British police are funding a speaking engagement by an Islamic academic who justifies suicide bombings and is banned from entering the United States.
Just 17 days after the London bombings, Egyptian-born Tariq Ramadan will speak to young Muslims at The Middle Path conference July 24, reports the Times of London.
The cost of Ramadan’s trip, about ?9,000 – or $16,000 – is being partly paid by the Metropolitan Police and the Association of Chief Police Officers, or ACPO.
Norman Brennan, a policeman who heads a victim-support group, the Victims of Crime Trust, said many will be “horrified” to learn of the funding.
“The timing of this could not have been worse,” he said, according to the Times. “Officers have spent the past five days picking up human remains with their bare hands.”
The Muslim professor is scheduled to speak at the Islamic Cultural Centre near Regent’s Park.
Brennan’s group, protesting the use of taxpayer funds, pointed out that Ramadan justified suicide bombings in an interview with an Italian magazine.
Asked if the killing of civilians was morally right, Ramadan replied: “In Palestine, Iraq, Chechnya, there is a situation of oppression, repression and dictatorship. It is legitimate for Muslims to resist fascism that kills the innocent.”
Ramadan also said car bombings against U.S. forces in Iraq is justified.
“Iraq was colonized by the Americans,” he said. “Resistance against the army is just.”
Ramadan, a Swiss citizen, previously was banned from France and was accused in Spain of having links with an Algerian al-Qaida operative.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security revoked his visa last year, nine days before he was to take up a prestigious appointment as the Henry R. Luce Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peace-building at the University of Notre Dame.
The appointment was opposed by then-Secretary of State Colin Powell.
The Times said the Middle Path conference is organized by the Da’watul Islam charity.
Last year, the charity stirred anger when it invited to Britain – with the support of London Mayer Ken Livingstone – another controversial cleric, Yusuf al-Qaradawi.
Also, as WorldNetDaily reported Tuesday,
the head of an Islamic study center in London, in an interview with al-Jazeera following last week’s bombings, justified targeting civilians.
“The term ‘civilians’ does not exist in Islamic religious law,” said Hani Al-Siba’i of the Al-Maqreze Centre for Historical Studies.