The whistleblower, Derek Pasquill, subsequently lost his job. "My client has been victimised," his lawyer said, "He believed that the public had a right to know about what he believed to be a dangerous government policy."
This continuing process began when Jack Straw was Foreign Secretary – in 2001 he established a unit that became known as Engaging With the Muslim World.
That unit's head (2004-6), until her present appointment as ambassador to Lebanon, was Britain's former ambassador to Yemen (2001-4), Frances Guy – who would become so notoriously enamoured of Sheikh Fadlallah, the Hezbollah Holocaust-denier who masterminded terrorist attacks and the kidnappings of several British hostages as well as issuing a fatwa supporting suicide bombings in Israel, and blogged a fulsome tribute to him!
Here she is, in obeisant posture – and note that low chair, hardly worthy of the envoy of Her Britannic Majesty! – hanging on the great man’s words.
And see http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/01/through-lens-dhimmily-britains-middle.html as well as http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1293417/William-Hague-pressed-sack-ambassador-praising-Hezbollah-cleric-backed-suicide-bombers.html
Reported The Times acerbically:
'The Government’s funding appears to contradict the view of Tony Blair that radicals who support terrorism should not be tolerated. The Egyptian-born cleric has defended Palestinian suicide bombings as “a weapon which the weak resort to”.
Last year, after the July 7 bombings in London, Mr Blair said: “Let me make it clear . . . we want nothing to do with people who support suicide bombers in Palestine or elsewhere or support terrorists.”
In March Mr Blair specifically condemned the extremist ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which Dr al-Qaradawi is the spiritual leader.
Dr al-Qaradawi, 80, is banned from entering the United States and last visited Britain in 2004 as a guest of Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London. That trip provoked widespread protest from Jewish groups and gay rights organisations.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews referred a dossier on the cleric’s comments to the Crown Prosecution Service but it ruled that there were no grounds on which to charge him with any offence.
Despite the concerns about Dr al-Qaradawi, an influential element within the FCO has lobbied against any attempts by 10 Downing Street and the Home Office to exclude him permanently from Britain.
An FCO memo written last July, a copy of which has been seen by The Times, described him as “a highly respected Islamic scholar” and argued that he had condemned the 9/11 atrocities and the 7/7 bombs.
The author of the memo said that the cleric “should not be excluded from the United Kingdom given his influence in relation to our foreign policy objectives”. He [she; i.e. Guy?] did not spell out those policy aims.
An FCO spokesman defended the decision to pay for Dr al-Qaradawi’s attendance at the conference, describing him as “one of the leading Muslim scholars in the world”.
The spokesman added that although the Government had funded the conference it was left to a steering group, which included Sir Iqbal Sacranie, the former head of the Muslim Council of Britain, to invite participants. He added: “We knew Qaradawi was going. The point of the conference, and the reason we were keen to be involved, was to provide a platform to debate contemporary issues facing Muslims in Europe”.' http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article686879.eceSaid the conference blurb: “For a broader dialogue to happen, we must state clearly and often that Muslims can also be Europeans. This is not a clash of civilisations. We have a common interest in being vigilant against Islamophobia and in standing up to the advocates of terror”.
And an account of the conference explained, inter alia:
“The past few years have been very challenging for the Muslims in the western world. Unfortunately the true picture of Islam has not been shown to the world although many efforts have been made by Islamic Organizations as well as Muslim individuals in many parts of Europe.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth office organized a 2 day conference … to discuss the Identity, Citizenship, and Challenges & Opportunities with regards to the Muslims in Europe. Prominent Muslim Scholars, intellectuals, academics and government officials participated from more than 20 countries of the world.
…. Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, Dr Tariq Ramadan, Shaykh Hakim Murad, Shaykh Nuh Keller, Dr Mohamed Mestiri, Dilwar Hussain along with many more prominent scholars were the main participants who contributed in the conference.
The final and last speech among the main speakers was delivered by Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri on the 2nd day of the conference before the final session. Shaykh-ul-Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri spoke on the true concept of identity and citizenship that Islam has given to the [sic] Humanity.
Islam has introduced the disciplines of plural society and has laid the foundations for an ideal plural society keeping the rights of every individual living in the society no matter what faith the individual belongs from.
Shaykh ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri further said that TERRORISM HAS NO RELIGION. [Their emphasis] It is a social act and it is linked to society due to several reasons. Terrorism is an act that is a reaction due to specific reasons. Terrorism can be from any society but it has no link to any religion in the world. Terrorism can be American, it can be Indian, it can be Christian, Jewish, Chinese or it can be based on any society or country but cannot be taken to be a part of any religion. [My emphasis]
Shaykh ul Islam Dr Muhammad Tahir ul Qadri concluded his speech by emphasising that Europe has always been in favour of Muslims within Europe and in the foreign world. But Europe needs to promote the true picture of Islam by placing modern learned Islamic Scholars and intellectuals as the participants of this conference on the media. Unfortunately media has not been playing its role in promoting the true picture of Islam due to which many problems have arisen for the Muslims as well as the European societies.” http://www.minhaj.org/english/tid/3560/Muslims-of-Europe-Conference.htmlMoreover:
“Muslims from all over Europe came at the beginning of July to Istanbul to discuss such hotly debated issues as combating extremism, citizenship, identity, faith and its public role. The result of the 2-days conference entitled "Muslims of Europe: challenges and opportunities" has been not only numerous recommendations but also the following Topkapi Declaration....
• Islam's presence in Europe is not a new phenomenon but a historically long and culturally rich one. Its interaction with European society sparked a flowering in knowledge. Large numbers of Muslims have continuously inhabited the Balkans, Eastern and Central Europe for hundreds of years. Muslims have played an important role in the transfer and production of knowledge to and in Europe. They have subsequently helped to rebuild the economies of a war torn continent in the 1950s, arriving as immigrants seeking employment and settling to make Europe their home. In almost every field of life Muslims have thus been an integral part of the European tapestry. European Muslims today are at home in Europe; they have been contributors to Europe 's past and are stakeholders in its future.
• We recognise that European societies value openness, inclusiveness and democracy. European Muslims have a great opportunity to flourish as citizens in a pluralistic environment benefiting from access to education, prosperity and development. As citizens Muslims are obliged by Islamic law to obey the legislation of their countries particularly when they enjoy freedom of worship and benefit from social justice. As loyal citizens they are obliged to defend their countries against aggressors.
• Similarly in accordance with the teachings of Islam, Muslims also have a duty to promote social harmony and good relations with their neighbours. The virtues of decency, goodness and ethical conduct in all aspects of life are espoused repeatedly in the Holy Qur'an....
• One of the principles of a democratic society is freedom of religion. Islam also recognises freedom of religion, and like Europe today, gives this ethical ethos particularly strict importance. As stated by God in the Holy Qur'an , people cannot be coerced into belief ...
• As full and dynamic citizens aware of their rights as well as their responsibilities, European Muslims have the right to criticise, dissent and protest, as do all European citizens. This right is in accordance with the democratic processes of Europe and in accordance with their faith. Islam calls upon all Muslims to promote the common good and welfare ( maslaha) of society as a whole and prevent what is wrong ( munkar).
• However, we witness with great sadness the challenges that face many European Muslims, who suffer at the hands of those who resent their presence in Europe or those whose crude sentiments leave no place for people of different colour, culture or creed. It is a challenge to which we must all rise. We condemn Islamophobia and discrimination in all their forms. If Europe 's Muslims are treated as second class citizens, or seen as a burden or even a threat to society, then the level of trust built up over the centuries which is essential for the establishment of peace across the world will be jeopardised. There have also been problems of disenfranchisement and poverty particularly amongst Muslim youth. European Muslim youth should be seen as a positive force, which can benefit the labour force and social fabric of Europe
• We strongly urge European governments to promote inclusiveness and dialogue. This should be done through measures such as education, to encourage greater mutual knowledge and understanding, as well as social programmes to tackle socio-economic disadvantage. We applaud those European governments who have taken active measures to stem racism and who have legislated against overt and institutionalised forms of discrimination against minorities. We also acknowledge that the media has a role in ensuring accurate and responsible coverage.
• Terrorism in all its forms is an affront to our humanity. Under no circumstances does Islam permit terrorism and the killing of civilians. Terrorism is in direct contravention to the principles of Islam and the vast majority of Muslims remain faithful to these teachings. We condemn and abhor the violent actions of a tiny minority of Muslims who have unleashed violence and terror—by distorting the teaching of Islam—upon innocent neighbours and fellow citizens. The Holy Qur'an clearly declares that killing an innocent person is tantamount to killing all of mankind and likewise saving a single life is as if one had saved the life of all mankind ( Al-Mai'dah, 5:32 ). This is both a principle and a command.
• We remain committed to working to ensure that the voice of the peaceful majority of Muslims overcomes that of the tiny minority who seek to promote distorted misinterpretations of Islam. We join our voices to those of scholars from across the world to say that we reject the cancer of terrorism. We pray for the guidance of those to whom extremism and violence may seem an attractive route.
• We also call on the world to work harder and more consistently to eliminate the injustices and grievances, like in Palestine, that have contributed to the hopelessness and despair of many Muslims and peoples across the world. [My emphasis] Wars are not the way to solve conflict and we should work together to find a humane and moral ways to solve problems.
• Finally, we concur with and respect the Amman Message of November 2004; with the Final Declaration issued by the International Islamic Conference held in Jordan in July 2005; with the statements and fatawa of numerous scholars from across the Muslim world that preceded this conference and upon which this conference was based; with the Makkah Declaration and Final Summaries of the OIC Summit held in December 2005, the final statement of the Islamic Fiqh Academy held in Jordan in June 2006; as well as the 15 th session of the European Council for Fatwa and Research in its declaration concerning engagement with society and positive integration and the declaration of European Muslims made by the Supreme Council of the Islamic Community of Bosnia and Herzegovina of 2005 – in essence to develop solidarity amongst Muslims and establish justice. We recognise that solidarity of the Ummah is a key priority for all Muslims – both in Europe and throughout the world. [My emphasis] We join our fellow Muslims the world over to challenge those who seek to misuse our faith corrupting its message. We call for solidarity between us and the upholding of Islam's universal vision of peace, fraternity, tolerance and social harmony.
2 July 2006, Istanbul http://www.setav.org/public/HaberDetay.aspx?Dil=tr&hid=13570&q=muslims-of-europe-conference-challenges-and-opportunities
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office panders to Islamism at the expense of Israel, and enthuses about the Muslim presence in Britain – and the rest of Europe. Here, for instance, are extracts from Frances Guy’s speech at Beirut Arab University in March last year.
“London has traditionally been a place of refuge and tolerance; Marx after all wrote his classic work in the British Library. London was the favourite place of exile of anarchists and revolutionaries. More recently it has been seen as the home of Muslim opposition forces, even leading to the French coining the term Londonistan. This is a heritage that we are proud of, even if it makes us occasional enemies of other governments.” [My emphasis]
“Today in the United Kingdom we are proud to have Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus, Buddhists, Jews... Muslims represent about 3% of the total British population, about 2 million people. There are now over 1,200 mosques in the UK and more than 110 Muslim schools. Some of these are state schools. There are different arguments about the value or otherwise of faith schools. ... Muslims in the UK have been able to use human rights legislation successfully to argue that if the state provides other faith schools, in this case, Church of England and Catholic schools, then the state should also provide Muslim schools where demand justified such a provision.”Notice how Jews, whose communal presence dates to 1656, are lumped in with communities she is citing as settling since the Second World War, and also notice how they bring up the rear in this list, reflecting a trend not untypical of British speeches of this kind.
“Trevor Griffiths of the Equality Commission in the UK argues that British commonsense provides an approach to human rights that is deeply ingrained in our British history that tells us for example, that while free speech cannot be traded for cultural sensitivity, the right to offend does not imply an obligation to insult. I agree that ordinary citizens understand that there are limits to how one exercise freedom to express your point of view but I think nevertheless that it takes a legal framework to ensure it – a framework that ensures that people demonstrating against the Israeli Embassy in London do not use abusive anti-Semitic language, and a framework that balances the right to publish with the protection of minorities.”Notice how demonstrating against Israeli policy is taken as a given. Furthermore, her contention that “abusive anti-Semitic language” does not occur at such events is nonsensical.
Here, for example, is what the journalist Douglas Davis wrote following the ugly scenes in Londonistan (and elsewhere in Eurabia) during Operation Cast Lead:
‘At my dinner table on Friday night, a holocaust survivor admits that she is trying to persuade her son to take his family out of Europe to America, Canada, Australia, Canada, Australia, Israel...’They say they can’t leave me, but I tell them: “Go, get out. My parents left my grandparents behind in Berlin and brought me to safety in England. Now I want you to leave so that my grandchildren will be safe.”’ There is an unbearable desperation in her plea. But she has a point.
As tens of thousands of demonstrators march through the streets of Europe, the chants are modified but the message remains substantially intact: ‘Hamas, Hamas, Hamas – Jews to the Gas’. Or, more simply: ‘Death to the Jews’. Many European Jews, even well-established, affluent Jews, have been checking the suitcase they keep packed under the bed. They have been here before and many are (albeit reluctantly) reading the writing on the wall.
To some extent I thought I was inured. I grew up in postwar apartheid South Africa where a subtle undercurrent of anti-Semitism was a fact of everyday life. So while I was disturbed by manifestations of mob anti-Semitism, I was also less vulnerable to shock. That’s just how people are. Living in genteel, leafy Hampstead Garden Suburb provides an additional layer of protection from such crass outbursts.
But my sanguine state ends abruptly when I am out walking on Saturday. A hundred yards from my front door, I encounter the slogan, freshly painted in yellow, across the pavement: ‘Kill the Filthy Jews’. I am shocked. And shocked that I am shocked. The message is too close for comfort. The leafy gentility is, after all, an illusion.
Those who study these matters tell me that the current convulsion of anti-Semitism is the worst in a generation. They also say that there is a direct, causal link with the Israeli military operation against Hamas in Gaza. Once upon a time, anti-Israel protesters insisted they were motivated by political animus against Zionism rather than racial prejudice against Jews. The Hamas Charter, which sets out of the guiding principles of the Islamic Resistance Movement – xenophobic, racist and anti-Semitic – removes the distinction.’The FCO’s dogged determination to court the Muslim world at the expense of Israel can be seen not only in the extreme anti-Israel blog (courtesy of the official website of the FCO) of British ambassador in Jordan James Watt (http://daphneanson.blogspot.com/2011/01/through-lens-dhimmily-britains-middle.html ) but in that of Dominic Asquith, Britain’s ambassador to Egypt.
See also http://hurryupharry.org/2009/01/14/cause-and-effect/
He’s a great-grandson of a former British prime minister, Herbert Henry Asquith (later 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith), and, incidentally, a relative of Emma Clark, Lord Oxford’s great-granddaughter, who’s one of a number of notable white British converts to Islam trumpeted as trophies on Islamic websites (these converts include the son of John Birt, who was once Director-General of the BBC, and the Earl of Yarborough).
Mr Asquith is himself a Catholic, and has often addressed the need to understand Islam.
In October, he had this to say:
‘The world over, people empathised with the case of Sufiyatu Huseini in Nigeria, who faced the threat of stoning for adultery, just as many do now with Sakineh Ashtiani in Iran. Similarly with Abdallah Abu Rahma, a Palestinian blogger sentenced last week to one year in prison by an Israeli military court. British diplomats attended his case in court: as my government declared, “We are concerned that his continued detention is intended to prevent him and other Palestinians from exercising their legitimate right to non violent protest against the annexation of Palestinian land to Israel. Or Hossein Derakhshan, another blogger who was sentenced last month to 19 years in prison in Iran...’Bit thick, isn’t it, lumping a democratic ally’s treatment of a blogger who poses a security threat in with the Ahmadinejad regime’s draconian punishments. (And, anyway, Asquith's blog is supposedly about his work in Egypt just as Watt's is supposedly about the latter's work in Jordan, not with dissing Israel. Imagine the outcry if, say, Britain's ambassador in Germany blogged gratuitous criticisms of Poland ...)
(Notice, incidentally, how that exact latter phrase, obviously from the Camel Corps’ Corpus of Controlled Quotations, turns up in the FCO’s statement of 13 January this year, which condemns the raising of Abu Rahma’s term to 16 months: “We are concerned by the Israeli military court’s decision to extend Abdallah Abu Rahma’s sentence on charges of incitement and organising and participating in demonstrations to 16 months. British Diplomats, including the Consul General Sir Vincent Fean, as well as diplomats from other EU Member states have continued to attend all hearings in Abu Rahma’s case... We remain concerned that his extended sentence is intended to prevent Abdallah and other Palestinians from exercising their right to non violent protest against the annexation of Palestinian land to Israel”.)
Asquith goes on:
“Humanity and tolerance will continue to lose their chance of being heard if their aim is just silent co-existence. In Germany, the latest concerns about immigration and suggestions that multiculturalism has failed underline the importance of what Bill Clinton said when he was in Cairo recently. He referred to the fear that many non-Muslims felt about Islam. That was a reality which we all needed to face and try and deal with.... What Muslims should feel rightly angry about, he went on, was the way in which that fear was expressed.”
Surely a long-sleeved, high-necked western dress with a suitably modest hemline would have sufficed not to offend the hosts, rather than this bizarre affront to Ffion Hague’s dignity, and indeed an insult to all British women, especially since their protracted struggle for equal rights was won well within living memory. (I’m sure that greatest of Foreign Secretaries, Lord Palmerston – a philosemite, by the way – must be spinning in his grave, not necessarily on account of this insult to women, but owing to the self-imposed dhimmitude of those who “never never never shall be slaves”!)
No prizes for guessing why there’s never been an official royal visit to Israel, by the way!
I shall be addressing that topic quite soon – so please stay tuned!