London: Muslim Enclave Votes to ‘Ban Trump’


A London borough – which has the highest percentage of Muslims in the UK – has voted to ban U.S. President Donald J. Trump for the area, declaring him a “bigot”.

The council has been at the centre of serious corruption scandals, including the removal of an Islamist mayor who was found guilty of bribing Muslim groups and wielding “undue spiritual influence” on Muslim voters.

The anti-Trump motion, proposed by Councillor Ohid Ahmed and Councillor Oliur Rahman, passed by a majority vote this week.

It calls for President Trump’s planned state visit to the United Kingdom to be cancelled, adding: “Should the Government still choose to go ahead with State Visit, this Council makes clear that President Trump would not be welcome in our Borough.”

The area in East London includes the famous Tower Bridge and Canary Wharf, but the ban does not appear to be enforceable.

The current Labour mayor, John Biggs, complained that President Trump “doesn’t applaud diversity [and] doesn’t respect the culture of others and doesn’t respect women”.

The mayor added: “He is failing in his leadership and we should not welcome him here. We must be vigorous in our intolerance of his intolerance.”

In response to the news, Peter Golds, the leader of the Conservatives group in the council, tweeted: “In 2015 one of the Tower Hamlets First election candidates tweeted ‘let us support Hitler the Great.’ These people, corruptly elected, have no shame. For the record, our group refused to vote in this farce.”

“Tower Hamlets is home to one of the country’s most diverse communities,” the motion begins, adding that it “has the highest percentage of Muslim residents in England – 35 per cent compared with the national average of 5 per cent”.

After several paragraphs of platitudes about “community cohesion” and “diversity”, it says “this Council notes with shock and alarm the decision by Donald Trump, President of the United States, to ‘retweet’ Islamophobic propaganda from the Britain First Twitter account”.

It also bemoans that he has allegedly “bigoted attitude towards women, ethnic minorities and Muslims which has resulted in examples of division and hatred within the USA and beyond” and attacks his “illogical” decision to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The motion also notes that the neighbouring Royal Borough of Greenwich formally adopted a similar motion in December last year.

In 2015, the borough’s former mayor Lutfur Rahman was removed from office after a special electoral court found him guilty of corruption and illegal practices.

He was also accused of diverting millions in grants to charities run by Bangladeshis and Somalis in return for political support, paying local Bangladeshi TV channels and newspapers for positive coverage, and spending public funds on “vanity” offices and cars.

Mr. Rahman is thought to still have numerous people in Tower Hamlets council loyal to him, and some have connections to Islamists like the powerful Islamic Forum Europe (IFE), which is affiliated to the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) and hardline groups such as Jamaat-e-Islami.

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