A security specialist has toured London's alleged "Muslim no-go zone" to prove to trolls that the claim is "complete bulls**t".
Dan Kaszeta, who is also a specialist in chemical, biological, radialogical and nuclear defence, said he had been repeatedly told by trolls that the London borough of Tower Hamlets was a Sharia-ruled "Muslim no-go zone".
He decided to challenge that perception by visiting the area on Thursday (1 February) and sharing his observations on Twitter.
Kaszeta's tour began in Spitalfields before moving on to the Aldgate East area. In an amusing commentary, accompanied by photos, he wrote: "Oh, look, it's such a no-go zone that it has a Carluccio's.
"And look, there is such strict Sharia law here that there is open sale of pork products ON THE STREET, oh the horror. See the shameful charcuterie, the salacious haram mortadella."
Kaszeta then noted a police car. "The trolls tell me the police are too afraid to go into Tower Hamlets," he tweeted before settling down for a Michelin-starred lunch at a Galvin restaurant which served non-halal meats and wine.
Accompanied by a photograph of a church, Kaszeta continued: "After my opulent lunch, I perambulated around the area to investigate further. Note the house of worship of a religion originating in the middle east, known for its fanatic followers."
He highlighted numerous pubs and licensed restaurants in the area: "Note the profligate sale of wine in this alleged no go zone. Obviously the Sharia police don't even come once a blue moon. (Yesterday was a blue moon even.)"
He concluded: "The idea that Tower Hamlets is a Muslim no-go zone is complete bulls**t."
The claim of a no-go zone has won traction in a number of rightwing and far right news outlets. FrontPage Mag , published by the David Horowitz Freedom Center School for Political Warfare, claimed in July 2017 that Tower Hamlets was a "Muslim no-go zone" because 35% of its population was Muslim, largely Bangladeshi, and it had one of the smallest native populations in Britain.
In 2014, rightwing think-tank the Gatestone Institute dubbed the borough "the Islamic Republic of Tower Hamlets" in an article about Bangladesh-born Muslim mayor Lutfur Rahman who has since been banned from running for office for five years after being found guilty of corrupt and illegal practices.
The no-go zone idea was picked up by US President Donald Trump during his presidential campaign when he claimed: "We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives."
Fox News had perpetuated the claim of such zones after the attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices in Paris in 2015.
Self-styled terrorism expert Steve Emerson said: "These no-go zones exist not only in France, but they exist throughout Europe. They're sort of amorphous, they're not contiguous necessarily, but they're sort of safe havens and they're places where the governments like France, Britain, Sweden, Germany don't exercise any sovereignty.
"So you basically have zones where Shariah courts were set up, where Muslim density is very intense, where the police don't go in, and where it's basically a separate country almost, a country within a country."
After Emerson's claims aired on Fox News, online factchecker Snopes investigated and concluded: "While large populations of Muslim residents inhabit cities and towns (and may adhere to religious custom in large numbers), no areas of England, France, or the United States currently allow the laws of any religion to override their own laws."