For the record, I did not accuse Rahman of being a ‘bully,’ as he tells Spectator readers. I accused the Mayor of Tower Hamlets of being ‘sly’ and ‘unappetising’. His letter to the Spectator bears me out, I think. As does his ludicrous allegation that Rob Marchant and other Labour Party activists were threatening to murder him.
In an insinuating passage, he links Marchant – a principled man, and anti-racist – to the English Defence League. Look at how he does it:
‘Unsurprisingly, as a prominent Muslim figure, I frequently receive abuse and threats – mainly from racist extremists of the EDL-ilk. That and the sheer violence of Marchant’s language in discussing me (‘I will load the revolver and we can all take turns … [makes mental note to keep revolver well cleaned and oiled]’) should explain why I acted when the tweets were drawn to my attention.’
There was no remote hint of any racism in Marchant’s tweets or any other comments he made about him. But then this is a tactic many of us are becoming familiar with. Rahman and his kind are desperate to stop the notion gaining currency that you should oppose the Islamist religious right and the white far-right with equal force and for the same reasons.