“Red” Ken Livinstone is the mayor of London and a member of Britain’s Labor Party. This past summer Livingstone hosted Muslim Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi on a visit to the city to attend the Pro-Hijab Conference and to establish the International Council of Muslim Clerics. Contemporaneous with Qaradhawi’s London call, Steven Stalinsky of the invaluable Middle East Media Research Institute released a dossier on Qaradhawi’s appalling views: “Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradhawi in London to establish ‘The International Council of Muslim Clerics.'”
Mayor Livingstone’s hospitality to Qaradhawi raised eyebrows at the time of his visit. On behalf of his constituents, Mayor Livingstone apologized and invited invited Qaradhawi back for a return engagement. See Islam Online’s “Mayor apologizes, invites Qaradawi back to London.”
Today Livingstone released an 80-page dossier defending Qaradhawi (click here for the press release and links to the dossier). To accompany the release of the dossier Livingstone unleashed a torrent of propaganda and abuse befitting his days as a Trotskyite: Livingstone demands UK media apologize to Qaradawi.” According to Livingstone, Qaradhawi is a progressive Muslim figure and MEMRI’s account of his views was based on inauthentic Israeli intelligence reports.
Livingstone’s timing has not enhanced the credibility of his defense of Qaradhawi: “Mayor blasted over cleric dossier.” Today’s London Times quotes Qaradhawi suggesting that the tsunami was a punishment for the behaviour of Western tourists:
“People must ask themselves why this earthquake occurred in this area and not others… Whoever examines these areas discovers that they are tourism areas. Tourism areas are areas where the forbidden acts are widespread, as well as alcohol consumption, drug use and acts of abomination… Don