Abu Qatada’s victory incites extremism on both sides

Abu Qatada is the winner on two fronts: on an individual level and also in succeeding in undermining our democracy

Has Qatada had the last laugh?
Tom Wilson
On 13 November 2012 14:20

The images of Abu Qatada smirking to himself, and indeed perhaps to us, as he was driven from the court ruling that allows him to remain in the UK, should have been enough to rile anyone. Indeed, with the exception of a few fringe human rights groups and ultra-Left commentators it feels as if the entire country is united in its opposition to this man remaining in our land.

And yet he remains here all the same and today is released on bail from Long Lartin Prison.

That this man is a dangerous and hostile figure is hardly in dispute. Described as Osama Bin Laden’s ambassador to Europe and having been implicated in terror cells in Chechnya, Germany, Tunisia as well as in his home country Jordan, and indeed in the 9/11 attacks, his terrorist credentials are quite impeccable.

And indeed for those who now only give any weight to the rulings of transnational bodies it should be recalled that even the UN has sanctioned Qatada as an associate of both al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Yet, laughably, following the ruling Qatada could stay in Britain, his solicitor, Gareth Peirce, pleaded: “I think the time has come in the world, with the conflicts in the world, for us to talk to each other and understand each other and enter into dialogue, and perhaps nothing is as black and white as it is painted” – A statement of such astonishing moral relativism that one doubts whether even Peirce can really believe a word of it. After all, what’s not black and white about his client having called for the murder of Americans, Christians, and Jews?

If it wasn’t all so tragic it would almost be funny, and yet this ruling has serious consequences for all of us. That Qatada’s presence here has in the past and at this rate may once again be a force for radicalizing young Muslims is clear; radicalising the Islamic population is Qatada’s profession.

But what about Qatada’s effects on radicalising people on the other side of the spectrum: the British far-right? This is something that the handful of left-leaning liberals who defend Qatada seem not to have considered.

It is only natural and justified that the vast majority of the British public should feel outraged at Qatada’s ongoing presence here. The tabloid press have naturally found much capital in this story and as they call into question the validity of the asylum system and human rights activism one almost feels glad that these things are being put on the agenda. The fact that Qatada’s family has cost us all £500,000 in benefits is not to be shrugged off so lightly. (It’s worth also noting that the Daily Mail is today reporting that keeping ‘an eye on’ Qatada will cost the taxpayer £5m a year)

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