Wednesday, July 20, 2005


C4 News last night: 6 times they said that Tony Blair had denied any link between the Iraq war and the London bombings (except he didn't, when you listened to the clip of him); Anarchy in Iraq, the usual stuff...

Anjem Choudary of al-Muhajiroun asserts that Sheikh Osama Bin Laden 'had warned the British people'. He wouldn't answer the question as to whether 7/7 was justified. Even among the moderates that I have heard put forward (Choudary accused the one on the C4 piece of not being a 'real Muslim'), none will condemn suicide bombings against Israel. They all say British foreign policy needs to change (delightfully vague). The US/UK interventions since 2001 are condemned by all Muslims, apparently (except those in Iraq or Afghanistan, of course).

Perhaps the question that is not being asked, but needs to be, about suicide bombings is : do you condemn them in Iraq?

Ken Livingstone, also on the BBC this morning, veers from gross over-simplification to downright untruth. He talks about British and American policy in the ME for the last 80 years - 'interfering' etc (This seems to show he's still living in 1997). Osama Bin Laden was 'created by the Americans' during the war with the  Soviets in Afghanistan. Despite this, Chris Bertram at Crooked Timber is probably right when he says (in Battle lines) Livingstone has a 'political sureness of touch that eludes the bloggers [at Harry’s Place]' over the Sheikh al-Qaradawi affair.

Update (22 Jul): Prince Hassan of Jordan is not very keen on al-Qaradawi: at the very end of his interview on C4 News, Wednesday, he makes a telling point: al-Qaradawi refuses to talk to Jews.

On Tariq Ramadan, most of the allegations about him seem to be based on rumours on the Internet. A (female) journalist from The Guardian who rang up to ask The Sun what their sources were, was told to do a Google for him - 'Broadcasting House', Sunday (17 July).


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