Reject irresponsible claims that Lutfur Rahman is mayor of an ‘Islamic republic’

The New York blogger Pamela Geller, who believes America is being infiltrated by Muslim extremists, recently denounced Lutfur Rahman, the newly elected mayor of Tower Hamlets in east London, as a “vile Islamic supremacist”. Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips disapproves of Rahman too. She has declared that his victory provides “a platform for the progressive intimidation and silencing of British Muslims who do not want to live under sharia law, let alone the non-Muslim majority in the area.”

These large claims appear to be based on the uncritical embrace of a TV documentary of questionable worth and a vituperative anti-Rahman campaign conducted by its famous presenter. Nonetheless, the assertions are enlightening. Reaching an international market for tales of Islamist intrigue, they demonstrate how reducing the complexities of Tower Hamlets to a “sexy” narrative about alleged plotting fanatics obscures rather more than it reveals.

Dave Hill at Comment is Free, 29 October 2010

For another example of Gilligan-inspired Islamophobic ranting from the US right, see “London’s Islamic Republic” at the American Thinker, 28 October 2010