‘Radical imam like pope, says mayor’

An Islamic scholar who has been accused of supporting suicide bombers was likened by Ken Livingstone, the London mayor, yesterday to Pope John XXIII. He said that Yusuf al-Qaradawi, a Qatar-based imam who is banned from America, was “an absolutely sane Islamist engaged with the world” who believed in democracy and an increasing role for women. “Of all the Muslim leaders in the world today, Sheikh Qaradawi is the most powerfully progressive force for change and for engaging Islam with western values,” Mr Livingstone told the Commons home affairs select committee. “I think his is very similar to the position of Pope John XXIII.”

Daily Telegraph, 14 September 2005

See also “Livingstone Likens Qaradawi to Reformist Pope”, Islam Online, 14 September 2005