From the Pink Paper:
Livingstone launched his defence of Qaradawi at a public meeting in Barnet, north London on Monday evening (7 March) in response to an audience question.
On Monday the questioner asked Livingstone if his reputation in the Jewish community was damaged by the “allegation you invited hate preachers to City Hall.”
He replied: “You shouldn’t smear a man you haven’t met. You really shouldn’t smear a man you haven’t met. I met Sheikh Qaradawi. Am I to believe the Daily Mail rather than what I hear a man say with his own voice? Here was Sheikh Qaradawi saying, not just to me in private but the audience he addressed in City Hall and then to Paxman on Newsnight: No-one should discriminate against a homosexual; No-man should physically assault his wife; and al-Qaeda, when it attacked New York, he turned round and appealed the Muslims around the world to donate blood to the Americans.
“He represents hundreds of millions of Muslims and he is the main theological opposition to the real hate preachers which are the Wahabi strain, funded by the Saudi Government, which peddles their lies, their hatreds and their anti-semitism all over the world. They actually run a false website smearing Qaradawi, claiming to be Qaradawi’s, which puts all this stuff out . You’ve also got a former Mossad agent who runs the Memory, which has been forced to admit its so-called translation’s of what Qaradawi says are untrue.”
Andrew Gilligan has more.