Livingstone explains his position on Qaradawi to London’s Jews

This was Ken Livingstone speaking to Tower Hamlets PSC in 2009:

“Qaradawi called for peoples across the world to give blood when you had 9/11. Blood to help the victims. But he’s not prepared to ignore the plight of the Palestinian people. And any people’s whose land is occupied will fight back. Any people who are under attack will fight back. We would have done it. We did it in World War Two. We sent our young men behind German lines, in order to destroy the greatest evil humanity had faced. And we can’t deny the Palestinian people – it’s a waste of our breath – telling the Palestinian people they shouldn’t resist!”

Livingstone compares resisting against Israel with resisting Nazis. Seemingly, he compares Britain’s tactics in going “behind German lines”, with the behind-the-lines tactic of suicide bombing endorsed by Sheikh Qaradawi.

Livingstone praises Qaradawi on 911, but Qaradawi had endorsed terrorism against Jews in 2001, the same speech as he denounced 911, saying that fighters should concentrate on the struggle within Palestine.

Qaradawi’s support for suicide bombing was again on record back in 2004, when the BBC interviewed him, and he said:

It’s not suicide, it is martyrdom in the name of God, Islamic theologians and jurisprudents have debated this issue. Referring to it as a form of jihad, under the title of jeopardising the life of the mujahideen. It is allowed to jeopardise your soul and cross the path of the enemy and be killed. […]

Israeli women are not like women in our society because Israeli women are militarised. Secondly, I consider this type of martyrdom operation as indication of justice of Allah almighty. Allah is just. Through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak what the strong do not possess and that is the ability to turn their bodies into bombs like the Palestinians do. […]

If the Iraqis can confront the enemy, there is no need for these acts of martyrdom. If they don’t have the means, acts of martyrdom are allowed. I didn’t say that the Iraqis cannot, it depends on their need.

Here’s a video of Qaradawi on suicide bombing:

And this was Qaradawi on suicide bombings in 2009, months before Ken’s address to the PSC:

Throughout history, Allah has imposed upon the Jews people who would punish them for their corruption…The last punishment was carried out by Hitler. By means of all the things he did to them – even though they exaggerated this issue – he managed to put them in their place. This was divine punishment for them…Allah willing, the next time will be at the hand of the believers.

How did Ken explain this to London’s Jews last week? (07:00)

“Um, on Qaradawi… a…. however, I mean, we had this, long debate about this, at a meeting a few weeks ago, now however much you go round and round it, you can’t change the reality of where I was coming from, all I knew about Sheikh Qaradawi, when I… got into work that morning,  and… you know , because … the Sun had all this preacher-of-hate stuff, the only thing I knew when I checked, was that Conservative government had given him a Visa to enter Britain every other year, and the Sun described him as the true voice of Islam when he urged Muslims round the world to give blood to the victims of 911 […]

I just saw someone demonised by the Sun, and I’ve been there myself […]

He supports suicide bombing on Israel, and I don’t agree with him on that. But he denounced any attempt to have a terrorist attack in Britain and America, he thinks the war should be confined to the Middle East. “


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