Livingstone Apologises to Tatchell (sort of)
Tacit admission that "Islamophobe" claim was unfounded.
Mayor jittery that gay vote will desert him?
London - 29 March 2008
In an interview for The Independent newspaper in London on 29 March, London Mayor Ken Livingstone admitted that he "probably shouldn't" have denounced gay human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell as an "Islamophobe."
In 2004 and 2005, Mr Tatchell was publicly savaged by the Mayor as an "Islamophobe" and as having "a long history of Islamophobia" after he mildly criticised Mr Livingstone for embracing and defending the Muslim fundamentalist cleric, Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Mr Livingstone invited al-Qaradawi to City Hall in 2004 and saluted him as "an honoured guest".
"Al-Qaradawi is anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist," said Mr Tatchell.
"He supports terrorism, including terror attacks on innocent civilians. He advocates the physical beating of disobedient wives, female genital mutilation, forcing women to wear the hijab and he blames rape victims who dress immodestly (ie women who are not fully covered from head to toe).
"He also advocates the execution of lesbian and gay people by Muslim states, and the killing of Muslims who give up their faith or convert to another religion," said Mr Tatchell.
See more information about al-Qaradawi's inhumanity here:
After Tatchell and others exposed al-Qaradawi's anti-human rights agenda, Ken Livingstone denounced Tatchell as anti-Muslim and Livingstone's far left supporters waged a vicious, year-long hate campaign of lies and disinformation to discredit Tatchell.
"This half-hearted, grudging admission of error is better than nothing," said Mr Tatchell.
"It comes a month before the London Mayoral elections, at a time when many gay voters are deserting Ken Livingstone over his collusion with al-Qaradawi and other anti-gay and anti-women Muslim fundamentalists.
"Ken has done many good things for Londoners and for the gay community, but his defence of al-Qaradawi has caused him immense damage. Instead of allying with liberal, progressive Muslims, he has often feted reactionary Islamists," said Mr Tatchell.
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