Qaradawi update

by Daniel on January 15, 2005

Longtime readers will remember that there was quite an active debate a few months ago on the subject of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the fundamentalist imam, and his visit to London. There have been a few developments since then. Ken Livingstone (mayor of London, for our non-UK readers) has produced a dossier justifying his decision to share a platform with Qaradawi, out of the apparent belief that this is in some way a substitute for meeting the crowds of outraged Londonders who thought he shouldn’t have. Harry’s Place has a lot of material on whether or not this dossier cuts the mustard; they think it doesn’t.

On a number of issues; apologism for suicide bombers, advocacy of killing gays, wife-beating, etc, it seems pretty clear that Qaradawi is possessed of some fairly horrible reactionary views. This isn’t much of a surprise; to be honest, it was free information which could simply be read off the fact that he is a fundamentalist imam. But Ken’s dossier does contain one important point.

That is, that the particular offence which caused us at CT to come off the fence and condemn him – a statement that it was OK or even required for jihadis to kidnap Western civilians in Iraq – is a statement which Qaradawi denies ever having made. In general, while I can’t emphasise enough that he is not someone who I would ever like to see gaining influence in the UK, Qaradawi appears to have repeatedly, consistently, and at some personal cost, maintained the view that fundamentalist Islam does not impose any duty of violent jihad against the West, and that killing infidel civilians is wrong. This raises a quite important issue as to what kind of fundamentalist Muslim we need to be talking to (I’m trying to talk in general terms here to avoid issues specifically related to Qaradawi; I am not yet sure whether his view on suicide bombers is just the general apologism common throughout the Arab Middle East or something more virulent).

There’s a lot of debate in the Harry’s Place comment threads that I’m not going to try to summarise here, but below the fold is the text of an email I sent to the editors (I was having a bit of technical trouble so I decided to summarise my views in an email. I think it makes sense as a standalone, but you’ll probably need to read this to see what I mean by “David makes a good case”).

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And this is Jesus’s skull when he was a little boy

by Kieran Healy on January 15, 2005

The “True Cross is coming to Tucson!”:

bq. The [“Relics of the Passion”] exhibit is part of a six-state tour that will take place during Lent. The eight relics include what are believed to be remains from Jesus’ crown of thorns, a piece of exterior wrapping from the Shroud of Turin that some say was Jesus’ burial sheet, and a sliver from the cross used to crucify him. A replica of one of the nails used to hang Christ on the cross also will be part of the display. Though it’s not an actual nail used in the crucifixion, organizers say it’s made from shavings of some nails that were.

bq. “Certainly, if people saw the movie, now it’s time to venerate the relics,” said tour organizer Richard Jeffrey, past state deputy for the Arizona Knights of Columbus …

I wonder how much they’ll be charging people to see them. If it’s cheap enough, I’ll have to go along. The tour is being organized by the “Apostolate For Holy Relics”:, an organization based not in the Vatican City, but out of a “Post Office Box in Los Angeles”: You can save yourself a trip and “see photos of the relics”: on the AFHP’s website, though mostly you just see the reliquaries of the relics.