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Party of Islamist-Linked Politician Convicted of Electoral Fraud Wins Majority of Seats in London Borough

June 14th, 2022 15:20

British media is report­ing that Lut­fur Rah­man, a for­mer east Lon­don may­or removed from office after being found guilty of elec­toral fraud, has been re-elect­ed to the post. Rah­man, for­mer­ly of the Labour par­ty, is known to have close ties to the Euro­pean wing of Jamaat-e-Isla­mi, a South­east Asian Islamist polit­i­cal par­ty close to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. Accord­ing to a BBC report:

May 6, 2022 Fol­low­ing his vic­to­ry, Mr Rah­man told the BBC he was very pleased vot­ers had giv­en him “anoth­er chance to serve them” and “deliv­er my pro­gres­sive agen­da which I start­ed in 2010”. “The peo­ple of the bor­ough gave a ver­dict today. I was in the court of the peo­ple and they said in a loud voice that they want­ed Lut­fur Rah­man and his team to serve them for the next four years,” he added.

Read the rest here.

The arti­cle fur­ther states that Rah­man’s Aspire par­ty had two seats going into the elec­tion on 5 May 2022 but won 24 of the 45 seats in Tow­er Ham­lets, which has a size­able British-Bangladeshi pop­u­la­tion. With this, the par­ty defeat­ed incum­bent Labour may­or John Big­gs, who had held this post since 2015, when the High Court ruled that Rah­man had bro­ken elec­toral law in var­i­ous ways, includ­ing mis­us­ing vol­un­tary sec­tor grants to gain elec­toral sup­port and using fake “ghost” vot­ers. Rah­man was the first per­son since the 19th cen­tu­ry to be found guilty of the Vic­to­ri­an-era mis­deed of unlaw­ful­ly using reli­gious influence.

In 2010, the Labor par­ty removed Rah­man from his post over his close ties to the Islam­ic Forum of Europe (IFE), the Euro­pean wing of Jamaat-e-Isla­mi, a South­east Asian Islamist move­ment close to the Glob­al Mus­lim Broth­er­hood (GMB). British inves­tiga­tive jour­nal­ist Andrew Gilli­gan found that the IFE sup­port­ed Rah­man’s 2010 may­oral bid, say­ing the politi­cian had received “sig­nif­i­cant help” from a senior IFE offi­cial who can­vassed coun­cilors on his behalf. Rah­man lat­er refused to deny that the IFE had helped secure his elec­tion. Accord­ing to Gilli­gan, in the years after Rah­man’s elec­tion, there was a sig­nif­i­cant rise in coun­cil pay­ments to a num­ber of orga­ni­za­tions linked to the IFE.

The IFE, based at the hard­line East Lon­don Mosque, was found­ed in 1990 by Chowd­hury Mueen Uddin, a lead­ing Jamaat-e-Isla­mi mem­ber. In 2013 Uddin was sen­tenced to death in absen­tia by a Bangladeshi war crimes tri­bunal for his role in the abduc­tion and mur­der of 18 jour­nal­ists and intel­lec­tu­als dur­ing the 1971 Lib­er­a­tion War against Pak­istan. IFE lead­ers were record­ed express­ing oppo­si­tion to democ­ra­cy and sup­port for Sharia law. The IFE has orga­nized meet­ings with extrem­ists, includ­ing Tal­iban allies, and has also been a fre­quent spon­sor of events asso­ci­at­ed with the GMB in the UK.