Monday, January 31, 2005

Livingstone and the Left

Another post relating to Oliver Kamm, this time regarding Ken Livingstone and the Islamists. Ken, like George Galloway, has been opportunistically courting reactionary voices within Islam. Kamm's post relates to the visits to London, invited twice by Mayor Livingstone, of Muslim cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

The London Community Coalition, a group of faith and other organisations organised to express concern at Ken's embrace of the sheik, put together a dossier about this, and Ken has now responded with a counter-dossier.

Kamm notes that Ken's defence has been produced at the taxpayers' expense. The press release from the Mayor's office claims:

The [counter-]dossier launched today demonstrates that Dr al-Qaradawi is, as the moderate main umbrella group of Muslim organisations, the Muslim Council of Britain has argued, 'the most authoritative Muslim scholars in the world today'.

This, according to the LCC's original dossier, of a man who has said things like:
“Anyone who thinks that [female] circumcision is the best way to protect his daughters should do it. I support this, particularly in the period in which we live” Chernitsky, B., The Egyptian Controversy Over Circumcising Girls 07/11/2003 (Quoting Dr Qardawi’s book – Modern Fatwas) Accessed on 01/09/2004
“…if this [non-violent] approach fails, it is permissible for him [husband] to beat her [wife] lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive parts.” Muslim Clerics on the Religious Rulings Regarding Wife-Beating, MEMRI Special Report No. 27 , 22/3/04; quoted from Yusuf al-Qaradawi, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam (Kuwait: International Islamic Federation of Student Organization), 1984
“[Homosexuality is] a reversal of the natural order, a corruption of man’s sexuality, and a crime against the rights of females…concerning the punishment for this abominable practice…should both the active and passive participants be put to death? While such punishments may seem cruel, they have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep it clean of perverted elements.” Al-Qaradawi’s Visit Stirs Controversy in Britain and Egypt 12/07/2004 Accessed on 19/10/2004
“We cannot say that the [Israeli suicide bombing] casualties were innocent civilians. They are not civilians or innocent”; “The Israelis might have nuclear bombs but we have the children bomb.” ‘Life and Religion’ discussion programme, Al-Jazeera TV 28/4/02 As transcribed and translated in Al Jazeera programme debates Arab stand on infitadah, suicide bombers BBC Monitoring 30/4/02
“O God, destroy the usurper Jews, the vile Crusaders, and infidels. O God, destroy them along with their supporters.” Sermon at Umar-Bin-al-Khattab mosque, Doha, Qatar, 01/10/2004, broadcast live on Qatar TV; transcribed and translated in Near/Middle East: Round-up of Friday Sermons 1 Oct 04’ BBC Monitoring 06/10/2004.
“Iniquity on the part of the Jews is a great iniquity, grave iniquity, iniquity that is incomparable and overt…we should not conduct a dialogue with these [Jews] while their hands are stained with our blood.” Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi : There is no Dialogue Between us and the Jews Except by the sword andthe Rifle, MEMRI Special Dispatch Series No. 753, 27/07/2004
Although Ken's dossier counters these quotes with more benign ones, they do not refute any of these.
Kamm also discusses the opposition to the Sheik having been led by Peter Tatchell, who has been given a guest slot on Harry’s blog. Tatchell is a slightly unlikely bedfellow of anti-Islamic right - he is a left-wing queer rights activist. Kamm admires his "disinterested advocacy of human rights", but takes him to task for his direct action approach.

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Anonymous said...


bob said...

Who da moron? Me or Ken?

Little Richardjohn said...


Ken this Ken that.
What are we going to do with him?

The trouble is, if anyone can name another politician who speaks English, I will kiss his feet.

Likewise anyone who can find the transcript of that interview he gave to Newsnight a couple of weeks ago in which he basically told all religions to get stuffed.

And who else would you have trying to keep London safe?