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Blair now a 'legitimate target.'
October 10, 2001 8:05 AM   Subscribe

Blair now a 'legitimate target.' A spokesman for a British Islamic group has said Tony Blair is a 'legitimate target.' According to spokesman, "This means if any Muslim wanted to kill him or get rid of him, I would not shed any tears." Salman Rushdie roomate jokes aside, this is pretty chilling.
posted by prodigal (23 comments total)

 
Someone arrest this guy for uttering a death threat, okay?
posted by tranquileye at 8:06 AM on October 10, 2001


Yes, but he did say that muslims living in the UK should not break any laws. He's just a target if he travels to an Islamic country. So, see. It's Ok.
posted by magnificentsven at 8:14 AM on October 10, 2001


I've really come to expect much more restraint from Muslim extremists.
posted by dong_resin at 8:17 AM on October 10, 2001


I don't think anyone is going to see that fellow saying what he did to be okay.
posted by tranquileye at 8:20 AM on October 10, 2001


From the article: Ashaq al-Awsat also quoted Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed, the London-based leader of Muhajiroun, as saying that under Islamic law, Blair was a legitimate target for Muslims living in Islamic states.

But Bakri stressed Muslims living in the West, including in Britain, were not in a state of war with anyone and were thus required to honour the laws of the countries they live in.


It's not just him, but spokesman for bin Ladin again called for a world-wide jihad against the US. (sorry, can't find the link)

It's very cowardly for Muslims living in England to stand for this. I think this is the time for them to mobilize and make clear their stand against this kind of speech and against any terrorism. I think the British authorities should investigate Mr. Bakri & his associates. Mr. Bakri has also called for a fatwah on Pakistan's Musharraf for supporting the US.

I think these people, especially bin Ladin, desperately want a West vs. Islam type of war. Saddam Hussain tried this during the early 90's. Didn't work then, and I don't it will work now.
posted by Rastafari at 8:22 AM on October 10, 2001


I realize that I wouldn't want Christianity judged by the likes of Falwell or Robertson, but the maddening silence of the reasonable voices in the Muslim community is making me question the "common wisdom" that Islam is a religion of peace. Is it really, or are we outsiders just being fed a line?
posted by darren at 8:33 AM on October 10, 2001


Sure, it's a religion of peace. Just like Christianity. Oh-so peaceful, in the right hands.
posted by magnificentsven at 8:36 AM on October 10, 2001


"..but the maddening silence of the reasonable voices in the Muslim community is making me question the "common wisdom" that Islam is a religion of peace."

Hey you sound just like someone I know!
posted by Saima at 8:41 AM on October 10, 2001


Ha ha ha. I was wondering when someone would link to that Saima. Mad old witch (Thatch, not you).
posted by Summer at 8:46 AM on October 10, 2001


I think the British authorities should investigate Mr. Bakri & his associates

I'm sure the authorities have a large file on him, he's been spouting his particular brand of Islam for a while now. The problem has always been that his language is always ambiguous enough to keep him on the right side of the law. Maybe now that may change.....

I don't think we are being 'fed a line' about Islam being at heart a peaceful religion, I think you made the point yourself darren, you can't judge a religion by it's fundamentalist followers. But as with all ancient texts, the Koran can be interpereted in many different ways and can be used as a convenient shield for intolerance and bigotry.
posted by Markb at 8:49 AM on October 10, 2001


If this dude lives in Britain, can't he be ejected or imprisoned on the grounds of treasonous conspiracy ? I woul think so given that he's advocating (perhaps in a cleverly worded manner) knocking off the prime minister.
posted by daragh at 9:01 AM on October 10, 2001


Luckily for everyone, terrorists only go after legitimate targets! Wheeew! [hand wipes across brow]
posted by UncleFes at 9:09 AM on October 10, 2001


i am sure he is a legitimate target, just as legitimate as osama bin laden. blair's hands are marked by stain of arrogant greed, he should not be casting the first stone.

imagine if every fanatic got this much publicity for their opinions! see thatch remarks linked above.
posted by asok at 9:14 AM on October 10, 2001


Shaykh Hamza Yusuf said it best:

'If you hate the west, emigrate to a Muslim country'

http://www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,3604,564960,00.html

Hamza Yusuf is arguably the west's most influential Islamic scholar. Many Muslims find his views hard to stomach, but he is advising the White House on the current crisis, and today he will be talking to religious leaders in the UK. Jack O'Sullivan meets him

Jack O'Sullivan
Monday October 8, 2001
The Guardian
posted by laz-e-boy at 9:18 AM on October 10, 2001


In the US I'm pretty sure it's a federal offense to make death threats against the president. Is there a similar law in the UK?
posted by eljuanbobo at 9:26 AM on October 10, 2001


It's very cowardly for Muslims living in England to stand for this. I think this is the time for them to mobilize and make clear their stand against this kind of speech and against any terrorism.

I thought they already had. There was a pile of statements from Islamic groups in the UK ages ago.

Do they have to trot out and repeat themselves everytime someone whips up a bit of racial hatred? Do Christian groups get up and apologise every time some (white, Christian) idiot on talk radio says we should nuke Afghanistan?

The guy's extreme. He's not speaking for most UK Muslims, so why give him the support of assuming that he does? You're making the problem worse...

PS No, we don't have laws for "death threats against the PM" or for burning the flag. And I, for one, don't want them.
posted by andrew cooke at 9:32 AM on October 10, 2001


The most effective thing al-Muhajiroun do is printing millions of stickers calling for pan Islamic unity, jihad and meetings in Trafalgar Square. And then post them on every lamppost in London.

From the lack of news broadcasts of the 'huge rally in Trafalgar Square' variety I think it's safe to assume that they're not that popular. Defiantly nasty pieces of work but not that popular.
posted by nedrichards at 10:38 AM on October 10, 2001


It'll do for Blair what it did for Salman Rushdie. A good move.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:40 AM on October 10, 2001


Does that mean Blair will be starring in the Bridget Jones sequel?
posted by darren at 10:55 AM on October 10, 2001


Militant denies call to assassinate Blair

'Islam forbids such murders'

Colin Blackstock
Wednesday October 10, 2001
The Guardian

The leader of the militant Islamist group Al-Muhajiroun sought to distance his organisation last night from claims that a member had called for the assassination of Tony Blair to avenge the bombing of Afghanistan.
Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, the group's founder, denied a spokesman in Lahore had made the comments to French news agency AFP.

Abdul Rehman Saleem reportedly said: "What it means is that if any Muslim wants to assassinate him, wants to get rid of him, I am not going to shed any tears for him, and from the Islamic point of view this person is not going to be chastised... this person will be praised."

Mr Bakri said no member of his group would call for the assassination of Mr Blair as it goes against Islam's teachings.

He said: "Mr Saleem did not call for the assassination of anyone. He is prohibited from doing this by the teachings of Islam. I talked to him in Lahore and he has completely condemned this."

The reports come as a leading Muslim group warned that the bombing of Afghanistan would widen the gulf between the west and the Muslim world.

The Muslim Council of Britain said it feared western military action was threatening to "spiral out of control".


There..
posted by Mossy at 3:13 PM on October 10, 2001


Abdul Rehman Saleem reportedly said: "What it means is that if any Muslim wants to assassinate him, wants to get rid of him, I am not going to shed any tears for him, and from the Islamic point of view this person is not going to be chastised... this person will be praised."

He [Sheikh Omar Bakri Muhammad, the group's founder] said: "Mr Saleem did not call for the assassination of anyone. He is prohibited from doing this by the teachings of Islam. I talked to him in Lahore and he has completely condemned this."

These two paragraphs don't add up. If a person who kills Mr. Blair will be praised, he is calling for Mr. Blair to to killed. Make up your mind! YOU DO NOT PRAISE SOMEONE FOR AN ACT THAT YOU CONDEMN.
posted by Rastafari at 4:21 PM on October 10, 2001


I am amazed that so many people are so able to suspend better judgement that they will excuse Mr. Saleem's call to assassination.

Frankly, if Mr. Saleem were to enjoy, shall we say, government-provided accomodation for some time, with company from certain gentlemen from MI6 and Scotland Yard, I don't think I should be too outraged; indeed I should praise it.
posted by clevershark at 6:48 PM on October 10, 2001


So does Cat Stevens want to kill Tony Blair?
posted by houndyboy at 3:48 AM on October 12, 2001


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