Peter Golds is a Conservative politician in London. He’s also gay and Jewish. So, given the positions of the Board of Deputies, you would expect him to be delighted with the racial and religious vibrancy in the borough of Tower Hamlets. Thanks to mass immigration, White Christians are no longer dominant there and have lost the power to persecute and oppress Jews and gays.
But alas, Mr Golds is not delighted at the fruits of vibrancy. A Bangladeshi Muslim called Lutfur Rahman has just won a second term as mayor of Tower Hamlets. Has he turned the borough into a shining beacon of tolerance, equality and Islamic probity? Sadly, it doesn’t seem so:
December 2010-February 2011: At council meetings, Shiraj Haque and a crowd of other Lutfur supporters shout homophobic abuse at the mayor’s opponents from the public gallery. They abuse Peter Golds, the Tory leader, as “Mrs Golds” and a “poofter” [= “faggot”]. They heckle another gay councillor, Labour’s Josh Peck, and a gay local resident speaking at the meeting with animal noises and cries of “Unnatural acts! Unnatural acts!”
January 27, 2011: An official Labour Party inquiry finds a “concerted effort” to add fake members to the party during the campaign to select Labour’s candidate for the Tower Hamlets mayoralty.
February 23: Lutfur’s voting bloc on the council passes a motion to “campaign against the pariah state of Israel.”
March 8: Lutfur gives a character reference on Town Hall notepaper for Zamal Uddin, a minicab driver who had six weeks earlier pleaded guilty to a serious sexual assault on a woman passenger. When the press finds out, he claims that he did not know the nature of Uddin’s crime before agreeing to provide the reference.
March: Shiraj Haque is appointed chair of the advisory board for a major council-subsidised festival, the Baishakhi Mela. The council had previously removed him from all involvement with the festival and severed relations after allegations, which he denies, of massive financial irregularities and immigration fraud, with the Mela used as a front to bring in illegal immigrants under the guise of performers. (Lutfur Rahman: some facts the Guardian forgot to mention, The Daily Telegraph, 27th January 2013)
As Francis Carr Begbie has pointed out on TOO, modern Britain faces a baffling question: Why are Muslims behaving like Muslims? Peter Golds has said that Tower Hamlets is a stage for “third-world village politics” (see here). Mary Dejevsky, a journalist at The Independent, thinks that the recent elections there reflect the “worst of Bangladesh,” not the “best of British” (see here). Read more