London journal September 2004
The phobia of phobias
On Mayor Livingstone’s embrace of Dr. al-Qaradawi & Islamophobia as “the most dangerous of current social evils.”
London recently underwent a visit from Dr. Yusuf al-Qaradawi. A celebrated Muslim cleric, born in Egypt but based in Qatar, he had accepted an invitation to address a conference organized by the Muslim Association of Britain.
Dr. al-Qaradawi (who is barred from entering the United States) is a man of strong views. He condones wife-beating. He advocates the persecutionindeed, under some circumstances, the extermination of homosexuals. He is a fervent supporter of Palestinian suicide-bombings, including bombings carried out by children, and he has offered up prayers for the destruction of crusaders and infidels. (He also maintains that McDonalds and Pizza Hut are part of an international Jewish conspiracy.)
Not surprisingly, the news of his visit to London prompted widespread protests. These were countered by British Muslim spokesmen with reassurances that he was held in high regard...
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