Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood

On Qaradawi’s visit to the UK
Maryam Namazie
July 15, 2004

Al-Qaradawi’s visit to the UK had got me singing Santa Esmeralda’s ‘Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood’. That’s hardly surprising given The Guardian’s coverage of his visit and the Muslim Association of Britain and the Stop the War Coalition’s protestations. One could even almost feel sorry for ‘misunderstood’ and ‘misrepresented’ Al-Qaradawi. Of course I say ‘could’ because there might still be someone somewhere whose path has not crossed the political Islamic movement or who may have some form of historical amnesia. But for the rest of us, including us survivors of the Islamic regime in Iran, you can’t really persuade us that Al Qaradawi or the political Islamic movement is anything but misogynist, homophobic and inhumane. Flip through the pages of his and other ‘scholarly’ Islamic writings to see ample evidence of this. Look through the Koran, Hadith and Islamic jurisprudence for more. But more importantly, look at the actions of the political Islamic movement in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, and anywhere it has power or is vying for power to see it for what it is.

Al-Qaradawi and his supporters may play around with words while in Britain and have ample support from cultural relativism and an opportunistic Socialist Workers’ Party, ‘Left’ and Ken Livingston who deem a critique of religion and its oppressive movement as racist for their own self-interests. But actions do speak louder than any play of words. In that of course Al Qaradawi is right. As he says, punishment is a matter for the state; and we know what Islamic states do to homosexuals, women, the Left, atheists and any apostate or dissenter.

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