbright @sunny_hundal A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communalism. http://bit.ly/a3Oh8Q”


  4. Miljenko Williams

    RT @Paul0Evans1: “@martinbright @sunny_hundal A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of communalism. http://bit.ly/a3Oh8Q”




  1. halima — on 23rd October, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

    I’ve enjoyed following Dave Hill’s London blog on this.

  2. Lydia Forsyth — on 23rd October, 2010 at 12:20 pm  

    Absolutely outrageous. How can the government allow this sort of corruption to go on?

  3. Mark — on 23rd October, 2010 at 12:56 pm  

    I think the most shocking thing is that there has been hardly any coverage of this in the media.

    Whatever you may think about Luftur Rahman, he is the first Muslim Mayor to be elected in Great Britain. Surely this was a significant historical event.

    The fact that an independent chucked out of the labour party has won, also makes it news worthy. Is this not the first test that has been thrown at Ed Milliband.

    Sadly the television news can get away with spending time on Wayne Rooney, an overrated, overpaid footballer, than reporting on an event that could have considerable outcomes.

  4. douglas clark — on 23rd October, 2010 at 1:41 pm  

    I’ve seen it argued that Wayne Rooney lived and breathed on the skills of Cristiano Ronaldo. Pretty sure that was a Man U supporting web site I read it on.

    Anyway.

    Omar Asad appears to have pre-dated Luftur Rahman, as a mayor.

    See here:

    http://www.harrowtimes.co.uk/news/8185370.Harrow_appoints_its_first_Muslim_Mayor/

  5. damon — on 23rd October, 2010 at 1:54 pm  

    Anyone on the left or from anywhere around the Respect party denies all this though and says that’s all lies and Islamophobia. The Dispatches programme has been dismissed as a Gilligan hatchet job – and that anything Gilligan says is not to be trusted.
    It would be interesting to know whether non Babgladeshi people voted for the winner in any numbers.
    And if they didn’t, whether that matters or not.
    That one section of the community is so fired up about an election for control of a billion pound budget, that the rest of the population didn’t even really know much about or care about.

  6. The Judge — on 23rd October, 2010 at 1:54 pm  

    “Mr Rahman was exposed earlier this year…”

    By Andrew Gilligan? In The Telegraph? Oh sure, no hidden agenda there then.

  7. Don — on 23rd October, 2010 at 2:04 pm  

    Douglas,

    I think it is first elected mayor, rather than a mayor appointed by the council.

  8. Andrew — on 23rd October, 2010 at 3:30 pm  

    Let’s wait and see what he actually does.

    Incidently, is there any mechanism for removing a directly-elected mayor for wrongdoing? This is a general point, not specific to Tower Hamlets.

  9. Badmash — on 23rd October, 2010 at 4:10 pm  

    I thought Pickled Politics dispensed with the divisive rubbish touted by Harry’s Place/Spitoon. Entryism/Islamist/extremist: they along with their chums Andrew gilligan have tried every trick, every smear and every lie in the book to not only smear Lutfur Rahman but an entire community. In May the people of Tower Hamlets were asked: who runs Tower Hamlets. They replied: not IFE. They were asked again on Thursday and they replied: not Harry’s Place/Andrew Gilligan and their unholy coalition of bigots and cold war warrior has-beens.

    This isn’t 1980s Liverpool and Lutfur Rahman is no Derek Hatton.. Get over it.

  10. dan — on 23rd October, 2010 at 4:28 pm  

    Well said badmash!

  11. Kamal — on 23rd October, 2010 at 6:33 pm  

    Interestingly both Harrys Place and their lackeys at Spittoon have totally ignored the sensational Tower Hamlets result: guess it doesn’t fit their ideological narrative so they just pretend it didn’t happen.

  12. Sarah AB — on 23rd October, 2010 at 7:00 pm  

    I had some (fairly minor) reservations about the Gilligan programme myself, so read articles by people who objected to it in a a reasonably receptive frame of mind. But I thought they were very poorly argued.

    Harry’s Place covered the story, but didn’t run a new story once the result was announced.

    http://hurryupharry.org/2010/10/21/tower-hamlets-election-open-thread/

  13. douglas clark — on 23rd October, 2010 at 8:19 pm  

    Don @ 7,

    Point taken.

    I had posted before that doubt entered my mind.

    Still and all, it is a bit wrong to say that he is the first asian mayor, when he clearly isn’t.

    badmash @ 9,

    I am dead impressed with that. Who or what is IFE?

  14. joe90 — on 23rd October, 2010 at 9:06 pm  

    This is hilarious all those racist bar stewards who post on harrys place, gilligan himself and islamphiobes must be spitting feathers. Lol all that propaganda against him and the dude still wins.

  15. damon — on 23rd October, 2010 at 9:36 pm  

    Badmash, it’s all very well to say this:

    In May the people of Tower Hamlets were asked: who runs Tower Hamlets. They replied: not IFE. They were asked again on Thursday and they replied: not Harry’s Place/Andrew Gilligan and their unholy coalition of bigots and cold war warrior has-beens.

    but the general election in May and this mayoral election had two very different turnout percentages.

    In the general election, both of the Tower Hamlets constituencies had turnouts of 62%, whereas this election was just over 25%.

    As can be seen here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/constituency/a26.stm

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/election2010/results/constituency/d56.stm

    Which (obviously) means that the people who voted for Respect in May (which was sixteen and a half thousand) were probably motivated enough to push on, while the high point of the Labour vote, made up of so many non-Bangladesi people, fell away.

    Personally, I’d just like to know the truth instead of all this constant spinning.

    Douglas, you really should have at least a vague idea of what the IFE is. Being such an outspoken person about people on Harry’s Place etc, who go into this stuff in (perhaps) unhealthy detail.

  16. douglas clark — on 23rd October, 2010 at 11:28 pm  

    damon @ 15,

    Cheers.

    Apparently it means, in the given context, Islamic Forum for Europe. Whoop de do. Another shower of over excited, over extended tits.

    Being such an outspoken person about people on Harry’s Place etc, who go into this stuff in (perhaps) unhealthy detail.

    damon, I have stopped going there. It is only when Brownie rears his pathetic and incredibly ugly head around here that I get outspoken. Or fucking angry.

    You might love him to bits. I don’t.

  17. KJB — on 24th October, 2010 at 1:49 am  

    All the people getting worked up about Andrew Gilligan might like to know that Private Eye was covering the goings-on at Tower Hamlets well before he got involved. He is an unpleasant individual, and maybe he has an agenda. I don’t know. However, the Dispatches programme didn’t strike me as particularly reflective of any particular agenda. If anything, it was positively meek compared to the Eye‘s coverage, which highlighted various dodgy absences and dubious uses of council money. Nor is the Eye a publication that can be called Islamophobic, so frankly I agree with Andrew. It’s worth seeing whether Lutfur Rahman is a changed man and really works to improve Tower Hamlets, or whether he is still keeping unpleasant company.

  18. Sunny — on 24th October, 2010 at 4:35 am  

    Good point KJB – if Eastern Eye was covering it then it really does look serious and worrying. I fear this will blow up in everyone’s face,

  19. boyo — on 24th October, 2010 at 8:48 am  

    That’s Private Eye, I presume, Sunny?

    Rumbold – is there really a communist block vote in TH? What, all three of them?!

  20. douglas clark — on 24th October, 2010 at 10:24 am  

    @ 18,

    Wild guess.

    That is not Sunny Hundal. The tenor and the tone are all wrong…

  21. Badmash — on 24th October, 2010 at 10:36 am  

    Damon @15: So by implication I’m assuming you are peeved that Gilligan and his powerful right-wing mafia didn’t take over Tower Hamlets. As exemplified by Gilligan’s back-peddling rubbish. http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/andrewgilligan/100060304/labour-london-borough-becomes-islamic-republic/

    The truth is Lutfur Rahman’s detractors are trying to cast him as some 1980s militant. This all began with Dean Godson and the Policy Exchange, looking desperately to relive his cold war fantasy after 7/7. http://disha-bangladesh.blogspot.com/2006/11/when-policy-exchange-treats-with-awami.html

  22. Rumbold — on 24th October, 2010 at 11:04 am  

    No one criticising the Dispatches programme has yet proved that anything it said was wrong.

    Boyo:

    I didn’t say they were communists (entryism is not exclusively a communist term, if that is what you were referring too).

  23. douglas clark — on 24th October, 2010 at 11:06 am  

    I seem to remember reading some of Dean Godson’s ideas. I seem to remember rejecting them out of hand. Perhaps Dean Godson would tell us what his current views are?

    I expect I’ll still find them foolish. Yet he is the punter in a think tank, paid to provide controversy, and I am not.

    Oh happy days…

  24. damon — on 24th October, 2010 at 2:40 pm  

    Badmash

    So by implication I’m assuming you are peeved that Gilligan and his powerful right-wing mafia didn’t take over Tower Hamlets. As exemplified by Gilligan’s back-peddling rubbish.

    I’m not peeved about anything here. I find it all rather interesting. It’s much better than if the Labour man had just got in. That would have been boring business as usual. I do wonder if it is a sign of this parallel societies at work though.
    I mean, did non Bangladeshis have any idea of the degree of excitement and community organising and activism that was going on in the Bangladeshi community in the run-up to this election? Not many did is my guess, as if you’re not ‘in the loop’ (as it were), then you just wouldn’t know.
    Unless they do read The Bangla newspaper.
    I’d read it if I lived there – being a freesheet, but I doubt if many of the white working class of TH do.

    And Douglas, I don’t like the Harry’s Place site overall. It’s too right wing and pro-Israel.

  25. Musulman — on 24th October, 2010 at 3:02 pm  

    Good on him. This is the other side of freedom of speech, sometimes people say things a little different. Extremist suspicians aside, nobody complains when aetheist, jewish and christian politicians propogate agendas benefiting for their groups, so there shouldnt be any complaints for Mr Rahman.

    Nonetheless, it seems all the islamophobic racist idiots even as far afield as USA are jumping up and down about this, if the folloiwng links anything to go by http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/10/as-feared-.html

  26. Don — on 24th October, 2010 at 3:25 pm  

    nobody complains when aetheist, jewish and christian politicians propogate agendas benefiting for their groups,

    A few concrete examples would be nice.

  27. douglas clark — on 24th October, 2010 at 3:37 pm  

    That web site you linked to Musulman, is pretty disgusting. Who are these people? I seem to vaguely recall the name Pamela Geller, but I didn’t realise she was an idiot.

  28. KB Player — on 24th October, 2010 at 6:56 pm  

    nobody complains when aetheist, jewish and christian politicians propogate agendas benefiting for their groups,

    Ian Paisley, of course, has never been complained about in his life. He has never ever been a force for sectarian ill will.

  29. inders — on 24th October, 2010 at 8:47 pm  

    Don, how about the seats reserved for the C of E in the house of lords?

  30. KJB — on 25th October, 2010 at 12:27 am  

    Douglas – Pamela Geller is a massive idiot who, despite being Jewish, has supported the EDL and European neo-Nazi groups! Naadir’s read a fair bit about it, so I can always ask him for links if you fancy…

  31. Don — on 25th October, 2010 at 8:49 am  

    inders,

    No-one complains about that? Really?

  32. Jai — on 25th October, 2010 at 12:03 pm  

    Douglas,

    Who are these people? I seem to vaguely recall the name Pamela Geller, but I didn’t realise she was an idiot.

    I mentioned her in my PP article about the alleged financier of the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” turning out to be the second-largest shareholder in Fox News’s parent company: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/9789 . The third paragraph focuses on Geller, and it includes a URL link to a Guardian article providing further details about her.

    The progressive media monitoring organisation “Media Matters for America” also has about 120 articles about Geller: http://mediamatters.org/search/tag/pamela_geller

    Unsurprisingly, Geller is also a close ally of JihadWatch’s Robert Spencer.

  33. Jai — on 25th October, 2010 at 1:07 pm  

    The progressive media monitoring organisation “Media Matters for America” also has about 120 articles about Geller:

    This well-researched article in particular is a good starting point: http://mediamatters.org/research/201007140035

    Pamela Geller is a conspiracy theorist who has engaged in numerous attacks against President Obama (amongst other claims about him, her blog has more than 260 articles alleging that Obama is secretly a Muslim) and the Democrats, although she has gained a high profile for her hostility towards Muslims in particular. This comment by Ibrahim on the Media Matters discussion thread is accurate:

    She tells her imbecile audience there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim, that every Muslim is some kind of deceitful agent waiting to be activated to destroy America.

    ….Essentially her entire agenda is to do everything possible, with the support of the bigots who are drawn to causes such as these, to make every Muslim feel as isolated and disenfranchised as possible. Her fans take her cue and go further – they urge violence against Muslims to make them feel unwelcome in America, and war against Muslim countries with deliberate targeting of the masses.

    Worth nothing that though she deletes comments from her site from Muslims protesting her views even though they argue using civil language and facts, her fans are welcome to talk about how much they’d like to take a rifle and shoot Muslims dead while they’re praying in congregation out in the open.

  34. mostly harmless — on 25th October, 2010 at 3:00 pm  

    There’s a new kid on the block and some people just don’t like it. Get used to it because there are going to be many more.

  35. Shamit — on 25th October, 2010 at 3:25 pm  

    Rumbold: “No one criticising the Dispatches programme has yet proved that anything it said was wrong.”

    I agree with Rumbold. This thread has weaved away from the post. The Labour party did suspend Mr. Rahman and it had good reason to do so.

    IFE/Respect and BNP are similar kind of organisations. We need few of them not more. When IFE gets to elect a mayor with executive responsibilities it should cause concern.

    BNP winning seats in local councils or European elections is a huge concern – we should be worried about Respect/IFE similarly.

  36. Shamit — on 25th October, 2010 at 3:27 pm  

    By the way, Andrew Gilligan is best suited for Gilligan’s island – the 70s US show. But that does not take anything away from the Dispatches programme.

  37. towerhamletsresident — on 27th October, 2010 at 10:43 pm  

    Great result for Lutfur Rahman in the face of innuendo and accusations based on conjecture by gutter journo’s like Jeory and Andrew Gilligan.

    damon – 25% turnout correct, but this 25% broadly represents similar turnouts in Newham, Hackney and Lewisham in their mayoral elections.

  38. damon — on 28th October, 2010 at 12:57 am  

    What should you do when people drop in out of the blue and mention you by name or call you a bigot?
    Ignore it, or respond to it?

    Can I say that I welcome (and think it’s funny) that Luftur Rahman won. He won it fair and square on the day – and that’s democracy.

    One part of the electorate was really up for this election, while a majority of the Tower Hamlets population was barely aware what was going on.

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