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August 23, 2004

Muslims seek apology from Met Commissioner over Qaradawi

Sir John Stevens is holding a meeting Monday evening with the Muslim Safety Forum during which the Metropolitan Police Commissioner is expected to clarify his controversial comments expressed during last month’s visit to Britain by eminent Egyptian Islamic scholar Dr Yusuf al-Qaradawi, The Muslim News has exclusively learnt.

During the visit, the Commissioner was accused by Muslim leaders of making a highly partisan statement after admitting he came under pressure from the pro-Israeli lobby to prosecute Dr Qaradawi. “The anger that was created by the comments made by the individual is considerable. I have had personal telephone calls from eminent members of the Jewish community,” he said. Sir John went on to threaten the police participation in a youth conference, where the scholar was due to speak. “I don’t want my officers on the same stage. I, for one, will not associate myself with the comments this man has made in relation to all sorts of issues,” he said.

Although the Crown Prosecution Service subsequently announced that they had no case against Dr Qaradawi, several Muslim organisations were understood to have written to the Metropolitan Police to complain about the Commissioner’s intervention and demand an apology.

The Safety Forum, which was established to protect Muslims from indiscriminate attacks prior to the events of 9/11, has been concerned about the damage caused in community relations with the police. It is understood that Monday’s meeting was instigated by the Commissioner following demands for an apology. "I hope that Sir John will also reiterate the need for the police to consult with the Muslim community over any sensitive issues in future, incuding any further campaign orchestrated by Israeli lobby groups," said Editor of The Muslim News, Ahmed J Versi.

For further information contact us on 020 7608 2822 or 077 68 241 325. Please acknowledge The Muslim News when using the press release

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