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Published in the 1-15 Aug 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

INTERNATIONAL
If you support Palestinians, you are dangerous

By M Ghazali Khan

London: The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has rejected as "insufficient evidence" a dossier presented by the Board of Deputies (DoB), a Jewish body, against Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi. 

"We have advised the Metropolitan Police that there is insufficient evidence that a criminal offence has been committed." Said a press release issued by the CPS.

Reacting to the decision of the CPS former president of DoB, Lord Janner, said, "In this decent land you don’t prosecute unless you can prove a case beyond reasonable doubt. He should never have been allowed in the country and the sooner he is turfed out, the better."

Sheikh Qardawi has been invited by Muslim Association of Britain to address its annual summer conference on integration of Muslims in Europe. However, Zionist groups have spearheaded a smear campaign against the Sheikh branding him as anti-Semitic and dangerous. In a press release DoB called upon Home Secretary David Blunkett to "ban the notorious Islamic cleric from entering the UK". The press release also revealed that the Jewish body had , "several times over the past year … written to the Home Secretary urging [Qaradawi’s] exclusion".

The BoD alleged that the Sheikh had called on Muslims to have, "no dialogue with the Jews" who, according to the press released, had openly called for the killing of Jews. While the Jewish body exerted pressure on the Home Secretary from outside, inside the parliament Jewish MP, also a member of the Labour Friends of Israel and Zionist movement Poale Zion, Louise Ellman, told Mr Blunkett that it would be, outrageous to, "allow Dr Yusuf Al-Qaradawi itto this country".

The Jewish leader of the Conservative Party Michael Howard too raised the issue of Sheikh Qardawi’s expulsion at Prime Minister’s Question Time in the House of Commons. 

Maintaining its efficiency not to miss a chance to bash the Muslim community, British tabloids also declared crusade against the Sheikh. "The Evil has landed" declared the Sun on Sheikh’s arrival. "An Evil Man We must Ban" Screamed the Daily Express while Evening Standard condemned him as a "Race Hate Cleric".

The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), in a press release, said that a "smear campaign against Dr Al-Qardawi is being orchestrated by the Zionist lobby who are evidently angered by Dr Al-Qardawi’s staunch opposition to Israeli State brutality against the Palestinian people." The MCB described the vilification of the Shekih as "character assassination."

Undeterred by the Zionists and their supporters in the media, in an interview to News Night on BBC2 Sheikh Qaradawi again defended Palestinian Mujahideen, the suicide bombers. Calling them as "Martyrs" the Sheikh said, "Allah is just - through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak what the strong do not possess and that is the ability to turn their bodies into bombs like the Palestinians do." 

When asked if Islam allowed the killing of innocent women and children the Sheikh said Israeli women are not like women in our society because Israeli women are militarised."

The Zionist lobby has failed in having the Sheikh prosecuted but not without forcing Government officials to succumb to its pressure. Last week Home Office Minister Fiona Mactagart, for example, withdrew her video message of support to the Muslim Women’s conference on Hijab to be held on 12 July. Although she agreed with the aims of the Conference but alleged that a "perfectly good cause had been hijacked" by Qardawi.

Similarly Metropolitan Police (MET) withdrew its support to a conference on Our children our future which was being organised by Muslim organisations and the MET. "The anger that was created by the comments made by the individual is considerable. I have had personal telephone calls from eminent members of the Jewish community. I don’t want my officers on the same stage [as Qaradawi]. I, for one, will not associate myself with the comments this men has made in relation to all sorts of issues." MET Commissioner Sir John Stevens said.

However, the only person who refused to surrender to the bullying of the Zionist lobby was the Mayor of London and a vocal critic of Israeli brutality, Ken Livingstone. He opened the scheduled conference at his City Hall HQ of the European Council for Fatwa and Research, a body headed by Qaradwi himself. 

Sheikh Qardawi has not asked Muslims to kill anyone and there is no case against him any where in the world. Compare him with the of leaders of the extremist Hindu party in India the BJP. Its leaders, L. K. Advani and Uma Bharti, had not only participated in the demolition of the Babri Mosque, the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, has been held responsible, by various human rights groups and the British High Commission in Delhi, for the massacre of more than 2000 Muslims in his state. Despite protests by Muslim groups not only have they been allowed to enter into Britain but have been welcomed by high officials. Well, who could then challenge Ariel Sharon’s visit whose crimes could not be seen by the media. 

In the wake of reports of American and British agencies’ failure on Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq, one is hardly surprised on whose information these organisations would have acted. After all, it the US where a moderate Muslim like Sheikh Qardawi has been banned. 
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