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Town Hall hits back at allegations of Islamic infiltration

PUBLISHED: 18:00 02 March 2010 | UPDATED: 15:39 05 October 2010

THE TOWN HALL has hit back this afternoon at allegations made in a TV documentary that the council is being infiltrated by an Islamic group.

THE TOWN HALL has hit back this afternoon at allegations made in a TV documentary that the council is being infiltrated by an Islamic group.

The council issued a statement late this afternoon accusing last night's Channel 4 Dispatches programme of replacing facts with innuendo in its portrayal of a borough with a "proud tradition anti-racism" and "social cohesion".

The programme 'Britain's Islamic Republic' focused on Tower Hamlets where it claimed the Islamic Forum Europe was influencing Town Hall politics and the allocation of its funding.

Labour MP Jim Fitzpatrick, who was interviewed on the programme, also told the Advertiser he is concerned the IFE is "infiltrating" political parties and the democratic process.

The council response said: "The programme presented a picture of Tower Hamlets which many who live and work in the borough fail to recognise.

"Supposition and innuendo replaced the facts about a place with a proud tradition of anti-racism and where social cohesion is evident."

It also accused the programme of being simplistic, selective and unsubstantiated and said it failed to recognise the Council's effort to engage all residents in local democracy.

The programme claimed projects with links to the IFE and its allies were awarded more than £10 million of taxpayers' money, while it has been suggested other groups are losing out.

The council urged people to come forward with any proof that grants have been provided unfairly, either to the Council or the appropriate complaints or government body.

The IFE also issued a statement saying it wholly rejected the allegations made by the programme. It denied seeking to establish an Islamic state or Sharia Law in Britian, and that it received public funds.


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