Monday, Aug 19, 2002The Keystone Mullahs
Monty Python, eat your heart out. The Goon show might have been able to come this close to real-world farce. From Thursday's BBC: Waiting for the fatwa
There's a small, radical Islamist group in London called Al Muhajiroun. They called the Press to attend a meeting in which they were going to announce a fatwa. In the group were 4 of the most radical speakers of the "hardline fringe", including Yasser al-Siri, who was recently released from an English jail after England decided not to extradite him to the U.S., where he might have faced trial.
The press arrived at the hotel, and were told that there would be a £30 charge (about $45). The press told them where they could shove it. The spokesman told the press that they should be glad to pay to hear "Muslim leaders from all over the country". The press was Not Amused.
The reporters milled around outside, and asked the spokesman how he thought they expected to get their message out if the press wasn't going to get in.
Conference back inside.
He said that if any of the reporters declared the Muslim faith, they could get in.
It is not reported how that went over.
After a little while, somebody wheeled out a cart of books that the reporters could buy. There were apparently no takers.
Around noon, the leader of the group, Sheikh Omar Bakri, left. His parting words were, "No fatwah today".
Somewhat later, the rest of the group left, in a scene best described as total chaos.
Much later, the group sent out a fax announcing the fatwa, saying that an attack on Iraq was an attack on all Muslims.
Legitimate British Muslim organizations said that this group was a bunch of misfits who couldn't make it in life. That seems a pretty apt descrtiption.
The problem is that these misfits carry guns, bombs, and grudges against Western Civilization. In many cases, they have the ear and the cooperation of thousands of supporters. This is the part where it stops being funny.
posted by Mike 4:38 PM