Raheem Kassam

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Kassam at the 2018 CPAC in Maryland.

Raheem Kassam (born 1 August 1986 in Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom) is a British activist, author, and former editor-in-chief of Breitbart News London. Kassam was a candidate in the November 2016 UKIP leadership election, but dropped out of the race in October 2016.[1]

Biography[change | change source]

Raheem Kassam was born on 1 August 1986 in Hammersmith, London, United Kingdom. His parents were from Tanzania. They were of Gujarati origin. He was raised a Ismaili Muslim, but stopped believing in the faith many years ago.[2] He is now an atheist, and was influenced by Christopher Hitchens.[3]

He studied politics at the University of Westminster in London.[4]

He was a national board member of the Conservative Future youth-movement. He was director of a campus anti-extremism group called Student Rights. He was against the London School of Economics accepting money from Gaddafi's Libya.[4] His idols are Michael Gove, Margaret Thatcher, and Barry Goldwater.[4]

He worked at a Lehman Brothers call center,[5] and later managed electoral campaigns in the UK and United States. He and others tried to create a British-version of the Tea Party movement.[6] He and James Delingpole created Breitbart News London.[7] Kassam left Breitbart in May 2018.[8]

In 2016, he said that Donald Trump would be a better president than Hillary Clinton.[9] Kassam joined Nigel Farage in meeting Trump after the presidential election.[10]

In 2018, he claimed that London had become "a shithole" since the election of Sadiq Khan.[11]

UKIP leadership election[change | change source]

Kassam's campaign slogan was "Make UKIP Great Again."[12] His activity online gave him negative attention. He viciously insulted multiple politicians, including First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon,[13] UKIP leadership candidate Suzanne Evans,[14] and Labour MP Angela Eagle.[7] He called the Scottish National Party a "National Socialist party."[15] He later apologised.[16] He called for a referendum on the right of women in the UK to wear the niqāb, claimed that US presidential candidate Donald Trump does not hold anti-Muslim views, and questioned the claims of sexual assault made against Trump.[17]

References[change | change source]

  1. Stone, Jon (31 October 2016). "Raheem Kassam pulls out of Ukip leadership race". The Independent. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  2. Kenber, Billy; Fisher, Lucy (29 October 2016). "Ukip contender is quick to show his bitter credentials". The Times. Retrieved 31 October 2016. (subscription required)
  3. "Thank you, Mr. Hitchens - The Commentator". www.thecommentator.com. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 "Rainbow Tories: The geek, the fundraiser and the Tanzanian immigrant's son". The Evening Standard. 6 October 2011.
  5. "Raheem Kassam: Steve Bannon Is 'the Man Who Flew to London to Hire This Brown Guy from a Muslim Family'". Breitbart News.
  6. "Raheem Kassam". BBC Three. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Bush, Stephen (25 October 2016). "The rise of Raheem Kassam, Nigel Farage's back-room boy". New Statesman. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  8. Gray, Rosie (May 23, 2018). "Breitbart's Raheem Kassam Is Out". Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  9. "Raheem Kassam: UKIP is in an 'existential crisis'". BBC News. 18 October 2016.
  10. "Nigel Farage becomes first UK politician to meet Donald Trump". Sky News. 13 November 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
  11. Jacobs, Ben (January 13, 2018). "After Bannon: the new faces of the hard right". The Guardian. Retrieved January 14, 2018.
  12. Mason, Rowena (5 October 2016). "Ukip leadership contest: five likely contenders to succeed Diane James". The Guardian.
  13. Merrick, Rob (24 October 2016). "Ukip at war again as two more leadership candidates put themselves forward". The Independent. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  14. Bennett, Asa (24 October 2016). "Nigel Farage is Ukip's Tony Blair. After historic success, it is tearing itself apart over his legacy". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  15. Allegretti, Aubrey (23 October 2016). "Ukip Leadership Contender Raheem Kassam Sparks Outrage For History Of Controversial Twitter Posts". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  16. McGrath, Hannah; Fisher, Lucy (25 October 2016). "Abusive tweets were a silly joke, says Ukip contender". The Times. Retrieved 28 October 2016. (subscription required)
  17. Walker, Peter (28 October 2016). "Ukip leadership candidate defends Trump and calls for niqab referendum". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 October 2016.