U.K. Muslim Brotherhood Figure Blames "Zionists" For Qaradawi Visa Denial


U.K. Muslim Brotherhood figure and Hamas supporter Azzam Tamimi appeared Friday on Al-Jazeera with a U.K. government spokesperson to discuss the recent denial by the U.K of a visa for global Muslim Brotherhood leader Youssef Qaradawi. On the program, Tamimi made several statements which illustrate Muslim Brotherhood positions on this and other issues. First, Tamimi suggests that the visa denial is related to “enmity and hostility to Islam and Muslims” and alludes to the Jewish community by attributing such hostility to “neo-Conservatives”:

“There is no doubt that this British step was not wise. I can even describe it as a stupid step. This issue is not related to an ordinary visa because Shaykh al-Qaradawi is not an ordinary person. He is one of the most important and most revered Muslim scholars in modern age. He visited Britain in 2004 and was accorded a warm welcome at the airport by Britain officials. His ideas were known to them. He has not changed his positions.” He adds: “It is not true that he was banned entry because of his positions. The true reason is the existence of an internal British conflict. There are conflicting political movements here and they want Shaykh Al-Qaradawi and Muslims to pay the price of this conflict.” Continuing, he says: “The Labour Party, which disappointed us under Gordon Brown, whom we thought would be better than his predecessor Tony Blair, is competing with the conservatives and neo-conservatives in showing their enmity and hostility to Islam and Muslims.”… “this is a big blow and major insult to Muslims.” He adds: “Regrettably, the British politicians adopt a policy that supports and even encourages racists in the British society against Muslims.”

Tamimi continues by alluding to “Zionist” control over the U.K:

“Mr Jon indirectly admitted that his government’s decision to deny Shaykh Al-Qaradawi entry into Britain was wrong because he admitted the role the Shaykh plays in clarifying things. What shall I say to the tens of thousands of youth in the Whitechapel Mosque or the London Central Mosque, where I used to translate Shaykh Al-Qaradawi’s sermons, in which he told people that their top priority should be acting like good Muslim citizens in Britain, merge into the society, and spare their neighbours all evil?” He adds: “Who is ruling this country and who decides its policy? Have the Zionists taken control of this country in order to ban or allow the entry of anyone they want? The government should go back on its decision because this harms British interests and the Muslims’ feelings. It will increase the gap between us and the British people.”

Later Tamimi supports recent comments by the Archbishop of Canterbury suggesting that elements of Shariah Law could be incorporated into British law:

The archbishop has certainly uttered wisdom today. All Muslim bodies welcomed his call because the implementation of the Islamic law on issues related to marriage, inheritance, and divorce will not harm anyone in the British society, and the Muslims need this. The archbishop understood this but the British Government has regrettably responded negatively to his call. We hope it will become convinced that this will improve relations among communities contrary to what it thinks.

Finally Tamimi alleges that the denial of a visa to Qaradawi is a blow to freedom of though and discussion, blaming “democratic seculars” for the erosion of democracy in the U.K.:

Mr Jon continues to talk about ideology although this is not the problem. The problem lies in the political position. The problem began in Britain after the invasion of Iraq. When they invaded Iraq we stood up in their face and in the face of this invasion. Therefore, they antagonized us. As for the Muslim British MP, whom they bugged, I think they did so because he is the only Muslim MP who stood up against the government objecting to the invasion of Iraq. When Shaykh Al-Qaradawi and other scholarly imams come to Britain, they do not carry bombs or explosives. They come with science and thought. Therefore, science and thought should be allowed to be discussed. This democracy is regrettably eroding. These democratic seculars no longer have room for ideas and discussions. Unless they go back on this and allow opinions to be exchanged and a real dialogue to take place, we will certainly be heading towards a dark alley from which all will be harmed.”

Azzam Tamimi is a long time member of the Muslim Association of Britain and recently switched allegiance to the British Muslim Initiative, both organizations being part of the Muslim Brotherhood in the U.K. He is the director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought (IPT), known to have had Georgetown University Professor John Esposito on its Advisory Board as well as Youssef Qaradawi. Tamimi is the author of books on Hamas and in a 2004 TV interview, he expressed his willingness to be a suicide bomber. In January of this year he told Iranian TV that “I want to see Israel come to an end.”

(Source: BBC Monitoring Middle East – Political February 8, 2008 Friday “UK spokesman, Islamist discuss Al-Qaradawi visa denial” Source: Al-Jazeera TV, Doha, in Arabic 1830 gmt 7 Feb 08)

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