I HAVE met with my share of preachers who have incited hate and violence over the last several years. They range from the strident Abu Qatada and Abu Hamza to the crafty Sheikh Omar Bakri and the not-so-subtle Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal, a Jamaican with a violent streak and once a teenage acquaintance of mine â€¦ But Riyadh ul-Haq is not in their league. He is not a preacher of hate and certainly not a scholar who incites to violence. If so, he would have run afoul of his country’s judiciary a long time ago.
These words were written in June of this year by Canadian broadcast journalist Nazim Baksh on his blog, following the British preacher’s earlier abortive attempt to enter Canada. The Canadian authorities had apparently put too many obstacles in the way of his plans to address a conference in Montreal.
“The trouble for Riyadh ul-Haq,” according to Baksh, “started when Judeoscope, a Canadian website that describes itself as being “dedicated to shedding light on anti-Semitism, anti-Zionism, and militant Islam in Canada,” published audio excerpts from a few of his hundreds of lectures.
“It is difficult to verify the authenticity of the excerpts and Riyadh ul-Haq himself has tried to explain three of the eleven in a lengthy interview with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.”
The suggestion here, of course, is that the audio excerpts may have been taken out of context.
“Out of context” is a phrase we hear more and more these days, and was most lately the basis for complaints made against the Channel 4 Undercover Mosque programme.
Well, here are more of ul-Haq’s words, “taken out of context”:
The verse which I recited in the beginning is from Surah al-Maidah (The 5th chapter of the Koran): that most assuredly, OF THE WHOLE OF MANKIND YOU SHALL FIND THAT THE MOST INTENSE IN THEIR HATRED AND EMNITY TOWARDS THE BELIEVERS ARE THE YAHOUD – THE JEWS – AND THE MUSHRIKIN, THE IDOLATERS. Allah said it. Of the peoples of the earth, the ones that hate the Muslims the most, the ones who are bitterest in their enmity towards the Muslims, the most unrelenting, unforgiving, are the Jews and the mushrikin, idolaters in all their forms. And lest someone says that’s provocative, or that is anti-Semitic, Allah, the creator of the Semites, says that. This is a verse of the Koran â€¦ AND THE CHIEF MUSHRIKIN OF THIS DAY AND AGE, THE CHIEF IDOLATERS, ARE NONE OTHER THAN THE HINDUS.
Here is another excerpt “taken out of context” from the same sermon.
Muslims are the pet hate. Anything happens, the media loves to blame Muslims. Someone may suggest that, no, no, not all Muslims, only terrorist Muslims and only fundamentalist Muslims. The unfortunate thing is that IN THE EYES OF THE MEDIA EVERY MUSLIM IS A FUNDAMENTALIST, EVERY MUSLIM IS A TERRORIST. The only Muslims who are considered moderates are those who, for example, forgive me for polluting the masjid’s (mosque’s) atmosphere by saying this, but those Muslims who openly advocate lesbianism, those who are publicly declared homosexuals, Muslims who don’t believe in segregation, the hijab, who feel no shame in bowing down and kissing the Pope’s hand, those Muslims who feel absolutely no shame, or they don’t see any sense of irony in the fact that they openly declare that Israel should be recognized as a Jewish state â€¦
You can read Riyadh ul-Haq’s full
sermon rant here.
The media spotlight fell on ul-Haq again this week as a result of a news report in The Times which reveals that “almost half of Britain’s mosques are under the control of a hardline Islamic sect whose leading preacher loathes Western values and has called on Muslims to ‘shed blood’ for Allah”.
Riyadh ul Haq, who supports armed jihad and preaches contempt for Jews, Christians and Hindus, is in line to become the spiritual leader of the Deobandi sect in Britain. The ultra-conservative movement, which gave birth to the Taleban in Afghanistan, now runs more than 600 of Britain’s 1,350 mosques, according to a police report seen by The Times.
Your can read the full Times report here.