Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Hamza Yusuf and The Tony Blair Project

update to this post see Imam Zaid's clarification regarding Hamza Yusuf's attendance at this event.

(via the comments section - thank you Khalid)

From Tony Blair's website:

I (organizer of the event) am excited to be able to write to you today about a special event on 25th September 2008 that I will be hosting for the Tony Blair Faith Foundation in Los Angeles.

I (the organizer of the event) am going to be joined on the panel by Tony Blair; Hamza Yusuf, a significant and influential Islamic scholar; and Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur, of Malaria No More and an activist for Muslim women and Islam in the West.

Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur previously served on board of directors of the now defunct and discredited Progressive Muslim Union North America.

Hamza Yusuf has been part of the speakers "roadshow" of the British regime's colonial Radical Middle Way project.

Hamza Yusuf, a one time Islamic scholar, should of-course be fulfilling his responsibility of exposing the imperialists and neo-colonialists. They have slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Muslims in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine and now making noise about killing even more in Iran.

Unfortunately, Hamza Yusuf appears to have no shame, and instead of telling Blair to take a hike, he will sit on the same panel, at an event hosted by this war criminal's foundation - who acted as a partner with the Bush regime in the killing of Muslims.

While people like Yusuf and Abdul-Ghafur hob nob with war criminals, we see that a mostly non-Muslim group held a war crimes trial in Istanbul in 2005.

Following is part of a declaration from the trial, that calls for an investigation of both Bush and Blair for war crimes, and crimes against humanity:

That there be an exhaustive investigation of those responsible for the crime of aggression, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq, beginning with George W. Bush, President of the United States of America, Tony Blair, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, those in key decision-making positions in these countries and in the Coalition of the Willing, those in the military chain-of-command who master-minded the strategy for and carried out this criminal war, starting from the very top and going down; as well as personalities in Iraq who helped prepare this illegal invasion and supported the occupiers.

That should be enough for any Islamic scholar of integrity, to not only refuse such an invitation, but to also organize a Muslim led trial of Blair and Bush.

It is interesting that supporters of Hamza Yusuf will (rightly) condemn extremists amongst Muslims who have killed other Muslims, yet they will not apply the same standard towards people like Blair who are also responsible for killing Muslims. They will, instead, come up with bogus one liners such as Yusuf's "from protest to engagement." It is this kind of double standards, amongst such so-called scholars, that leads to them losing whatever few shreds of credibility they still might have...


kashif said...

salaam aleikum,

write up is good, but 3 suggestions:

1. More information and links needed on Saleemah Abdul Ghaffur and what she represents and stands for (so that the reader can see why this is an issue).

2. Consider posting this on his fan boy page on Facebook as there is a nice little discussion :-) on there on said topic:


3. Lastly, Please do post the video of said event when it is available.

salaam aleikum,

Anonymous said...

I attended the event. Hamza Yusuf humiliated Tony Blair with the support of the audience. He challenged everything that Tony Blair stood for as Prime Minister, and challenged him to use his Foundation to truly help the world's poor. Hamza Yusuf was not a yes-man, by any means. The whole room was shocked by Hamza Yusuf's blunt critcisms of Tony Blair's personal positions, and the positions of his conservative friends and allies.

Khalid said...

There is NO reason to take seriously what some "anonymous" fanboy lover of Hamza says for the same reason there is no reason to take seriously what some right wing nutjob supporter of George W. Bush or the state of Israel say -- they are there to defend their position, not to seek out the truth or a genuine solution to a problem.

Secondly, I recently watched an interview with Colin Powells no. 2, Richard Armitage, who stated that Rumsfeld, Cheney, Wolfowitz AND Blair need to be very very careful where and when they travel in Europe for the rest of their lives because there is a good chance someone will try to serve them a subpoena to appear at the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague for their actions leading up to the war in Iraq.

It is for this reason Blair is taking up the teaching position at Yale and for the same reason he is using "sheikhs" as props so as to insulate himself in the future from any criminal prosecution.


publicdebate said...

Mr. Yusuf's intentions is not the issue, the issue is him giving Blair and his foundation credibility - I hope that is something you can understand.

A scholar can have lots of years of schooling, if he thinks it is OK affiliate himself with colonial projects like the RMW - then the guy has a problem, and has to be pointed out...

No, this is *not* about me doing or not doing something (I've already done what I've said is needed)-

We are here talking about Mr. Yusuf, and what is required of someone of his fame, and supposed scholarship (that in Islam is not just about book learning).

And given your comments, I seriously don't think you know much about following the prophetic tradition. It for sure does not include "dialogue" with war criminals and Muslim killers. The prophetic tradition is to expose their antics, and to organize Muslims against these oppressors. And that is infact an important part of what a *scholar* with any integrity would do, not sit on panels with people like Blair, nor affiliate himself with groups like the RMW.

Consider also being sad about the scholars of Islam using money of oppressors to talk about "moderation" and participating and sitting on the same panels as that of war criminals. Be sad about that.

kashif said...

salaam aleikum,

here is the actual video, please do consider posting an analysis of it when you get a chance:


Khalid said...

After having watched the video I can safely say that absolutely NOTHING was said BY NAME about either:

1. Initiating the Iraq war on false pretenses.

2. Being held accountable by Allah (swt) or by the War Crimes Tribunal in the Hague for such actions.

as for this retarded comment:
"Instead of being grateful for their efforts, we have the gall to criticize them. Au'thu billah. (I seek refuge in God.)"

Why not in the future have such gatherings with any of the following:

a. Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic of Serbia.

b. Saddam Hussain's daughter, Ragheb and her remaining family, currently living in exile in the British colony of UAE.

c. Ariel Sharon, Benjamin Netanyahu, as well as the next Israeli PM Tzipi Livni.

When you stand and believe in nothing you will fall for and march behind anything. Since every platform and gathering will be justifiable as "dawah".


publicdebate said...

"Since when is speaking up considered wrong? In fact, according to what I was taught, speaking before an unjust ruler is one the highest forms of struggle according to our teachings."

It is not wrong to do that (if indeed that is what Yusuf did - we have to see the transcript or video b/4 we can see if he even did that)

It is wrong, however, to give credibility to the taghut by attending an event organized by his foundation.

Why does Yusuf not, instead, organize an event that would bring war crime charges against Blair/Bush ---and the US/UK and whoever takes over the US war (McCain/Obama) since they have every intention to continue this killing of Muslims.

Then, we can see if Yusuf is really interested in speaking to Pharoah in the way Musa (peace be on him) spoke, or in the way that the Prophet (pbuh) dealt with Abu Jahl.

Comparing the "engagement" of Mr. Yusuf, with that of the Prophet (pbuh) is utter nonsense.

The Prophet (pbuh) never participated in the oppressive system of his day, he refused offers of stature. When he spoke to the oppressors, he spoke on his terms - not at something organized by those who had killed Muslims (unless it was to discuss terms of their surrender).

And you do know the fate of Abu Jahl? The Muslims of the time did not sit idly by while they were being slaughtered, and abused (If you don't know, see Bukhari: Volume 4, Book 53, Number 369)

Of-course, we, in the "west" cannot and should not take such action. But for sure we can loudly speak up, and organize activities exposing the imperialists for what they are.

Like I said, actions such as that of Mr. Yusuf gives credibility to these war criminals.

publicdebate said...

According to Imam Zaid Shakir, Hamza Yusuf was set up, and was not aware that he was participating at a Tony Blair foundation event.

(comments closed)