‘Sharia isn’t practiced correctly’: CAGE director refuses to condemn death by stoning
Asim Qureshi appeared on the BBC’s This Week program, where he was asked a series of questions about treatment of women advocated by a Muslim scholar, including female genital mutilation (FGM) and stoning for adultery.
The show’s presenter Andrew Neil asked Qureshi to condemn the series of opinions, currently prevalent in the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) and other terror organizations under their interpretation of Sharia law.
Qureshi avoided committing himself, arguing: “I’m not a theologian,” adding “I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.”
When accused of speaking in favor of jihad and Sharia law, Qureshi answered: “As far as I am concerned, Sharia law isn’t practiced correctly anywhere in the world.
“Jihad is part of the religion of Islam,” he said.
Neil further criticized Qureshi for avoiding the question by using “weasel words.”
The director went on to claim the security services were responsible for the radicalization of young Muslims by mistreating them.
Qureshi was also asked by Alan Johnson, the former Labour home secretary, whether he truly believed that Mohammed Emwazi – the man recently revealed to be IS extremist Jihadi John – was genuinely on safari in Tanzania when he was picked up by British security services.
He said he had no evidence to suggest he wasn’t, adding: “They should not have stopped them.”
Johnson appeared shocked by the answer, saying: “This is what we are up against in terms of the ‘moderate front.’”
Former Defence Secretary Michael Portillo told Qureshi: “I wonder what the hell the BBC is doing giving you all this airtime.”
Qureshi recently came under fire from London Mayor Boris Johnson after the charity director gave a press conference accusing MI5 of radicalizing Mohammed Emwazi.
Johnson said Qureshi should stop “scatting the blame around,” and sticking up for the rights of IS executioners.
During a phone-in on LBC radio last week, the Mayor of London said Qureshi should “stop crying Islamophobia” and condemn the “sick atrocities” committed by Emwazi.
“I really, really think the focus of your indignation and your outrage should be on people who go out to join groups that throw gays off cliffs, that behead people who don’t subscribe to their version of Islam, that glorify in the execution of innocent journalists and aid workers,” Johnson said.
“They should be the object of your wrath not the security services who are trying to keep us safe, Asim.”
Qureshi, who at one stage during the press conference became tearful and called Emwazi a softly-spoken “beautiful man,” is believed to have links to other Islamist campaign groups.
The director was filmed at demonstrations at the US Embassy in 2006, calling for Muslims to “support the jihad of our brothers and sisters” in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Chechnya.
“We know that it is incumbent upon all of us to support the jihad of our brothers and sisters in these countries when they are facing the oppression of the West. Allahu Akhbar! Allahu Akhbar!” he said.