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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

No Return Visit for Qaradawi


A Sudden Change of Plan? Posted by Picasa

Youssef al Qaradawi, who is banned from entering the US, will not now speak at Manchester's Bridgewater Hall on 7th August. The controversial Muslim cleric was welcomed into the city of London early this year by the Mayor, Ken Livingstone. Although Qaradawi condemned both the 9/11 and 7/7 bombings his slate is far from clean. He has justified suicide bombings in Israel as "martyrdom in the name of God."

This is totally unacceptable. Why it should be acceptable to politically correct liberals in the west amongst whom Islam is always "misunderstood" to the point of exculpating this and any non-Christian tradition beggars belief. This craven attitude is all the more astonishing bearing in mind Qaradawi's anti-Semitic and homophobic utterances. These do not preclude him from visiting the UK. What does (and should) is his recognition of the legitimacy of suicide bombings in certain circumstances.

There are absolutely NO certain circumstances in which suicide bombings can ever be justified. Trading one atrocity against another is no way to do ethics or build a civilised and humane society. For all his alleged "moderate views" and the perceived need to "build bridges", this man is not welcome here.

Events have moved very rapidly this week. Charles Clarke has now proposed "behaviours" that would render someone "persona non grata." Amongst these are preaching terrorism to the point of incitement and writing articles and websites in that vein. Perhaps Qaradawi judged the wind to have changed. Let's hope so.

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