Feb 1, 2008

Al-Qaradawi debate, again

Some in the British parliament are calling for Sheikh Qaradawi to be banned from coming to England for medical treatement, on the basis that he's inciting hatred against Jews and homosexuals. Of course, the fact that he's a Muslim is the real reason:

Should he be banned from coming here for inciting hatred? There are two elements to this too. What's the objective evidence? And is it applied consistently or only to Muslim preachers?

The law seems pretty unambiguous on the first issue. A few years ago the Board of Deputies of British Jews compiled and presented a dossier to the Met police, who handed it to the CPS. Within two days they concluded the evidence was insufficient to charge him. Say what you want about the police and CPS, but you can hardly accuse them of appeasing British Muslims given Forest Gate, 28/42/90 days and Jean Charles De Menzes. Legally then, al-Qaradawi is not inciting hatred. And that's the measure we value, otherwise we'd be locking up the BNP for general nastiness too, right?

My issue is applying these standards consistently. The same baying mob that was saying "So fucking what?" when British Muslims said they were offended by the Danish cartoons are now falling over themselves to declare they're being offended by this preacher and therefore he shouldn't be allowed in. It's that stinking smell of hypocrisy again.

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