Livingstone = Terrorist Appeaser?

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The Mayor of London said the following today after the attacks:

London mayor Ken Livingstone said there was nothing terrorists could do to destroy the British capital city’s principles of freedom and harmony.

“Nothing you do, no matter how many of us you kill, will stop that flight to our cities where freedom is strong and where people can live in harmony with one another,” Livingstone told reporters in Singapore.

“Londoners will not be divided by these cowardly attacks. They will stand together in solidarity around those who have been injured,” he said Thursday.

“In the days that follow look at our airports, look at our seaports, and look at our railway stations,” he said.

“And even after your cowardly attack you will see that people from the rest of Britain, people from around the world, will arrive in London to become Londoners and to fulfill their dreams, to achieve their potentials.”

But lookie lookie here:

Yet Livingstone has in the past labeled Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi a “man of peace” and a “moderate,” despite the fact that Al-Qaradawi has supported suicide bombings and the targeting of American allies.

Livingstone welcomed Al-Qaradawi to London’s City Hall last year as an honored guest, and the mayor appeared in a video shown at a solidarity conference for the sheikh on Feb. 17 of this year in Doha, Qatar. Livingstone has publicly defended the sheikh against critics in the media and various grassroots organizations.

The Anti-Defamation League has labeled Al-Qaradawi the “Theologian of Terror,” while the website GayEgypt.com has dubbed him the “Dr. Goebbels of modern Egypt,” for Al-Qaradawi’s anti-homosexual rhetoric.

Al-Qaradawi is a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood and his fatwas, or theological rulings are said to influence millions of followers who consider him an authoritative scholar on Islamic issues.

Those fatwas are widely distributed through IslamOnline.net, a website for which Al-Qaradawi serves as an advisor, and via a popular weekly religious program on the Arab television network Al-Jazeera, which the sheikh co-hosts.

Al-Qaradawi’s theological justification for suicide bombings is entitled, “Hamas Operations Are Jihad and Those Who [Carry it Out and] Are Killed are Considered Martyrs” and appears on a website linked to the Hamas terror organization.

The Middle East Research Institute has translated Al-Qaradawi’s sermons directed at the U.S. and United Kingdom. During one sermon, on March 7, 2003, delivered at the Umar Bin-al-Khattab mosque in Doha, Al-Qaradawi stated: “O God, destroy the Zionist, the American, and the British aggressors. O God, shake the ground under them and protect us from them.”

Following Al-Qaradawi’s arrival in London on July 7, 2004, BBC TV2 aired an interview in which he said Islam justifies suicide bombings in Iraq against the U.S. military and in Israel against women and children. That interview first appeared on the Doha, Qatar Television Service, was translated by the Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) and reported by the Middle East Research Institute.

In July of last year, following public and media criticism of Al-Qaradawi in Great Britain, Livingstone apologized to the cleric on behalf of his constituents. “I want to apologize to the Sheikh for the outbreak of xenophobia and hysteria in some sections of the tabloid press, which demonstrated an underlying ignorance of Islam,” the mayor said.

Livingstone then invited the sheikh to return to London in October of 2004 to participate in a three-day European Social Forum at Alexander Palace, adding that it would be an “honor” to host Al-Qaradawi.

One member of Parliament urged the government to deny Al-Qaradawi a visa. Homosexual and women’s rights groups, as well as a coalition representing Sikhs, Hindus and Jews tried to pressure Livingstone to distance himself from Al-Qaradawi.

But the mayor insisted that a dialogue with this “man of peace” was essential for progress in Middle Eastern relations. “I believe that the only people who would be aided if I were to refuse a dialogue with so prominent a Muslim leader as Dr Al-Qaradawi would be those like al Qaeda who argue that a dialogue between the Muslim communities and the European Left is impossible.”

So he welcomed a man who justifies terror against the innocent but then decries the act of terror against his people. Why didn’t he just invite these bombers in for a cup of tea and some velcro to strap the bombs on….pretty much what he was doing with Al-Qaradawi.

The real question is what does this say about the people of London that elected this piece of cow dung?

(h/t Discarded Lies)

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