This is a guest post by habibi
Recently this blog has discussed the “Global Peace and Unity” (GPU) event, held over the weekend in London. Many of the speakers are extremists, as documented in this post.
Mainstream politicians, especially those of the governing party with important responsibilities, were encouraged not to attend the event, as Islamists crave legitimacy, and the presence of high profile figures at their events can provide just that.
There is, to be fair, an argument for attending such events: one should challenge the message of the extremists.
I’d much prefer isolation of extremists. Pragmatists should realise that they are not for turning. Isolation sends a very powerful, unambiguous, appropriate and sensible message, to audiences as well as the extremists themselves.
Let me be clear. I believe that there was no need to hammer the extremists without making any other points. Indeed, as I have said here before, in my view positive messages are important. However, not tackling the extremists directly and specifically is a dreadful policy failure.
Even worse, Jack Straw’s statement appears to provide direct support to the GPU:
”All of this goes to emphasise the importance of the wider process of which you and this event are a part – the process of challenging negative stereotypes, reasserting shared values and building unity.”
Elsewhere, his statement seems to suggest that opponents of the GPU speakers are somehow anti-Muslim. Nothing could be further from the truth in my case and, I trust, many, many others in Britain. When will Straw and the FCO and so on hold numerous concerned meetings with us?
For now, the FCO seems to see the GPU outfit as partners:
You are all vitally important in reaching out to the world and through our long standing dialogue with many Muslim organisations we have worked with many of you in combating the misconceptions and stereotypes around Britain and the role that British Muslims play in our society.
Are we to believe that the GPU speakers are “mainstream” and need defending? Goodness. We really are dealing with extremists in this case. The HP post linked above provides some of the evidence.
Here is some more on Yasir Qadhi: he has openly campaigned for Mr Ali Al-Timimi, whom he calls “one of the more sophisticated voices of reason representing orthodox Islam in the Western world”. This is what Al-Timimi did in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks:
Kwon recalled driving Al-Timimi home from the mosque Sept. 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. He said Al-Timimi and another scholar argued, with Al-Timimi characterizing the attacks as a punishment of America from God, while his fellow scholar decried the attacks.
That night, as they drove from the mosque, Kwon said Al-Timimi had a request.
“He told me to gather some brothers, to have a contingency plan in case there were mass hostilities toward Muslims in America,” Kwon said.
Five days later, Al-Timimi met with Kwon again, this time at the young engineer’s apartment where he gathered a small group of friends.
“He told me to unplug the message machine and turn off the phones.”
Then, Kwon said, Al-Timimi advised the group that the effort to spread Islam in the United States was over and that the only other options open to them were to repent, leave the U.S. and join the mujahadeen — the holy warriors preparing to defend Afghanistan against the coming U.S. invasion.
Four days later, Kwon was on the plane to Pakistan, embarking on a jihad that would land him in prison.
“I made the decision to go, but (Al-Timimi) was a big part of my decision to go,” Kwon said.
Al-Timimi was convicted of soliciting others to levy war against the United States and inducing others to use firearms in violation of federal law. He was sentenced to life in prison. Is this the kind of “Islam” mainstream politicians should defend?
Not surprisingly, given his association with Mr Al-Timimi and his record as a Holocaust denier, Mr Qadhi is also keen on 9/11 revisionism. In this thread on his web web site, Qadhi enthuses about William Rodriguez, the truther who spoke at this year’s GPU, and how his ally Yusuf Estes, another GPU speaker, brought Rodriguez to Islam when Rodriguez attended the GPU conference in 2006:
I had the great honor of accompanying William Rodriguez for a few hours in Nov of 2006 when we both attended the Global Peace and Unity Event in London. I sat next to him in the bus, and to my right was Sh. Yusuf Estess. We began talking and his fascinating story kept us spell-bound for the entire trip! But then, to make matters even sweeter, Sh. Yusuf began telling him about Islam and invited him to become a Muslim. A few days later, he did. As soon as I heard the news, I called him up, congratulated him, and asked him if he’d be willing to come down to Texas Dawah in a few weeks.
Surely senior Labour politicians have the brains to figure out that 9/11 truthers are sick, and potentially dangerous too when manipulated by Islamists? No one should provide any support for them, directly or indirectly. Is this really so hard to figure out?
Particularly distressing for me, and I imagine many other HP readers, was the GPU’s use of Neturei Karta as Jewish fig leaves. Here they are in London backing Azzam Tamimi’s hate speech. Here they are in Tehran, attending the Holocaust revisionists’ conference. How could Labour politicians miss the significance of such a transparent ploy by the GPU organisers? Unity, with backers of Islamist hatred who constitute a tiny, strange, extreme and widely reviled component of the Jewish community? No thanks.
What a sorry state of affairs. Poor Britain.