Monday, February 21, 2005

London Mayor Must Go

The Observer rips London Mayor, Ken Livingstone, a new one.

From Covent Garden to Kew Gardens, and the British Museum to the Science Museum, there is much about our capital city to be proud of... except, perhaps, its Mayor [...]

For months a rainbow coalition of gays, lesbians, feminists, Sikhs, Hindus, Jews, secularists and democrats who once supported Livingstone have been fighting a more important battle about his support for Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.

Livingstone can't say he wasn't warned about the Egyptian theologian. Just before he met him in July last year, the papers were filled with the most lurid reports of his views. Apparently he advocated the murder of homosexuals and Israeli civilians and beating-up women. If Livingstone had qualms, they didn't show. He sent the limousine anyway. [...]

Livingstone claimed that Qaradawi was an enemy of terrorism. Yet when a genuinely moderate Egyptian cleric, Mohammad Sayed Tantawi, condemned the murders of Israeli children by suicide bombers, Qaradawi, was furious. 'Has fighting colonizers become a criminal and terrorist act for some sheikhs?' he roared. [...]

Last year Iraqi, Jordanian and Tunisian writers organised a petition to the United Nations by 2,500 Arab intellectuals which condemned 'individuals in the Muslim world who pose as clerics and issue death sentences against those they disagree with. These individuals give Islam a bad name and foster hatred among civilizations.' Prominent in their list of the 'sheikhs of death' was one Yusuf al-Qaradawi. Just as the British anti-war movement chose to turn its back on the eight million Iraqis who defied the murderers and voted, Livingstone has chosen to ignore the Arab left and offer comfort to its enemies.



Bunny has more with lots of links and ends with this:

Sue Carroll from The Mirror says:

Imagine this. Robert Kilroy-Silk emerges from a meeting of his political party Veritas (held in a phone box, probably) and is harassed by an Arab reporter.Kilroy loses his rag and tells the journalist he's no better than a Hamas suicide bomber.

Do you think there would be the same non-reaction from Labour and the race relations industry as the deafening silence following Mayor Ken Livingstone's outburst directed at a Jewish reporter from London's Evening Standard, who Livingstone likened to a "German war criminal" and accused of behaving like "a concentration camp guard"?

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