Mayor responds to ‘dossier’ on al-Qaradawi

Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, today released a dossier comprehensively answering claims that he should not have met the Muslim scholar Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi in July last year. The dossier demonstrated that the allegations made against Dr al-Qaradawi were almost entirely inaccurate.

“As Mayor of London, I have a responsibility to support the rights of all of London’s diverse communities and to maintain a dialogue with their political and religious leaders, irrespective of the fact that there will always be different views on many issues.”

The dossier launched today demonstrates that Dr al-Qaradawi is, as the moderate main umbrella group of Muslim organisations, the Muslim Council of Britain has argued, “the most authoritative Muslim scholars in the world today”.

The document comprehensively rebuts the charges against Dr al-Qaradawi made in a dossier circulated to London Assembly members in November last year. The authors called for the Assembly to conduct an inquiry into Dr al-Qaradawi’s visit to London.

The document launched today shows that Dr al-Qaradawi has fiercely condemned the terrorist outrages of Al-Qaida and similar groups. He has repeatedly condemned hostage taking in Iraq. He has, as a consequence, been openly criticised by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who has been responsible for the murder of numerous foreign hostages in Iraq.

The document shows that Dr al-Qaradawi has shared platforms with, or met, such prominent figures as former-US President Bill Clinton, the French Foreign Minister, the Italian Foreign Minister and the Spanish royal family to promote understanding between Islam and the West.

The document shows that Qaradawi has been one of the foremost Muslim scholars in combatting socially regressive interpretations of Islam on issues like women’s rights and relations with other religions.

GLA press release, 11 January 2005

[The dossier can be downloaded here]