Melanie Phillips (“Britain’s Foreign Office fifth column”) has a rant at the Foreign Office memorandum recommending that Yusuf al-Qaradawi should not be banned from Britain, as Mel and her mates have been demanding.
As always when reading Phillips’s tirades, you have the sense of stepping into a parallel universe – one in which Britain’s “own Foreign Office is acting as a kind of appeasement fifth column in the very heart of government”; one in which “there has never been a single authoritative challenge to the veracity or integrity of MEMRI’s authoritative translations, which have opened the eyes of the west to what the Arab and Muslim world is really saying”.
As for Mockbul Ali, the author of the FO’s document, with its accurate characterisation of MEMRI’s role, Mel comments: “when Ali gets to the Jews, his guard slips and he endorses the conspiracy theory which is the signature of the Islamic extremist.”
But Mel does have a good word for one person. Yes, it’s our old friend Nick Cohen, whose “fine polemic in the Observer” receives her enthusiastic endorsement.
Meanwhile over at Jihad Watch, Robert Spencer too rallies to the defence of Yigal Carmon and his associates: “What did MEMRI do? It printed what Qaradawi said. And once again doing so has been characterized by jihadist Muslims and their allies as ‘hatred’.” As for the memo’s point that Qaradawi’s view on Palestine and Iraq are not unusual amongst mainstream Muslims, Spencer retorts: “That’s true: they’re not unusual. Neither was Nazism among Germans.”
In the comments section to this post we have the usual paranoid ravings about how the FO’s policy on Qaradawi “will grant the jihadists every single thing that they wish for, without having to fire a shot, and reduce us all to dhimmi servitude” … plus declarations of support for Peter Tatchell and the Worker Communist Party of Iran.