It’s interesting that Choudary says that the Qur’an justifies the kidnapping and killing of Westerners in “occupied” Muslim lands. This has been denied by numerous high-profile Muslim spokesmen. Why doesn’t Choudary heed them? Probably because their denials do not address or adequately refute the Qur’anic justifications he finds. That is why I take issue from time to time with moderates who write articles in the Western press blandly dismissing the idea that the Qur’an or Islam in general justifies such things: it is easy to convince Western non-Muslims of this, but what about the radical Muslims? If the moderates’ arguments are useless against them, then they are useless in all ways.
From The Guardian, with thanks to Teri:
A notorious British radical Islamic activist has described Irish and other hostages currently under threat of beheading in Afghanistan and Iraq as ‘legitimate targets’.
Anjem Choudary, whose fundamentalist group is being watched by security services, has also claimed that the Koran justifies the kidnapping and killing of Westerners in occupied Muslim lands. He accused Irish-born aid worker Margaret Hassan and Co Armagh UN election worker Annetta Flanigan of shoring up the occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq.
Choudary told The Observer at Trinity College Dublin: ‘They [the women] only have themselves to blame. These people are all legitimate targets.’
Pressed on how Margaret Hassan could be a ‘legitimate target’ given her opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq and her humanitarian work there, Choudary replied: ‘She is aiding the occupying power. Even if someone gives an American or British soldier so much as a drink of water, they are backing the occupiers. If you look at the Koran, in one verse in particular it permits the seizure of hostages. Hostage-taking has been part of the Islamic tradition from the time of the Crusaders.’
He said the same principles applied to Annetta Flanigan, who was seized by a pro-Taliban group in Kabul which is demanding all foreign forces leave Afghanistan. Relatives and friends were still waiting this weekend for news about her fate. The Army of Muslims warned on Friday that its deadline on carrying out threats to kill Annetta Flanigan and two other hostages had passed. Then it extended it to last night. The terror group had issued a previous statement on Thursday claiming that their Irish hostage was ‘seriously ill’ because of the stress of her captivity.
Choudary also refused to express any sympathy for the beheaded British hostage Ken Bigley: ‘He was working for the Americans and anyone who collaborates with the American forces is also a legitimate target. If you go out to any occupied Muslim land to work, then you are undoubtedly a legitimate target.’
Choudary was speaking just before a debate at Trinity’s Philosophical Society on the motion ‘This House believes Islamic fundamentalists take the Prophet’s name in vain’.
Apparently Choudary believes otherwise.