I’ll say this much for the “leftists” who produce the Islamophobia Watch blog: they do their damnedest to portray Sheikh Yusef al-Qaradawi (Ken Livingstone’s “honoured guest”) as a reasonable, unthreatening Islamic leader.
This requires them to put the best possible face on the steady stream of homophobia, misogyny and antisemitism that seems to pour forth from Qaradawi every time he opens his mouth on Arab television. It’s an unenviable task, but they take it seriously, devoting a whole category of their blog (now at 178 posts) to defending the sheikh.
When it comes to Qaradawi’s antisemitic tirades, the standard apology is that he was talking about Israelis, not Jews in general. But I don’t think that’s going to work for what he said August 26 on Qatar TV:
In this film [“The Passion of the Christ”], there is an important positive aspect. The positive aspect lies in its exposing the Jews’ crime of bringing Jesus to the crucifixion. Even though we [Muslims] believe that Jesus was not crucified, a crime was committed, and the people who paved the way for this crime, who helped to commit it, who brought Jesus to the crucifixion, and kept pursuing the issue, until the governor on behalf of the Romans in Jerusalem at that time sentenced him to death…
They adopt the deeds of their forefathers, and they take pride in them. Therefore, I say that the Jews of the 21st century adopt what the Jews of the first century did. They adopt what [their forefathers] did to Jesus, and so they bear responsibility for it, unless they renounce it, saying: This was a crime, and we ask Allah to absolve us of it. But they have not said this, and therefore, the Jews of today bear responsibility for the deeds of the Jews of yesterday.
The Jewish comedian Lenny Bruce once admitted responsibility for the crucifixion of Jesus:
Alright, I’ll clear the air once and for all, and confess. Yes, we did it. I did it, my family. I found a note in my basement. It said: “We killed him, signed, Morty.”
Will that satisfy the sheikh? I doubt it, since Bruce neglected to ask forgiveness from Allah. So I think the resident apologists at Islamophobia Watch are going to need some help. Any suggestions for them on how to explain away the anti-Jewish implications of Qaradawi’s latest rant?