Freedom of Expression,  Islamism

Ijaz ul-Haq and the Police

Muhammad Ijaz ul-Haq, a Pakistani politician and the country’s former religious affairs minister, is another speaker at this year’s “Global Peace and Unity” conference in London.

Consider how the conference organisers describe him:

He is famous for his comments supporting nuclear engineer Abdul Qadeer Khan as well as his public denunciation of the knighthood of Salman Rushdie.

Is supporting one of the world’s worst nuclear proliferators (pdf) something to be proud of? Apparently so.

What about the “denunciation” of Rushdie’s knighthood? What a weasel word. Try “incitement to murder”:

“Ijaz-ul-Haq, the Religious Affairs Minister, told the assembly in Islamabad that the award of the knighthood excused suicide bombing. “If somebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified,” he said.

When he tried to backtrack, he could only bring himself to blame “the West” for any trouble:

He later retracted his statement, explaining that he had intended to say that knighting Rushdie will foster extremism. “If someone blows himself up, he will consider himself justified. How can we fight terrorism when those who commit blasphemy are rewarded by the West? We demand an apology by the British government. Their action has hurt the sentiments of 1.5 billion Muslims.”

Mr ul-Haq’s presence alone should prompt the City of London Police and the Metropolitan Police to withdraw their support for the “Global Peace and Unity” conference.

We shall see if they do.