Sunday, August 28, 2005

Another blow-up over Qaradawi

Well, this is progress! Finally The Guardian is reporting that Dr Qaradawi is indeed a supporter of suicide bombers:

“Suicide bombs are a duty, says Islamic scholar”

Apparently, speaking at a conference of Islamic scholars in Egypt last week, Dr Q said:

“I think that saying it is a legitimate right in Palestine and Iraq is not enough because a right is something that can be relinquished. It is a duty...”

Okay, no need to panic – he hasn’t said it is permissible here yet!

He says that those who might consider blowing themselves up on the tube need a really good talking to rather than a pat on the back.

“We cannot say we pat these misguided boys on the back but we do want to listen to them. They have gone astray so we want to treat them in a way that will set them straight... we want to treat them the way clerics treat their students, the way fathers treat their sons.”

Livingstone himself has allowed himself to become an apologist for suicide bombers.

He told The Guardian that while Israel had fighter jets and tanks, the Palestinians "only have their bodies" and no other way to "fight back".

Fuzzy thinking. These bombers are not throwing themselves at tanks, but school busses, and Hamas don’t seem to have any shortage of rockets – which are perfectly able confront tanks.

So, without taking sides on what often seems like a tit-for-tat cycle of violence, the idea that school kids need to be blown up in pizzerias is, frankly, bullshit. Bullshit, Ken!

Though, of course, Ken had to defend his decision to welcome Dr Q to London, despite the latter’s outburst:

“Has fighting colonizers become a criminal and terrorist act for some sheikhs?”

Israeli society, he fumed, was “completely military in its make-up and did not include any civilians. In Israel, men and women are soldiers… They are all occupying soldiers.”

Of course, this fact was pointed out a year before London became a target, and there was no shortage of apologists for this view, including in The Guardian.

Now that the blood’s flowed in our own streets (and threatens to again) we find ourselves having to be a little less cavalier – and a little less callous – about where and when suicide bombing is understandable and/or acceptable.

It’s time to say it. There is only one instance when the actions of suicide bombers can be condoned… when they do it in the privacy of their own homes and discretely enough not to alarm their neighbours.


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