Major Egyptian imam sermon: attacking embassies wrong


by Sunny Hundal    
2:23 pm - September 14th 2012

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A prominent Egyptian imam has come out against the anti-Mohammed-film protests sweeping the Middle East today.

It is another sign that many of the violent protests are being orchestrated by extremists seeking to exploit the controversy.

The Egyptian scholar and preacher Sheikh Qaradawi said during the Friday sermon today:

It’s unfair to put all the guilt on a full nation, they are few Americans and some Christian Egyptians who live in the US…

Going to the embassies and breaking it or throwing rocks at it or burn it is not the right solution. We need to ask USA to have an official stand against such acts of insulting religions, like other europian [sic] countries.

(via @hasanpatel)

This is the same Sheikh Qaradawi who was banned from coming into the UK for his ultra-orthodox religious views in 2008.

He is thought to be a prominent intellectual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

Libyan officials said yesterday they had evidence the attack on the Benghazi US Embassy was a pre-planned by terrorists.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


It’s a sad indictment of humanity that people need to be TOLD that it’s wrong to attack an inhabited building with fire-bombs – even more so when their reason is that someone, somewhere has insulted your favoured sky-fairy.
If they were protesting (without the aim of killing) against drone-strikes, occupations, trade embargoes, invasion threats, etc, etc, etc, then fair enough.

2. Chaise Guevara

So he’s against the attacks, which is good, but wants oppression of free speech in the US.

He’s still on the wrong side of right.

3. Raymond Terrific

Yep, he’s still a dangerous nutter who wants to stop me ‘insulting’ his stupid, retarded religion (as they all are – even the buddhists are fighting in Burma these days). And I suspect one man’s insults are another man’s relevant criticism. Instead of sending drones to drop bombs we should fire a few well-targetted copies of Charles Darwin at the muppets.

So, should religions be given special treatment? Call God a bit of a beardy bastard and end up in jail? Come on boffins, this is a tough one. Let’s get it sorted.

Raymond. Peace be upon me.

“but wants oppression of free speech in the US.”

Free speech can’t be an absolute right though – you simply CANNOT insight and then justify it in the name of free speech…

4 – is Monty Python’s Life of Brian incitement to violence?

6. Richard Carey

@ 5

“Free speech can’t be an absolute right though – you simply CANNOT insight (sic) and then justify it in the name of free speech”

Incitement to violence laws are dubious, and the meaning seems to have changed in recent times from exhorting some people to commit violent acts on other people to saying things which make some people so angry they want to kill you or someone else in your place.

@4. Keith

““but wants oppression of free speech in the US.”

Free speech can’t be an absolute right though – you simply CANNOT insight and then justify it in the name of free speech…”

If you mean insult rather than insight, yes you can. Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to be nice, otherwise anyone can supress free speech by claiming to be insulted.

Obviously there are limits, e.g. J S Mill’s example that calling corn-dealers starvers of the poor is acceptable in concversation or debate but not in front of a mob in front of his house is a classic one.

8. Chaise Guevara

@ Keith

“Free speech can’t be an absolute right though – you simply CANNOT insight and then justify it in the name of free speech”

Well, “freedom of speech” is shorthand for something more like “freedom of political and artistic expression”. Few people would extend it to ordering someone to commit a crime (incitement), slander, or shouting “Fire!” in a public theatre.

9. Richard Carey

@ Chaise,

” shouting “Fire!” in a public theatre.”

You are not actually allowed to shout anything in a public theatre, whether it be ‘God save the Queen!’ or ‘I love Lucy’. It’s a violation of your terms of admission. It is not a free speech issue. For similar reasons, it’s not a denial of free speech if the Guardian chooses not to publish a letter I send them.

lol.

Sunny treats Muslims like children.

Someone gets a gold star for saying attacking embassies is wrong.

This is the same Qaradawi who believes that homosexuals should be executed, isn’t it?

What a hero!

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 9 Richard

“You are not actually allowed to shout anything in a public theatre, whether it be ‘God save the Queen!’ or ‘I love Lucy’. It’s a violation of your terms of admission. It is not a free speech issue. ”

You’re missing the point. The “shouting fire in a theatre” thing isn’t about whether the management should be allowed to chuck you out, it’s about whether you should receive criminal charges for the injuries caused by the ensuing stampede. It’s about criminal law, not property rights.

And that’s probably not a free expression issue, but it’s relevant when we discuss the limits of free speech. And it applies just as much if you’re on public land.

It’s incite, not insight.

And it’s falsely shouting fire in a theatre with malicious intent, not shouting fire.

And I must say I like Sunny’s articles on this topic this week.

Oh well done, Liberty – does picking up on my (auto spellcheck-generated) “typo” give you some sort of feeling of superiority?

For the others: the point I’m making is that the MOVIE that these people are reacting too is fundamentally (word chosen advisedly) about incitement: it is intended to provoke, and the reaction it has generated was utterly predictable – we’ve seen this often enough.

People have died as a result of the making of this movie (I’m not sanctioning the reaction of these extremists – arseholes the lot of ‘em) but “free speech” (and the attendant “right” of the bastards responsible for this movie to make it) is WHY people have died.

Dammit – auto spellcheck Hell: yes Liberty, I know it’s “reacting to”, not “reacting too”.

13 – Christopher Hitchens used the theatre reference in his talk on free speech; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jyoOfRog1EM. Perhaps this is where 9 found it? Its quite interesting in context. Regardless, the video is worth a watch.

Keith: “People have died as a result of the making of this movie”

No. People have died as a result of some people resorting to violence when they feel they are entitled to do so to enforce their own views on the rest of the world.

18. Chaise Guevara

@ 14 Keith

“People have died as a result of the making of this movie (I’m not sanctioning the reaction of these extremists – arseholes the lot of ‘em) but “free speech” (and the attendant “right” of the bastards responsible for this movie to make it) is WHY people have died.”

So what’s your solution? It’s easy to rag on the status quo, but pointless unless you have an alternative. So, how would you go about preventing this?

@5

It’s not incitement, it’s a very naughty film!

I think our imam is looking carefully across the Atlantic. Now that his mates are in office, he might not want to make things too difficult should it come to negotiating a loan or two.

Funny enough, if the Republicans win, whatever else they may disagree on, he’ll have in office someone he can agree with about keeping those gays in line… Funny old world, isn’t it?

21. Richard Carey

@ Luke,

“Perhaps this is where 9 found it? ”

As it happens, I got it from Murray Rothbard, who quotes a certain Justice Hugo Black having a go at the oft-heard analogy.

@ Keith,

I’m so angry about what you’ve written I’m going to storm the Swiss embassy, take hostages and demand my own weight in Toblerones as ransom and it’s your fault.

via Sunny: “The Egyptian scholar and preacher Sheikh Qaradawi said during the Friday sermon today: ‘…We need to ask USA to have an official stand against such acts of insulting religions, like other europian [sic] countries.’”

I thought that we had sorted that one out in the UK? It is still OK to insult a religion (an abstract) but not OK to incite hatred or violence.

Are there any EU or wider European countries that have a general law about insulting religious faiths? And to narrow it a little bit, I mean laws about insulting religions that are not the state faith.

Insight / incite. Damn that spellchecker? Given both are correctly spelt I cry bullshit!

Oh well done, Liberty – does picking up on my (auto spellcheck-generated) “typo” give you some sort of feeling of superiority?

I feel incredible right now.

Richard,

As it happens, I got it from Murray Rothbard, who quotes a certain Justice Hugo Black having a go at the oft-heard analogy.

Interesting, thank you. I am reading that now (for others, it’s Ethics of Liberty, Murray Rothbard).

Are there any EU or wider European countries that have a general law about insulting religious faiths? And to narrow it a little bit, I mean laws about insulting religions that are not the state faith.

I’m always interested to learn the limits of our freedom.

Religious insult is a criminal offence in approximately half the member States (Andorra, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Spain, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Slovak Republic, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine), while insult as such is generally considered as a criminal or administrative offence in all countries.
http://www.venice.coe.int/docs/2008/CDL-AD(2008)026-e.pdf

I am genuinely surprised.

26. Richard Carey

@ ukliberty.

Interesting (or should I say ‘scary’?)

I wonder are these the product of our politically-correct times, or inherited from our more theocratic past?

@25. ukliberty

I had a look at http://www.venice.coe.int/docs/2008/CDL-AD(2008)026-e.pdf. You trimmed your quote a bit.

This is what it says if you trim differently: “Religious insult is a criminal offence in approximately half the member States … mentioning many countries … while insult as such is generally considered as a criminal or administrative offence in all countries.”

Don’t play games.

Keith,
Seriously. I’m going to assume you’re of Christian descent for this:

a) Some idiot Christian in, say, Lithuania makes a stupid film antagonising lesbians.

b) Some militant lesbians attack the Lithuanian Embassy in Denmark.

c) Your sister, a lesbian, is working in the embassy and is killed by the militants.

Whos’s to blame?

29. Richard Carey

@ 24,

No worries.

I had a look at http://www.venice.coe.int/docs/2008/CDL-AD(2008)026-e.pdf. You trimmed your quote a bit.

This is what it says if you trim differently: “Religious insult is a criminal offence in approximately half the member States … mentioning many countries … while insult as such is generally considered as a criminal or administrative offence in all countries.”

Don’t play games.

Wtf? “Trimmed the quote a bit”? I copy+pasted the entirety of paragraph 27 on page 8! What a bizarre accusation.

@30. ukliberty: “Wtf? “Trimmed the quote a bit”? I copy+pasted the entirety of paragraph 27 on page 8! What a bizarre accusation.”

Mea culpa. A defence position may be that it is difficult to read italics. I apologise.

30. ukliberty:

Quoting me: “Don’t play games.”

My apology for misreading and jumping to conclusions. *I* am embarrassed.

accepted, no worries.

Summed up brilliantly, as ever, by Newsthump – http://bit.ly/OuC7Og

35. Just Visiting

UKliberty

I wasn’t sure what that last part of that sentence you quoted actually meant?:
> while insult as such is generally considered as a criminal or administrative offence in all countries.

Does that mean either:

“insult (relisious or non-religious) as such is generally considered as a criminal or administrative offence in all countries. ”

Or

” religious insult as such is generally considered as a criminal or administrative offence in all countries”

Neither seem to make sense – but I can’t see what else it could mean.

Maybe I’m missing something here?

”Major Egyptian imam sermon: attacking embassies wrong”

It is a bit of an odd headline. Of course attacking embassies is wrong. Are we meant to think highly of someone who says the most obvious thing?
He’s still a dodgy islamist.

And it’s understandable that some Irish people might balk at him having the HQ of his ”European Council for Fatwa and Research” at one of Dublin’s two major mosques.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_Council_for_Fatwa_and_Research

It always bothered me slightly when I lived in Dublin … just because they are there, but you never really know what they’re up to.

37. So Much For Subtlety

It is probably worth stopping and remembering how close Britain came to having such laws.

If Blair had got his way, such a film would be illegal in the UK. It was only the hereditaries of the House of Lords that stopped it.

So Qaradawi is right. No need to burn Embassies. Just wait. The West has a new official religion and liberals seem determined to make Blasphemy against that one religion illegal. Look at the shameful coverage of the New York Times.

38. Chaise Guevara

@ SMFS

Where the fuck have you been?


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. ???????????

    Terkait film anti Islam, Yusuf Al Qaradawi menyatakan bhw penyerangan thd Kedubes AS adalah tindakan yg salah. http://t.co/D4WNTzVw

  2. Muchamad Fachry

    Terkait film anti Islam, Yusuf Al Qaradawi menyatakan bhw penyerangan thd Kedubes AS adalah tindakan yg salah. http://t.co/D4WNTzVw

  3. Richard Coles

    @simonlbowman Guilty of stereotyping? http://t.co/Wf5S4q4k. #justsaying

  4. Kerry Bliss

    Egyptian imam sermon: attacking embassies wrong http://t.co/FUnvcegV via @libcon #abouttime

  5. Asim M Riaz

    Major Egyptian imam sermon: attacking #embassies wrong | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/BbLoeNiK via @libcon #antiislamfilm

  6. steven green

    Major Egyptian imam sermon: attacking embassies wrong | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/kr4tokmO via @libcon

  7. bean mcqueen

    ZOMG!!!! EGYPITIAN IMAM CONDEMNS TERRORISTS WHO ATTACKED EMBASSY!!! I THOUGHT THESE PEOPLE DIDNT EXIST!!! http://t.co/6ph14fQy

  8. Andrey Vorobiov

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  9. Claire Hague

    Major Egyptian imam sermon: attacking embassies wrong | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/puLg7nl8 via @libcon

  10. Anti Racist Atheist

    Major Egyptian imam sermon: attacking embassies wrong http://t.co/7Iu4bWkW #edl





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