Who is Raheem Kassam? A Wikipedia mystery


by Sunny Hundal    
11:10 am - June 1st 2012

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Raheem Kassam is director of marketing at the hard-right Henry Jackson Society, and ‘executive editor’ of The Commentator blog.

Kassam loves trolling left-wingers, including Mehdi Hasan (calls him “hateful” and an “extremist”), Laurie Penny and Shami Chakrabati, whose resignation he demanded from the LSE.

Kassam has a highly detailed Wikipedia page, with more than 42 references so far. In comparison, Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has just eight.

Not bad for a guy who runs a barely read political blog huh? His Wikipedia page was created by username ‘Artievand‘ in March 2011 with: “Raheem Kassam is a notable political and media figure within the United Kingdom”. The user made more than ten further additions and edits to Kassam’s page in the following months.

‘Artievand’ also removed two items of criticism (here and here) from the Henry Jackson Society page.

Raheem Kassam says ‘Artievand’ is not his alias. He admitted to editing inaccuracies, but declined to answer which account he used to do so.

But there’s more.

An anonymous user posting from the IP address 91.206.176.199 has posted a series of edits to Wikipedia since December 2011. The first of these was a complimentary edit to Kassam’s page, adding: “Though Kassam was not eligible to stand for a position at the election, he was unanimously co-opted onto Bow Group Council and currently serves as Communications Director.”

Later edits include:
- adding lengthy sections to Kassam’s page on his apparent role in the resignations of LSE Director Sir Howard Davies and Libdem peer Jenny Tonge
- adding criticial quotes from none other than Raheem Kassam to Shami Chakrabati’s Wikipedia page
- adding the role of Kassam in the row over LSE and Gaddafi to a page on that topic.
- removing the ‘notability’ flag used to suggest Kassam may not have sufficient profile to warrant a Wikipedia page.

So was behind this string of favourable edits for Kassam?

Doing a reverse-lookup revealed the IP address belonged to the digital communications company Aegis Group.

But an official within Aegis sent our source an explanation: it belonged to a tenant in their old building – the Henry Jackson Society (marketing director: Raheem Kassam).

So we are left with is a series of mysteries:

- Raheem Kassam admits editing his Wikipedia page, and denies creating it, but what of the wonderful edits apparently originating from the Henry Jackson Society?
- Will Kassam disclose exactly which edits he was involved with, either directly or through colleagues?

If anyone has more information do feel free to get in touch.

UPDATE: Thanks for all your links.
Several editors at Wikipedia have been discussing deleting his Wikipedia page here. Makes v interesting reading.

There’s also a page on Kassam at Powerbase, and some more on him here.

UPDATE 2: An article on Kassam’s astro-turfing activities on university campuses

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


1. Peter Stewert

“Artievand”

Seems like a take on the Seinfeld fake character “art vandelay”, used as a catch all alias for George Costanza, though it was most notably used as a fake reference to help George get a job.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Costanza#Pseudonyms

Kudos Sunny.

Some troll gets trolled. Ha!

Rightwing gofer Raheem Kassam tells FoxNews.com: “There’s no way to contextualize this stuff, and if there was, Mehdi would have offered it by now,” of course IGNORING that context had been provided years ago. Odd he chose to ignore that.

It’s almost like he was trying to smear someone…

That Wikipedia entry certainly is very impressive. But bizarrely Mr Kassam, who claims to be a man of principle on his blog, won’t reveal what his Wikipedia username is.

4. Willard Foxton

Regarding thIs, I do feel vaguely like someone who discovered a band ages ago and am now like “I liked them BEFORE they were cool”.

I had a dingdong with Raheem Kassam, the chap they have been referring to a while back, when I objected to what I saw as his aggressive pushing of a so-called “Fisking” of Owen Jones.

I’m not a fan of Owen’s politics, but I like him as a person, and I think he’s a good writer. I stepped in, and got abuse from Kassam back. Thus, on a lunch hour I did maybe 5 minutes of digging & wrote the following, which I tweeted at him, and got blocked.

“A quick lesson in Fisking for @thecommentator

A “fisking” is a journalistic device, where an individual is taken to task for outlandish claims – let’s pick our buffoon, @raheemjkassam

Mr. Kassam, according to his social media profile, has a track record of “leading successful, hard-hitting campaigns”

However, a quick look reveals in his most successful campaign, he lost by 14,000 votes.

In his most high profile campaign, his candidate, Republican John huntsman, won 0.1% of the delegates. So, 99.9% fail.

His campaigning is clearly “hard hitting” – for his employers. Maybe the best way he could defeat the left would be to campaign for them?

He also claims to have “unrivaled political expertise” – Unrivaled? I’ll call Rahm Emmanuel & tell him he’s out of a job.

Mr.Kassam is the “executive editor” of a loss-making minor blog, The Commentator, which has 2 staff.

How you manage to make blogging, an inherently free activity, make a loss, I don’t know.

Presumably, he is also the Commentator’s executive vice president of gratuitous Wikipedia entries.

I suggest this because Mr.Kassam’s wikipedia profile is one of the most hilariously inflated things on the internet.

In this exalted position, Mr.Kassam has amassed 1,224 word wikipedia profile.

For comparison, the legendary @afneil has a 1,300 word profile; Alan Rusbridger a mere 567 words.

Does Mr.Kassam deserve as much wiki ink as such journalistic luminaries? Or is he just a grotesque fantasist? I leave it to you:)

Also, according to his wikipedia page, Mr.Kassam was tipped by Tory blog @conhome as a future Prime Minister.

However, sources at the publication tell me Mr.Kassam was asked to write the article, and included himself.

Mr.Kassam is a hilariously pompous fantastist. And if he is not, he can ride his Unicorn on over to my office for a chat.”

For the record, Mr.Kassam & his Unicorn have not yet arrived, and nor has “Artie Vand” his Wikipedia alias. I, frankly found the whole thing hilarious and thought no more of it.

At least, until the other day, when Mr.Kassam moved to stage two of Hari disease, going from inflating your own wikipedia profile to slandering your opponents. He seems to have been going on to american news outlets like Fox, and telling them Mehdi Hassan is a Jihadist – a patently false and highly damaging allegation.

As he clearly believes it’s ok to slander at the drop of a hat, I thought it only fair to repost this. He may say “Haters gonna hate”. I reply “Fantasists gonna fantasise”.

Following Peter Stewart’s well-spotted link to George Costanza… Costanza was played by Jason Alexander, who alongside his role in Seinfeld, provided the voice for “Duckman.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duckman#Main_characters

Duckman’s catchphrase – “What the hell are you staring at?” – appears many times in this clip:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0ZuPvhsLYE&t=1m02s

“You took a bunch of comments out of context and strung ‘em together to make me look rotten! Snappy editing, though.”

which sounds like it could almost come from Kassam himself!

I came across this neo con Muppet on twitter. I thought Blair was deluded, but he has nothing on this twerp.

Just goes to show how dumb and profligate right wingers are. No wonder they need to be bailed out and susidised all the time, and can only make money through extortion, and inherited networks. What sort of nitwit would hire some bloke to sit on his backside trolling sites all day?
Not many people read blogs and even fewer, less then 1% of readers in most cases, actually bother to read the comments. That is an absolutely terrible investment.
Most organisations would sack people for doing that, but apparently market discipline does not apply to it’s own incompetent acolytes.

I noticed this a while back – he’s a self promoter extraordinaire. He’s also completely irrelevant; just one of the hopefuls hanging around the Conservative Future/Young Britons Foundation fringes. My sources tell me that he’s not very popular with his mates on the right either.

It appears Mr.Kassam has departed Wikipedia.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Who is Raheem Kassam and what Wikipedia page? http://t.co/h8hXoC6R

  2. Jason Brickley

    Who is Raheem Kassam and what Wikipedia page? http://t.co/X8qoDpT3

  3. Raheem Kassam

    So here's the best the left could do: http://t.co/WPGN2mi4 Lmfao – @sunny_hundal. While I'm hospitalised too! What a gent!

  4. leftlinks

    Liberal Conspiracy – Who is Raheem Kassam and what Wikipedia page? http://t.co/UINIktgj

  5. BevR

    Who is Raheem Kassam and what Wikipedia page? | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/Ciz7xlTO via @libcon

  6. Ben McCabe

    Was this really the best Hundal could do?! http://t.co/HliM33yr

  7. Tom Newham

    Who is Raheem Kassam? A Wikipedia mystery | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/J87mFZaf via @libcon <—- this is classic.

  8. Lisa Loughran

    He constantly trolls Mehdi Hasan, Laurie Penny & Owen Jones. Who is Raheem Kassam & why is his Wikipedia page so long? http://t.co/W2tpOxUJ

  9. Raheem Kassam

    @RaheemJKassam has his own attack piece from @sunny_hundal! I'm sure he's very proud. Finally he's made it! http://t.co/EHKimzBF

  10. Mehdi Hasan

    Fans of the "David Rose" Wikipedia episode may find @Sunny_Hundal's post here of interest: http://t.co/pNH58Of4 (ht @dolphinmaria)

  11. Paul Valente

    Fans of the "David Rose" Wikipedia episode may find @Sunny_Hundal's post here of interest: http://t.co/pNH58Of4 (ht @dolphinmaria)

  12. Gaipajama

    He constantly trolls Mehdi Hasan, Laurie Penny & Owen Jones. Who is Raheem Kassam & why is his Wikipedia page so long? http://t.co/W2tpOxUJ

  13. Warren Pearce

    For the last time, if you try and pimp yourself on Wikipedia, you'll get caught http://t.co/Ge4MpNhf

  14. Gods & Monsters

    Fans of the "David Rose" Wikipedia episode may find @Sunny_Hundal's post here of interest: http://t.co/pNH58Of4 (ht @dolphinmaria)

  15. The Commentator

    @RaheemJKassam has his own attack piece from @sunny_hundal! I'm sure he's very proud. Finally he's made it! http://t.co/EHKimzBF

  16. Narrative 2020

    @RaheemJKassam has his own attack piece from @sunny_hundal! I'm sure he's very proud. Finally he's made it! http://t.co/EHKimzBF

  17. Jason Kay

    Who is Raheem Kassam? A Wikipedia mystery | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/x99Ojd12 via @libcon

  18. Jonathan Calder

    Who is Raheem Kassam? A Wikipedia mystery | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/x99Ojd12 via @libcon

  19. Mark Carrigan

    He constantly trolls Mehdi Hasan, Laurie Penny & Owen Jones. Who is Raheem Kassam & why is his Wikipedia page so long? http://t.co/W2tpOxUJ

  20. London Muslim

    Who really is Raheem Kassam from the pro war neo con Henry Jackson society http://t.co/YVho4rD2

  21. Mudassar Ahmed

    Who really is Raheem Kassam from the pro war neo con Henry Jackson society http://t.co/YVho4rD2

  22. Mohammed Ahmed

    Who really is Raheem Kassam from the pro war neo con Henry Jackson society http://t.co/YVho4rD2

  23. Asa Winstanley

    And indeed, @sunny_hundal uncovered evidence that @RaheemJKassam is indeed sad enough to write his own Wikipedia entry http://t.co/vUz1ItSu

  24. ilovemypal

    And indeed, @sunny_hundal uncovered evidence that @RaheemJKassam is indeed sad enough to write his own Wikipedia entry http://t.co/vUz1ItSu

  25. Mustafa

    This is the Raheem Kassam that Fox News are so in awe of. As credible as a Murdoch in the dock. http://t.co/cKA5fStU

  26. Lukas Slothuus

    @Rumahmusic @kumar__ashok @RaheemJKassam @NiamhAisha @sherelledavids haha, you mean this guy? http://t.co/ghFPFpkg

  27. Chris Marshall

    @RaheemJKassam @GarzoHugo Interesting article Raheem. http://t.co/rWghRLz1

  28. RepStones

    Good post highlighting the nature of @RaheemJKassam from @TheCommentator http://t.co/hv8tDIDD

  29. George Maddocks

    A little background on the reviewer here: http://t.co/I8h5bcaH

  30. Hamja Ahsan

    Professional Troll & JOKER : Who is Raheem Kassam? A Wikipedia mystery | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/ukM3DcXg LOL! buys his own twitter 2

  31. Andrew Hirst

    @SpiritEquality @RaheemJKassam @pdanahar Mr Kassam is a fraud as outlined here: http://t.co/lTv3NFha

  32. Tom Griffin

    BBC News channel now getting Gaza commentary from prominent wikipedia editor Raham Kassam. http://t.co/rNdzQzQi

  33. Tom Griffin

    BBC News now getting Gaza commentary from prominent wikipedia editor Raheem Kassam. http://t.co/rNdzQzQi

  34. Mark Hewerdine

    Watching #bbc news 24? Wondering who Raheem Kassam is? http://t.co/2nb2E7bS

  35. Martin Tiedemann

    BBC News now getting Gaza commentary from prominent wikipedia editor Raheem Kassam. http://t.co/rNdzQzQi

  36. Inayat Bunglawala

    BBC News now getting Gaza commentary from prominent wikipedia editor Raheem Kassam. http://t.co/rNdzQzQi

  37. AJ Al-Tamimi

    @RaheemJKassam @ShirazMaher I have to admit I find your suddenly defensive tone amusing. cf. http://t.co/B7oa1eLZ :D :D

  38. Ashley Perks

    Who is Raheem Kassam? A Wikipedia mystery | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/772y4RrU via @libcon

  39. Imran Khan

    Who is the extreme character known as @RaheemJKassam? Respected journalist @sunny_hundal exposes all here – http://t.co/hf6suxgm





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