After Preston, Now Controversial Mayor Of Tower Hamlets Flies Palestinian Flag Over Town Hall
The Mayor of the east London borough of Tower Hamlets, Lutfur Rahman, has flown the Palestinian flag over his town hall in an act of solidarity with Gaza. Rahman proudly posted a photo of the flag on his twitter account along with the message "Palestinian flag flying at Town Hall in solidarity with #Gaza and in support of a #ceasefire & peace."
The flag has now been taken down, with a council spokesman suggesting the removal of the flag was a "perceived act of vandalism". It had already been condemned this morning by campaign group YadbYadUK, who said it was "incitement and danger to the Jewish community".
Despite the outrage of Jews and Christians in the area, the move is likely to improve Rahman's chances of election. Since he was first elected in 2010, the Mayor has been accused of putting funding in Muslim groups and Mosques at the expense of other organisations that are aligned to other faiths or are secular.
Rahman was originally a member of the Labour Party but was expelled after his links to the extremist group Islamic Forum of Europe. Since then, he founded his own political grouping which is largely comprised of Muslim men, and has been accused of discriminating against women and non-believers.
He was re-elected earlier this year in what was widely considered to be one of the worst-run polls in living memory. At the time, Breitbart London was on the ground and shot footage of widespread breaches of electoral law; including the harassment of voters on the way into the polling stations. The election itself took 24 hours to count and outside the venue for the announcement there were fears of a riot when it looked like Rahman might lose.
The community in Tower Hamlets is 30 percent Muslim, and that figure is rising despite it being home to the financial district of Canary Wharf. Many Conservatives openly backed the Labour candidate, John Biggs, in the Mayoral race because he is seen as a moderate who would end the practices that have led to a legal challenge to the result.
As previously reported on Breitbart London the Palestinian flag has already been flown over the town hall in Preston, Lancashire. The council claimed that this was a neutral act to show solidarity with those civilians who have been caught in the cross fire between Hamas and the IDF, but the council have not yet flown the Israeli flag despite requests from local residents.
Tower Hamlets Council sold their historic Town Hall in Bethnal Green a number of years ago, and now rent a site at Mulberry Place. It has been fully adapted to fit in with the needs of a Muslim administration, featuring separate Islamic prayer rooms for men and women. The toilets have been adapted so that staff and councillors can wash their feet before prayers, and has special water jogs for those who choose not to use toilet paper.
In a statement Mr Rahman said: "We are flying the Palestinian flag over the town hall as a humanitarian gesture of our solidarity with the people of Gaza.
"In addition to the current military onslaught, the blockade of Gaza is causing a humanitarian catastrophe. Over 1,000 people have been killed, most of them women and children. An urgent aid corridor needs to be opened to allow those injured to receive treatment and medical care.
"We mourn the loss of life in this tragic conflict. We call on our Prime Minister to help create a lasting peace that breaks the cycle of violence between Israelis and Palestinians and prevents any further loss of innocent lives."
Rahman is next up for election in 2018, although the High Court does have the power to force a rerun of the previous election. It has requested additional evidence from the four residents that are taking legal action and will consider the case more fully in September.