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Ken Livingstone’s Ally Yusuf al-Qaradawi Denied Visa

by | 7th, February 2008

livingstone.jpgYUSUF al-Qaradawi was seeking medical treatment in London.

But the Home Office says the Egyptian will not get a visa.

Qaradawi last entered Britain in 2004, on the invitation of Mayor Ken Livingstone to speak at City Hall.

In Britain, Qaradawi presents himself as the face of moderate Islam. But in a sermon in a Doha mosque in 2003, Qaradawi is quoted as having said “O God, destroy the Zionist, the American and the British aggressors.”

He says, as the Sun notes, that all gays should die. He suggests a little wife beating is ok.

Ken Livingstone, the London mayor, gave him a bear hug and pumped his hand. Said Ken: “On behalf of the people of London, I would like to apologise to the Sheikh for the outburst of xenophobia in sections of the media which demonstrated an underlying ignorance of Islam.”

And this the same Livingstone who can’t apologise for comparing a Jewish reporter to a concentration camp guard. Good that he can apologise for others’ mistakes.

According to reports in The Times and on BBC TV News on 11 January 2005, just after the tsumani had hit south-eat Asia, Qaradawi said in a sermon broadcast on Qatar TV:

“People must ask themselves why this earthquake occurred in this area and not others…Whoever examines these areas discovers that they are tourism areas….where the forbidden acts are widespread, as well as alcohol consumption, drug use and acts of abomination…Don’t they deserve punishment from Allah?”


As Jonathan Freedland wrote:

The mayor was asked about his public embrace of Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has repeatedly praised suicide bombers – not, admittedly, those on London trains and buses but those in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Livingstone responded by making Qaradawi’s case for him, explaining that while Israel had fighter jets and tanks, the Palestinians “only have their bodies” and no other way to fight back’

Livingstone’s own position is to condemn all suicide bombings. And he was at pains to stress that Qaradawi is against them too – when they are used in Britain or America or indeed anywhere outside the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. That was meant to be comforting…

David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party, has expressed his repugnance at the proposed visit:

“People like Qaradawi and Moussawi [editor of Hizbullah TV channel Al Manar who visited Britain a few months ago] are dangerous and divisive and should not be allowed in this country. . . . It’s clear for reasons of our security that we must expel or refuse entry to those who preach hate, pit one faith against another and divide our society.”

It’s not Islamophobic to reject Qaradawi, it’s just right. You can reject Ken Livingstone on May 1…



Posted: 7th, February 2008 | In: Politicians Comments (6) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink