Lutfur Rahman: the racists' choice

Do you remember a character called Abul Hussain? He was said to have been thrown out of George Galloway’s Respect party last week for making racist and anti-Semitic remarks (as revealed by my colleague Ted Jeory.) Respect sounded quite convincing about it.

“We are extremely upset to discover that recently published comments from one of our party members are indicative of anti-Semitism,” they said. “Such views are demonstrably incompatible with party membership. The individual has been… expelled with immediate effect.”
Respect’s new best friend, Lutfur Rahman, the fundamentalist sympathiser running as an independent to be Tower Hamlets mayor after his sacking by Labour, has also said all the right things.

“I condemn absolutely anti-Semitism and all other forms of racial and religious intolerance,” he insists. “Although Respect have backed my candidacy, I am not responsible for their views as a party or its members. I understand that Respect have expelled the member in question and they have acted entirely correctly in doing so.”

But goodness me – who’s this on Lutfur’s own official nomination papers? One of his nominators is a certain Abul Hussain. I’ve texted Lutfur asking whether it’s the same man and if he will disown him – and received no reply.

And look, what’s this email that’s fluttered from a trusted source into my inbox? It’s an exchange in which someone who definitely is that very same racist, Abul Hussain, invited someone to a “Vote Lutfur” campaign meeting in Shadwell last week – three days after he was supposed to have been thrown out of Respect:

Date: Thu, 30 Sep 2010 15:59:32 +0100
Subject: campaign time
From: [Name redacted by me]
Hello Abul
You are the email on the Tower Hamlets Respect site. I want to help Respect I live near in Tower Hamlets- Forest Gate, after the stitch up of Lutfur I heard of from a lot of people. Are there campaigns , schedules, events to attend please
Thank you
[Name redacted by me]

On 30 September 2010 16:01, Abul Hussain <> wrote:
Theres a meeting tonight at Shadwell. At Berner Hall, Ponler Street off Cannon Street at 7pm.

Another unsavoury character backing Team Rahman is the former councillor Wais Islam, appointed to the paid role of “Tower Hamlets Olympic Ambassador” by Lutfur when he was council leader. Alas, Mr Islam hasn’t been acting all that ambassadorially of late. He’s described Ted Jeory as “Ted Jewry” and as “pussy Jewry…u low-life peasant” for his investigations into the IFE. I too have been described, by the “London Muslim” website, as an “Israelite” for my pains.

One of the occupational hazards of doing this sort of work is to be regularly attacked as a racist. It’s pretty clear, however, who are the real racists in this story.

Islamist Blogpost of the Day 5: 'Little Miss Jewess Being a Good British Citizen'

Even in the Islamic Forum of Europe, where the men, in its own words, “take all the decisions,” the IFE ladies do occasionally get an outing or two. This one’s from IFE blogger Bint Khan, on the organisation’s official blog on 13 January 2009. In it she attacks the Jewish writer Francesca Segal, who has done a wholly unobjectionable piece for the Observer about the rise in anti-Semitic hate crime in Britain during the Gaza conflict.

Francesca Segal is, says Bint Khan, “Little Miss Jewess being a good British citizen,” a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” who has written a “childish, bootlicking, pathetic” piece with “fascist, racist and malignant undercurrents.” Those fascist, racist and malignant undercurrents in full, in case you were wondering: Francesca Segal saying that she feels less safe on the Tube and accusing the British establishment of “appeasing Islamism.”

But there’s more: according to Bint Khan, a “hidden war of [pro-Jewish] propaganda” is going on in the British media. Her examples? The BBC dramatisation of the Anne Frank Diaries, and the release of the film The Reader (which is about difficulties of comprehending the magnitude of the Holocaust.)

How lucky we are to have the moderates of the IFE and the East London Mosque to remind us about the obligations of being good British citizens.