Stone the gays, says Ken’s friend
According to al-Jazeera, the Islamist cleric Yusuf al-Qaradawi has called for Crown Prince Tameem of Qatar, who lives in Britain, to be stoned to death for being gay. [According to a statement from Ken Livingstone's office - see below - the report is untrue, and the call to kill Tameem came from another cleric].
Al-Jazeera quotes Dr Qaradawi as saying: “The scholars of Islam, such as Malik, Ash-Shafi`i, Ahmad and Ishaaq said that (the person guilty of this crime) should be stoned, whether he is married or unmarried.”
But Qaradawi’s comment only reiterates his “gays should executed” opinion delivered in the fatwa “Homosexuality and Lesbianism: Sexual Perversions”. issued last year (17 May 2004). That was shortly before he was welcomed to London by Mayor Ken Livingstone.
The gay rights group OutRage! commented, “Dr Qaradawi appears to be encouraging the murder of a person in the UK, which is a serious criminal offence. We are astonished that Mayor Livingstone is still supporting him. We are appalled that Dr Qaradawi continues to be supported by fundamentalist organisations such as the Muslim Association of Britain, and by far left groups like the Socialist Workers Party and Respect.”
On the 8 August Japanese prime minister Junichiro Koizumi was forced to dissolve parliament and call elections after the nation’s upper house sank his bid to privatise Japan Post, the nation's biggest employer — a huge blow to his administration.
After Koizumi banned the 50 members of his Liberal Democratic Party who rebelled against the government in the vote (some 20% of his party), the BBC commented that he was committing political suicide. Having fatally weakened his own party, Koizumi may well lose the LDP power to the opposition Democratic Party for the first time in 50 years.
However, Koizumi’s suicide may not be merely political. According to the Financial Times, the Japanese PM has claimed that he would rather “be killed” than lose the hope of privatising the company. While such loyalty to his class is very touching, we have no respect for his “streamlining” plans, which could cause thousands of layoffs.
Japan Post is a huge banking and postal service with 260,000 employees and 25000 branches — cutting back the company’s services in the interests of profit will undoubtedly cause huge unemployment, particularly in rural areas. There may be plent of people willing to kill Koizumi if he does privatise Japan Post.
In the High Court last Thursday, Zimbabwean asylum seekers won a temporary halt to deportations. The judge also held that during this period Zimbabweans held in British detention centres would be allowed to apply for bail. The Government had sought to deport over a hundred people to Zimbabwe, and claimed to have chartered planes for the purpose, though they denied this on oath in court.
This was despite the chaotic and rapidly worsening conditions in Zimbabwe, and the likelihood that returning asylum seekers will be victimised and even murdered by Robert Mugabe’s increasingly paranoid and authoritarian regime.
However the Zimbabweans have only won temporary reprieve. Their cases will return to the the Immigration Appeals Tribunal within months.
Messages of support and inquiries to:
United Network of Detained Zimbabweans (UNDZ) c/o Committee to Defend Asylum Seekers, BCM Box 4289, London, WC1X 3XX, email@example.com
Death of a tyrant
So King Fah bin Abdul Aziz is a dead. A man who was, according to Tony Blair, “of great vision and leadership who inspired his countrymen for a quarter of a century as king, and for many more before that.”
But not so inspiring to many of his countrywomen, whom he ensured were kept locked up in the home, forced to wear the veil and allowed only to come out to shop in special “women only” shopping malls (as long as they didn’t drive to there).
And not a great visionary to the families of the hundreds of countrymen and women he had flogged to death every year.
And maybe not so great for the hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers in the kingdom of Saud, who are badly paid to clean up after the likes of Fahd and his class of super-rich parasites.
A role model? A drinking, gambling, womaniser who splashed out millions of dollars to proseytise for the mad ultra-fundamentalist state-sponsored brand of Islam, Wahabbism. Who backed the Taliban. Who backed the Contras in Nicaragua... who had his derriere licked by western leaders so he would buy their arms and back their wars.
This great leader, who will, unfortunately, be suceeded by a brother who is in the exactly the same mould.