OUTSIDE the Wellington Way polling station in Tower Hamlets yesterday, as at many other polling stations in the borough, people had to run a gauntlet of Lutfur Rahman supporters to reach the ballot box. As one Bengali woman voter went past them, we heard one of the Rahman army scolding her for her “immodest dress.” That incident is perhaps a tiny taste of the future for Britain’s poorest borough now it has elected Mr Rahman as its first executive mayor, with almost total power over its £1 billion budget. At the count last night, one very senior figure in the Tower Hamlets Labour Party said: “It really is Britain’s Islamic republic now.” For the last eight months – without complaint or challenge from Mr Rahman – this blog and newspaper have laid out his close links with a group of powerful local businessmen and with a Muslim supremacist body, the Islamic Forum of Europe (IFE) – which believes, in its own words, in transforming the “very infrastructure of society, its institutions, its culture, its political order and its creed… from ignorance to Islam.”
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A previous GMBDW post discussed the initial results of the Telegraph’s investigation into the IFE and Tower Hamlets.
According a report by the Center for Social Cohesion, the IFE operates out of the East London Mosque and shares many of the same trustees and senior management which includes Muhammad Abdul Bari, also the former Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB). The CSC also reports that In October 2003, IFE invited Anwar al-Awlaki to speak at its ‘expoislamia’ event. Anwar al-Awlaki is the pro al-Qaeda imam based in Yemen whom the Fort Hood shooter had been in contact. It should also be noted that the London Islamic Center, an $18 million facility built in 2004 that houses the Islamic Forum of Europe and its associated East London Mosque, also contains the offices of Muslim Aid, a charity that has been tied to Hamas fund-raising.
The IFE is a frequent sponsor of events associated with the U.K. Muslim Brotherhood.