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To Haitham al-Haddad – it’s no longer business as usual; Love, the Netherlands

This is a guest post by Hasan Afzal of StandforPeace.

What an extraordinary few weeks it has been for those who battle the forces of Islamist extremism. First, StandforPeace exposed Haitham al-Haddad’s FOSIS London love-in, then the good folks at Hope not Hate called on the East London Mosque to ban him from an event there and to finish, the JC published the story that he had been banned from speaking at the London School of Economics.

It is completely understandable that al-Haddad would feel a little uncomfortable in the UK. After all, his supporters can’t bring themselves to wonder why someone who condones suicide bombings, female circumcision and self-exile from wider society would be despised by free-thinking people.

So, a few days ago, I was contacted by an internet acquaintance on al-Haddad visiting the Netherlands. Admittedly, I don’t know much about the Netherlands’ problem with extremism although I was aware of events concerning Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Theo Von Gogh and the Hofstad Network. It was enough to act.

For those on Harry’s Place who aren’t aware who Haitham al-Haddad is, allow me to offer a quick crash course.

Haitham al-Haddad is an extremist and a hate preacher. At StandforPeace, we’ve been monitoring Islamist extremism for some time, in my opinion al-Haddad’s extremism is only beaten by the likes of Anwar al-Awlaki.

This is al-Haddad on domestic violence, “A man should not be questioned why he hit his wife because this is something between them. Leave them alone. They can sort out their matters among themselves. Even the father of the daughter who is married to the man, he should not ask his daughter why you have been beaten or hit by your husband”.

al-Haddad on community cohesion, “This peaceful co-existence and just full stop is wrong. Peaceful co-existence and enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. Peaceful co-existence [should be] spreading the dawah [intense Islamic proselytisation of non-Muslims].

al-Haddad on female genital mutilation, “The sunnah [Islamically correct] way of doing it, the proper way of doing it, it is the consensus of all the scholars that female circumcision is sunnah. I haven’t come across any scholar who said it clearly that it is not sunnah. All of them they said that it is sunnah, in fact some scholars say it is wajeb (obligatory).”

al-Haddad’s justification of suicide bombing, “This category is mentioned in what the scholars call at-Tatarrus, which permits Muslims on the battlefield to kill a group of non-Muslims if they are using Muslims as a type of shield and there is no other way to get at them. This way, even if it leads to the killing of some Muslims, as long as non-Muslims are killed, is permissible a fortiori. Thus it is understood that, although these people were not fighting, one may kill them unintentionally…”. Yes, you read that correctly. If innocent people are in your way towards your journey to the delights that await you, they are fair game.

Haitham al-Haddad is due to speak at VU University on the 17th and 18th February. The event is hosted by the Islamic Students Association, Amsterdam chapter. The theme to which his talk will be delivered is – and try to keep a straight face – “The Muslim scholar in the West”. Yes, ISA Amsterdam invited him as a respected Muslim scholar. It’s bad enough this man can poison the minds of Muslim students in the UK, out of European solidarity, we at StandforPeace were determined this would not be the case abroad.

We passed on the news that Haitham al-Haddad was due to enter Amsterdam to the popular news blog Carel Brendel. As I walked into the office this morning, the Netherland’s biggest paper De Telegraaf broke the story too.

To make things even better, a spokesperson for the University said that al-Haddad would only be allowed to speak if the event was subject to a dual platform. Huzzah! This is precisely what StandforPeace has been asking British Universities to do. A dual platform would allow al-Haddad to participate with another speaker who, I hope, would destroy his obviously sexist and supremacist views. VU University understands what free speech means, Malcolm Grant’s UCL on the other hand …

CIDI, an organisation that monitors anti-semitism and anti-Israeli sentiment, have also called for him to be banned. Now, that’s what you call a coalition of the willing.

Whether or not Haitham al-Haddad speaks at the event (he should be detained at Schipol and returned back to the UK, in my opinion), one thing is clear – the Dutch don’t mess about, they see evil and they act on it. Good for them. Business will never be the same for Mr al-Haddad there.

NB: I would like to thank CarelBrendel.nl for their excellent help in assisting StandforPeace in the continent.

Update: The issue has now reached the Dutch Parliament, where Secretary of State Ben Knapen has been asked to ban al-Haddad from the Netherlands. Take note, folks, this is how you defeat hate preachers.