London Mayor Defended 'Theologian of Terror'

By Sherrie Gossett | July 7, 2008 | 8:31 PM EDT

( - London Mayor Ken Livingstone's previous support of a Muslim cleric who advocates suicide bombings may cause him some embarrassment as he now must speak for the city in the wake of Thursday's terrorist bombings.

Despite Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi's support of suicide bombings and the targeting of American allies, Livingstone dubbed him a "man of peace" and a "moderate."

The mayor invited Al-Qaradawi to London's City Hall last year as an honored guest, and Livingstone appeared in a video shown at a solidarity conference for the sheikh on Feb. 17 of this year in Doha, Qatar. Livingstone has publicly defended the sheikh against critics in the media and various grassroots organizations.

The Anti-Defamation League has labeled Al-Qaradawi the "Theologian of Terror," while the website has dubbed him the "Dr. Goebbels of modern Egypt," for Al-Qaradawi's anti-homosexual rhetoric.

Al-Qaradawi is a prominent member of the Muslim Brotherhood and his fatwas, or theological rulings are said to influence millions of followers who consider him an authoritative scholar on Islamic issues.

Those fatwas gain wide dissemination through, a website for which Al-Qaradawi serves as an advisor, and via a popular weekly religious program on the Arab television network Al-Jazeera, which the sheikh co-hosts.

Al-Qaradawi's theological justification for suicide bombings is entitled, "Hamas Operations Are Jihad and Those Who [Carry it Out and] Are Killed are Considered Martyrs" and appears on a website linked to the Hamas terror organization.

More to Come