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View Diary: Ken Livingstone's statement on the attacks in London (146 comments)

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  •  Yes, I am saying that. (none)
    Silly me, I think going out of your way to have a private meeting with someone who has said the things about gays, Jews and women that this cleric said does disqualify them from being taken seriously. Of course I guess these quotes are not proof that the cleric actually said any of these remarks.

    Your sarcasm is out of place, and makes it seem like you don't take these comments seriously. I hope that is not the case. This isn't grade school where you can roll your eyes or talk to the hand.

    •  It is guilt by association pure and simple (none)
      McCarthyite tactics.  Also the claims you make about this cleric are clearly disputed. I really wonder what your real beef is buddy!  According to you the original post should be ignored because Ken met with a cleric you don't like.

      Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

      by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 06:40:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It has nothing to do with what I don't like (none)
        I've never even been to the UK. But I have heard of Livingstone because of controversy over this meeting.

        By the way, I did not make "claims". Those are quotes from this cleric. Unless this cleric claims that he never made any of these statements, then they were not disputed.

        If you are going to defend Livingstone that's fine, but don't make him out to be some big victim of a conspiracy. He chose to meet with a cleric who has made extremist statements. And because this thread went on and on about how fantastic and wonderful Livingstone is, I decided to speak up as to why I do not view him the same way so many of you do.

        To you, that is "McCarthyite". That's fine. I think it is just holding someone accountable for the people they have chosen to spend time with. But you would rather see both these men as huge victims and shrug off any of the remarks. Good for you. I'm sure you are rolling your eyes yet again.

        •  This sounds arrogant, but (none)
          James, you admit you've never been in the UK.  You know nothing of Ken's long track record of supporting gay rights - you know back in the late 70s and early 80s when it wasn't fashionable.

          You know nothing of the villification heaped on Ken when he led the then Greater London Council to the most radically pro-gay stance in the world in the mid 80s.

          You know nothing of Section 28, Jenny Lives With Eric and Martin, etc., etc.  Ken is on our side.  Settle, petal.

          •  This is 2005, not 1985. (none)
            I'm discussing actions that Livingstone has taken in the past year. People he has met in the past year.

            I can't claim that Outrage is 100% right on every issue. I only know them from their efforts to stop homophobic reggae singers from having concerts in the UK, and from this. But these are direct quotes and it is very troubling that anyone with a pro-gay record would want to spend time with this kind of figure.

            And while I may not have been to the UK, I do know about Section 28. Believe it or not, not everyone in the US is totally ignorant of your country. Please don't lord assume that I "know nothing" of these issues just because I have not been there.

            •  and in 2005 the neocons have a well documented (none)
              history of painting false stories in the press about critics of the war, so I won't apologize for looking at this that way.

              Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

              by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 07:18:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  In other words, you can't find any evidence that (none)
                the cleric ever repudiated any of his extreme statements (even though you claimed they had been "discredited") so you want people to believe that I am a "neocon" who has been "paid" to be here, even though I've been on DKos for a year and a half and I have never said a word in support of the Iraq war.

                Can't you do better than this? Come on. Just admit that Livingstone was wrong to meet with this man.

                And how noble of you not to "apologize" for smearing anyone who criticizes your hero. I guess that's not McCarthyite at all.

            •  Reality check (none)
              Do you think Ken has overturned three decades of pro-gay politics in the past year (a non-election year for him) to jump into bed with Osama lite?

              Come on!

              How come nobody here has noticed?  How come Ken more or less forced the government to move on civil partnership laws when, as pretty much his first decision as Mayor, he introduced a regional same sex partnerships registration scheme for London.

              Look, James, there are plenty of ugly homophobes in this country.  Spend your time having a go at someone like Richard Littlejohn (oh how I dread to see what that bastard writes about Muslims in The Sun tomorrow).  Ken is solid.

              •  This is a concern I have about many politicians (none)
                not just Ken. Some people here think I am a "neocon" paid off by "Murdock" to discredit their messiah. But my concern is with any politician who gets close to people with these extremist viewpoints.

                If you think I am going after Livingstone just because of who he is, I'm not. I am criticizing him because I do not think we should overlook his meeting with this man.

        •  Where did you get the quotes (none)
          frontpage mag? As I said the quotes are disputed!

          Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

          by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 07:00:32 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I got them from a major UK gay rights group (none)

            If that is similar to David Horowitz, I hope you tell me how.

            •  and where did outrage get them (none)
              and can you link to it?

              Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

              by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 07:11:34 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I DID link to them, but here they are again. (none)
                "Anyone who thinks that [female] circumcision is the best way to protect his
                daughters should do it. I support this, particularly in the period in which we
                Chernitsky, B., The Egyptian Controversy Over Circumcising Girls 07/11/2003 (Quoting Dr Qardawi's book - Modern Fatwas) Accessed on 01/09/2004

                "...if this [non-violent] approach fails, it is permissible for him [husband] to
                beat her [wife] lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive
                Muslim Clerics on the Religious Rulings Regarding Wife-Beating, MEMRI Special Report No. 27
       , 22/3/04; quoted from Yusuf al-Qaradawi, The Lawful and the Prohibited in Islam (Kuwait: International Islamic Federation of Student Organization), 1984

                "[Homosexuality is] a reversal of the natural order, a corruption of man's
                sexuality, and a crime against the rights of females...concerning the
                punishment for this abominable practice...should both the active and passive
                participants be put to death? While such punishments may seem cruel, they
                have been suggested to maintain the purity of the Islamic society and to keep
                it clean of perverted elements."
                Al-Qaradawi's Visit Stirs Controversy in Britain and Egypt 12/07/2004
       Accessed on 19/10/2004

                Qaradawi on the Use of Children in Suicide Bombing:
                "We cannot say that the [Israeli suicide bombing] casualties were innocent
                civilians. They are not civilians or innocent"; "The Israelis might have nuclear
                bombs but we have the children bomb."
                `Life and Religion' discussion programme, Al-Jazeera TV 28/4/02 As transcribed and translated in Al Jazeera programme debates Arab stand on infitadah, suicide bombers BBC Monitoring 30/4/02

                Qaradawi on Destruction of the Jews:

                "O God, protect them and show them the right path. O God, destroy the
                usurper Jews, the vile Crusaders, and infidels. O God, destroy them along
                with their supporters."
                Sermon at Umar-Bin-al-Khattab mosque, Doha, Qatar, 01/10/2004, broadcast live on Qatar TV; transcribed and translated in Near/Middle East: Round-up of Friday Sermons 1 Oct 04' BBC Monitoring 06/10/2004.


                These are quotes that came from the cleric himself, from his books, from his speeches.

                •  The first link leads to nothing (none)
                  The second is by memri a neocon propaganda outlet, of dubious truthfulness. The quote from the gay group appears to be taken out of context.  

                  Despite a cold wind blowing from the Thames, a small crowd of protesters demonstrated outside London's City Hall where Dr Qaradawi was the guest of honour at conference supporting a woman's freedom to wear the hijab. An invitation which was ironic in view of his fatwa published on Islamonline that all muslim women were obliged to wear it. What about a woman's right not to wear the hijab ?

                  The demonstrators included queer rights activists Peter Tatchell and Brett Lock, several members from the campaigning group Outrage, Darren Johnson and Jenny Jones from the Green Party on the London Assembly, a gay humanist and a london based member of the website

                  In an attempt to spin his way out of his earlier statement regarding the desired punishment for the "major crime" of homosexuality Al-Qaradawi declared

                  "My opinion is that homosexuality is forbidden in Islam, as in Christianity." He added that any punishment was a matter for the state, and that Muslims were inevitably subject to those laws. "Muslims have no right to punish (non active) homosexuals or mistreat them as individuals."

                  However, Dr Al-Qaradawi knows that his tacit support for the death penalty for gays is bound to stoke hatred and prejudice which will lead to punishment even for gay men in the Middle East who are not active, but whose sexuality is known or merely suspected. There are numerous instances of individuals being persecuted merely for their feminine manner.

                  There are many problems with your sources to the say the least.

                  Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

                  by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 07:28:41 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

    •  um? (none)
      You say Livingstone "went out of his way" to meet with a cleric who's views are deplorable on a number of social fronts. Care to elaborate on that?

      You know, sometimes a meeting is just a meeting. I suspect the mayor entertains dozens upon dozens of guests every month and hasn't quite found the time to do a thorough backround check on each and every one.

      Perhaps you'd be up for that job. Give his office a ring, won't you?

      •  It wasn't just a meeting (none)
        I'm sure he does have many meetings, as many politicians do, but he asked him to return:


        KEN LIVINGSTONE, the Mayor of London, yesterday issued a public invitation to a controversial Muslim cleric to return to Britain later this year.

        Mr Livingstone embraced Yusuf al-Qaradawi warmly as he shared a platform with him at City Hall for the second time in a week.

        Dr al-Qaradawi, who defends Palestinian suicide bombers as martyrs, condemns homosexuality and advocates wife-beating, was greeted with shouts of Allahu akbar (God is greatest) as he arrived at the Pro-Hijab conference.

        Mr Livingstone said Dr al-Qaradawi was a respected scholar who preached tolerance and the dispute over his visit had been whipped up by a xenophobic and Islamaphobic media.

        He asked the Egyptian-born cleric, a leading figure in the Muslim Brotherhood, to return to London in October to speak at a three-day conference of the European Social Forum.

        "I would be honoured Sheikh if you would be our guest and take part," Mr Livingstone said.

        Livingstone claimed that the cleric was being unfairly attacked based on past statements, but he seems to have made some of these types of comments all the way up to 2004.

        •  as I have said disputed statements (none)
          and Ken disputes them.

          Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

          by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 07:02:31 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Can you please tell me where (none)
            the cleric has disputed these statements, or repudiated them.
            •  This is called a google smear (none)
              if I can't find him disputing this on the internet it means he didn't.  

              Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

              by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 07:10:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Really? (none)
                So you have no proof that he disputed these statements, but that doesn't mean he didn't? It also doesn't mean he did.

                Please tell me how quoting HIS OWN WORDS is a "smear".

                •  I don't trust your sources in many cases (none)
                  They seem to come from many neocon sites.  This cleric is a supporter of two states, and so is Ken. The neocons want to settle the west bank with the same type of people that attacked the gay rights parade in Jerusalem.  They will then transfer the Palestinians or put them in little reservations.  I believe this is proably your real motivation for posting this shit.

                  Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

                  by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 07:34:58 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  They are HIS quotes. (none)
                    The "sources" are from his own mouth. If you don't think he made these statements I'm sure you can try to find his books or papers and check for yourself.

                    You worship these men as gods, so of course you think I have some secret neocon agenda. Never mind that I have been here for a year and a half and have said little, if anything, about Israel or about the Iraq war.

                    Of course I can't just be appalled by a mayor who has a meeting with someone who makes these quotes. I have to have some big agenda, right?

                    How very "McCarthyite" of you.

                    •  Well the fact that post alot of allegations (none)
                      from right wing Israeli websites gives a bit of a clue.

                      Stop the war! Draft Bush voters!

                      by NoAlternative on Thu Jul 07, 2005 at 07:53:04 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Again, they were his own quotes (none)
                        or purpoted to be. I doubt that gay rights groups in the UK care much about supporting the Iraq war.

                        Whatever. Have a nice day. I hope you didn't sprain your eyes from the rolling. Don't worry about me, I'm going to take a break from here for a while anyway. Don't tell Mr "Murdock" though, I've already used all my vacation time and he doesn't know.

                        •  Much of criticism starts with Evening Standard (none)
                          London has one very right wing evening paper, the Evening Standard. It also publishes free "light" editions at lunchtime and "Metro" in the morning for free distribution at tube stations. The Standard has a long history of antipathy towards Ken, from the days when he was leader of the old Greater London Council.

                          The few occasions it has expressed mild support for him was when he was the obvious winner of the election for Mayor as an independent candidate, having been thrown out of Labour and when their advertising budget was threatened by a rival trying to take the advertising from the various Londonwide bodies like Transport for London that Ken controls.

                          They had one reporter on virtually permanant harrass Ken duty, dogging him wherever he went. When Ken snapped and asked him why he was being such a pain (I paraphrase) the reporter said he was just doing his job. Ken's response was that that was the excuse the Nazi concentration camp guards gave. Whether this was accidental or measured (knowing Ken more likely) this upset the Jewish reporter whose paper then splashed its front page the next day with a report that Ken had called the reporter a camp guard. The timing was particularly bad as the IOC's evaluation committee was visiting to assess the 2012 Olympic bid.

                          The "kill homosexuals" muslim cleric reports have a grain of truth but have gone through the Standard's distortion mill. Actually one of Ken's first decisions as Mayor was to set up "civil partnership registration" ceremonies at City Hall for gays, one of the first areas in the country to do so. Whilst they had no legal standing at the time, several other areas followed and from later this year similar ceremonies, along the same lines  and with the same rights and responsibilities as Registry Office (civil) marriages for heterosexuals, will become legal. The legislation passed last year but the implementation date has been delayed to allow Orders in Council to change the details of all legislation that refers to "marriage" to comply with the new arrangements.

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