Last night Gilligan wrote,
Oh dear! It looks like Bodrul Islam, a leading ally of Lutfur Rahman, the extremist-backed mayor of Tower Hamlets, has had a falling-out. I spent some of last night reading his Facebook page, where he’s posted some incredibly damaging allegations about the mayor’s links with the extremist Islamic Forum of Europe:
Well, there are two things about this paragraph. The first, and this is simply from a Lacanian psychoanalytical perspective, is that from this paragraph, it is easy to see how much time Kennite spends on the streets of Tower Hamlets: not much. The second is that he repeats his oft-repeated assertion that the IFE is “extremist” and therefore the mayor, by implication is also an “extremist”.
He selectively quotes from Bodrul Islam’s Facebook page, seizing upon those things that ‘support’ his thesis. However, he and his pal, Ted Jeory missed this,
First of all abbas and his croynies are a disgrace and gilligan and jeory belong in the gutter.
You can’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. Right, Andy? As per usual, Gilligoon continues to paint Lutfur Rahman variously as an “Islamist”, an “Islamist sympathiser”, and “extremist backed”, blah, blah, blah. Dave Hill says,
As with so many stories about politics in Tower Hamlets the one about CDs by an extremist preacher being placed in the borough’s Town Hall turns out to be more complicated than you may have heard. Such material was indeed available in the reception area for a short time – I’m told, incidentally that it actually comprised one section of a DVD – but how exactly did it get there?
Good question. Hill provides a statement from Tower Hamlets council which reads,
Tower Hamlets Council is committed to promoting equality, challenging prejudice and fostering cohesive communities. Last week as part of Islam Awareness Week, materials were issued from a stall at the Town Hall. We recognise that the inclusion of some individuals and comments in the materials issued may have caused offence and are not appropriate for dissemination in Council premises. This is not acceptable. We will work with our partners to seek to ensure this does not happen in future.
My guess is that some people took it upon themselves to distribute DVDs or CDs without the mayor’s knowledge or approval. Yet, Kennite appears to believe that this was sanctioned by Rahman himself. Hill explains,
My information is that the offending DVDs were put on display by members of the Council’s Muslim Staff Association on its behalf. The MSA is an organisation representing the Council’s Muslim employees and therefore not the same thing as the Council itself.
I’m not one to put forward conspiracy theories but there is quite possibly more here than meets the eye.
As I said before, when I visited the Town Hall, there were no CDs of any description in the foyer. In fact, the place was empty save for me and the security guard.