British Islamist says Israeli children are legitimate targets

In a debate on BBC Arabic TV, the British Islamist Kamal Al-Hilbawi asserted that Israeli children– even those as young as two– are legitimate military targets.

A child born in Israel is raised on the belief that [the Arabs] are like contemptible sheep, and that this is a land without a people, and they are a people without a land. They have very strange concepts. In elementary school, they pose the following math problem: “In your village, there are 100 Arabs. If you killed 40, how many Arabs would be left for you to kill?” This is taught in the Israeli curriculum. What would you say about that? Should a child studying this be considered a civilian? He is a future soldier.

What he says about the Israeli school curriculum is, of course, a contemptible lie. Unfortunately the “liberal” debating him– while opposing him on the matter of children as targets– accepts without question this vile assertion.

According to Asharq Al-Awsat, which interviewed him about Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Al-Hilbawi is former spokesman of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe and founding member of the Muslim Association of Britain. He “also is an adviser to the Global Civilization Study Center in London and chairman of the Center for the Study of Terrorism.” The website of the GCSC is “under construction.”

The Iranian Islamic Republic News Agency reported on a London “confab” in October sponsored by Al-Hilbawi’s CSOT, featuring “professor Robert Crane, former US national security advisor during the Nixon administration, Alan Hart, the author of ‘Zionism: the Real Enemy of the Jews’, Ahmad Ali Al-Iman, the advisor to Sudanese President Omar Al-Bashir and Muhammad Habibur-Rahman, the president of the Islamic Forum of Europe.”

In the Asharq Al-Awsat interview, Al-Hilbawi said he had no problem with a woman heading an Islamic state.

I support the opinion of Sheikh Muhammad al-Ghazali, God have mercy on his soul: “A strong scholarly Muslim woman, such as Mrs. Thatcher, is better than dozens of weak rulers.”

Update: Newsweek reported that Al-Hilbawi was denied entry to the US in 2006 by the Department of Homeland Security. (The magazine got his age wrong; he was born in 1939.)

Helbawy, an Egyptian-born Islamic scholar, was for years a leading spokesman in Europe for the Muslim Brotherhood, a secretive organization founded in Egypt that some U.S. officials say is dedicated to spreading a radical brand of Islam throughout the world.

While not denying his affiliation with the Brotherhood, Helbawy described himself in a telephone interview today as a moderate who has publicly denounced terrorism “thousands of times.” He also noted that he serves on the Muslim Council of Britain—a semiofficial British government advisory committee that works to turn British Muslims away from violence.