Ken Livingstone's office has produced a document defending his invitation to the Muslim cleric Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi to City Hall in July 2004. Al-Qaradawi is a leading spokesperson of the Muslim Brotherhood.
According to a briefing written by gay activist group Outrage, using the words of Qaradawi himself, the Livingstone dossier includes factually untrue claims in defence of Dr al-Qaradawi.
From Outrage’s briefing:
The Mayor claims Dr al-Qaradawi is one of the Muslim scholars who have done the most to combat socially regressive interpretations of Islam on issues such as women’s rights.
Dr al-Qaradawi supports the killing of people who have turned away from Islam (“apostates”).
In a fatwa issued in June 2003 concerning organ donation, Dr al-Qaradawi stated: “it is not permissible to donate it to an apostate as he is no more than a traitor to his religion and his people and thus deserves killing.”
Dr al-Qaradawi supports female genital mutilation (female “circumcision”).
He says that, while it is not obligatory, “whoever finds it serving the interest of his daughters should do it, and I personally support this under the current circumstances in the modern world.”
Dr al-Qaradawi insists that a husband must compel his wife to wear the hijab.
“It is unanimously agreed upon among Muslim scholars that it is not lawful for a Muslim woman to uncover any part of her body other than the face and hands (and the feet according to some schools of jurisprudence). Hence, it is unlawful for a woman to reveal her hair, or arms, or chest or legs before non-mahram men. Wearing clothes that reveal such parts of a woman’s body is completely forbidden. A Muslim husband is to order his wife to wear hijab.”
Dr al-Qaradawi sanctions domestic violence in certain circumstances.
“If the husband senses that feelings of disobedience and rebelliousness are rising against him in his wife, he should try his best to rectify her attitude by kind words, gentle persuasion, and reasoning with her. If this is not helpful, he should sleep apart from her, trying to awaken her agreeable feminine nature so that serenity may be restored and she may respond to him in a harmonious fashion. If this approach fails, it is permissible for him to admonish her lightly with his hands, avoiding her face and other sensitive areas.”