Yvonne Ridley, an unrepentant anti-Semite and apologist for Islamist terrorism around the world, will be a speaker at the first annual Australian Islamic Conference in Melbourne this weekend.
This is the conference to which controversial figure, Sheik Bilal Philips, was headed before immigration officials barred his entry into Australia. Philips has been linked to the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centre in New York. A second sheik from Saudia Arabia was also banned fom entering Australia because he failed to provide sufficient information as to why he should be allowed into the country. In their absence, Ridley now takes star billing at the conference.
According to Wikipedia
Ridley, a convert to Islam after being held captive by the Taliban in Afghanistan, holds a view on the Palestine/Israel conflict, which is "pretty much in line with that of Hamas." According to Ridley, Israel is "that disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East".
Ridley is a member of the Respect Party, an unbelievably misnamed British political party headed by George Galloway. She claims that the Respect Party "is a Zionist-free party… if there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out. We have no time for Zionists", while both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties are "riddled with Zionists."
Of course, this begs the question as to why any self-respecting Zionist would want to be a member of a party that harbours such racist ratbags.
Ridley once defended Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's campaign of violence in Iraq and Jordan and described the victims of the November 2005 Amman bombings (60 dead and 115 injured - many of them guests at a wedding party) in Jordan as "Iraqi collaborators."
Meanwhile, at home, she urged Muslims in Britain to refuse to co-operate with the police investigating terrorist activities.
To really understand how loathsome an individual Ridley has become since her conversion to Islam, here’s more from Wikipedia: -"After the Chechen terrorist leader Shamil Basayev (architect of the Moscow theater hostage crisis and the Beslan school massacre) was killed, Ridley wrote a column stating that Basayev had become a 'shaheed', that is, a martyr whose place in Paradise is assured. She went on to refer to Basayev as leader of 'an admirable struggle to bring independence to Chechnya'. In response to objections that Basayev's actions killed many civilians, Ridley stated that he 'resorted to targeting Russian civilians in the latter years of his struggle to try and bring the plight of the Chechen struggle to the wider world,' and blamed the majority of civilian casualties on Russian troops sent in to rescue the hostages, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary."
So, speaking the truth is not Ridley's strongest suit.
Australian Opposition immigration spokesman Tony Burke has asked how a person who praised Basayev as a martyr and urged Muslims in Britain not to co-operate with police, and who has described suicide bombings as "martyrdom operations", could pass the character test required for a visa into the country. He urges the government to kick her out of the country.
I agree Australia could easily do without Ridley but to throw her out of the country would be to turn her into a cause celebre among certain groups here. She would almost certainly be regarded as "a martyr" while the focus would be taken away from the objectionable views she espouses. The intolerance, hatred and lack of respect for others inherent in her message would be whitewashed in the controversy, thereby severely limiting the prospects of any debate on her offensive ideas.
Rather than deport her, Ridley and her extremist views should be exposed to critical scrutiny for only in this way can we understand not only their inherent danger to our society but how counterproductive they are to the very people she claims to support. An example of the latter proposition is that she sings from the same song book as the Islamists who control the Palestine Authority and whose stated aims are to destroy the Jewish State and kill Jews - which is one of the main reasons why the attainment of peace between Israel and Palestine is proving so elusive.
Such positions are well documented and widely understood in the Middle East but they are all too easily brushed aside in general discussions on this subject while in the Jewish community, the tiny minority of so-called "independent voices" who speak out against Israel would rather leave them tidily brushed under the carpet out of sight and out of mind.