Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 9)

Part 9 has followed Part 8 rather quickly. I was looking at Dave Hill’s London blog and found this,

The more homework I do about the Tower Hamlets political scene, the more confident I am that reducing it to some sexy-sexy tale of scary-scary Muslims secretly plotting to turn the East End into an Islamic mini-state does it no justice at all.

For whatever reason, Gilligan won’t agree with that. While Kennite paints Lutfur Rahman as some swivel-eyed Islamist lunatic, the reality is rather more prosaic: the whole affair seems to hinge on the tensions between Helal Abbas and Rahman who were once friends and like many friends, they fell out with one another. This is where Kennite enters the frame: he’s used this ordinary tale of friends falling out as the starting point for his smear campaign against Rahman. But the friends angle simply wasn’t enough (presumably his handlers at The Torygraph wanted more juicy and salacious gossip than a pair of friends falling out) and Kennite made the allegation that the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) was a hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism and thus Rahman was tainted by association. In his blog on 8 October Hill says,

I think the IFE would quarrel with the label “fundamentalist” and the description “infiltrating” but not with being characterised as engaging with politics

That may be so, but Kennite prefers fiction to truth as today’s blog demonstrates,

London Citizens are good people but I’ve gone off them a bit since realising that two major constituents of Telco (their East London chapter) are our favourite Islamic supremacists – the Islamic Forum of Europe and the East London Mosque. I’m not quite sure how this stacks up with Telco’s declared aims of democratic decisionmaking and of promoting equal respect and dignity for all, regardless of faith – things the IFE definitely doesn’t believe in.

The only ‘evidence’ that Kennite has provided of IFE’s alleged “Islamic supremacism” comes from his slipshod Dispatches programme for Channel 4. He repeats the accusation that Rahman is a fundamentalist here,

The evidence of Lutfur’s links with fundamentalism has been in the public domain for the best part of eight months

Funny that. According to Christine Shawcroft (whose account of the NEC meeting Kennite rejected), Rahman is no fundamentalist; he was even seen in a local restauarant where alcohol was being served. There was a mix of Bangladeshi and ‘white’ women and no hijabs or niqabs in sight.

Ted Jeory, whom Kennite refers to as a “colleague”,  received a letter from Rahman rebutting Gilligan’s allegations of “Islamic fundamentalism”.

Somehow we don’t think Kennite will be convinced and will produce more wildly inaccurate stories of Muslim supremacists running amok on the streets of Tower Hamlets.

The weakest part of the blog is where Kennite compares Rahman to Richard Nixon. First Dave Nellist, now Nixon. Is there no depth to which this ‘journalist’ won’t plunge?



Filed under Islamophobia, London, Media, Yellow journalism

2 responses to “Life on Gilligan’s Island (Part 9)

  1. Andrew

    I was at the TELCO “hustings” and throughout the evening I had a good view of Andrew Gilligan in the audience. You would never guess where he was seated, it was in the East London Mosque section! How funny, maybe he’s an undercover entryist! But what was even more strange to see was that aside from the politics, he did not once applaude, look at or appreciate the entertainment provided by a group of young black people performing a wonderful dance routine. How bizzare? Gilligan needs to get a life!

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