I Could Not Eat a Whole Turk

When my parents married, they went for a honeymoon to Tayside.  In an earlier missive, I discussed the wedding task placed upon 15 year old Rania Ibrahim in Iraq which was to allow herself to be detonated in Baquba.

As reported by The Sunday Telegraph following Ibrahim’s failure to fulfil her muleteer husband’s demands, one Hani al-Sibai, who calls himself a Doctor, is quoted as saying: “Women are allowed to conduct jihad without the approval of parents or spouse”.

Irony is an oft-misunderstood word which is used when “paradoxical” or “unfortunate coincidence” or “lacking in self-awareness” would be more appropriate. Even if I thought that Ibrahim had not been a ketamine-addled mule, this suggestion of female empowerment in Jihadist ideology *would* be hugely ironic: it is just that I would not feel like laughing.

Who is Hani al-Sibai?

Al-Sibai has been convicted in absentia by Egyptian courts as a central member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and part of the Returnees from Albania trial. Much as I distrust Egyptian military trials, I have little doubt of al-Sibai’s general odiousness. Both excluded by the USA (although he appears to have an .us personal website) with and, on the basis of the Egyptian rulings, added to the UN List of Affiliates of al-Qaeda and the Taleban.

But lookie here! Almost exactly two years ago, The Daily Telegraph reported that, despite all of the above, the soi-dissant Doctor had been granted asylum in the UK. The reasoning, I assume, was that he was under threat of torture if he were returned to Egypt.

It is one thing to protect individuals, no matter how vile, from torture. Quite another to allow them to found and direct the Almaqreze Centre for Historical Studies (مركز المقريزي للدراسات التاريخية ) based in, where else, London. From here he has described the 1915 Armenian Genocide in academically precise terms as “a big lie“ (discussed by the consistently reliable and accurate MEMRI).

One blog I am currently trying to suss out is Arab Democracy, which venerates Lord Joumblat, the Darth Vader of the Druze Mountain and was co-founded by a Syrian psychiatrist.  Boy must there be some case reports from four decades under the Baathists!  At the time of al-Sibai’s being granted leave to remain in the UK, Arab Democracy discussed him.

The West is often accused of using double standards in international politics. That is certainly true. But they are not the only ones. Some expatriate radicals do not miss a chance to “spit in the water they drink”.

Hani Al-Sibai, a 46-year-old radical Muslim cleric, has lived in Britain since 1994. […] In a debate on Al-Jazeera television aired last month, he declared live on television, very at ease with Big Ben and Westminster in the background, that Islamic fighters were humiliating Western forces, adding: “There are no real men except for the people of Islam. Look at the people who give reason to hold the head of Islam high, in politics they are the masters. In the battlefield they are the masters. They are the ones who rub in the mud the nose of the occupation forces in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in Palestine, throughout the world.”

The interview in question was helpfully translated by MEMRI >here in which al-Sibai delivered a monologue alongside Egyptian progressive, Sayyid al-Qimni: very much a good cop, insane cop thing. All of the above pales into insignificance when we see his views on post-Ottoman Turkey:

What has become of Kemal Ataturk’s Turkey? Go to Europe and you will see. Most of the Turks here are drug dealers, outcasts.

Um, no. I discussed a highly successful Belgian of Turkish background here, and I know the uncle of the first Turkish CID officer in Scotland. Then comes the tin-lid:

Moreover, the English here have a custom. On Christmas they eat what they call “turkey”. Imagine they call it “turkey” and they serve it as food at the table. This shows the kind of hatred that is deeply rooted in the West – they serve the Turkish, Ottoman, Muslim man as food at the table, for entertainment and as a sign that they have slaughtered him.

Now, I could counter with opinions on the cordial relations between Queen Elizabeth and Sultan Murad III, or the chartering of the Levant Company, or the supply of arms to the Ottoman Empire and Barbary States so to frustrate Catholic Europe.

I could. Then again, like al-Qimni, I could simply say, you are quite insane, go away. But, he is in London, and we cannot get rid of him. Or, at least, that is what Dawalat Khan Nasir thought.

Rule Britannia. For Queen, for country, for kicks.


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One Response to “I Could Not Eat a Whole Turk”

  1. Freedom of Information Act Does Not Apply to the BBC « A Rabbit's Eye View of the Hyperborean North Says:

    […] to a tinderbox issue which, again off the top of my head, it has arguably shown bias when it: as Hani al-Sibai almost said, it showed its contempt for Israelis by sending a Middle East Correspondant called […]

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