Abu Qatada’s wife and five children left their taxpayer funded home in north-west London and were driven to Heathrow Airport by officials from the Home Office just after lunchtime. They then boarded the 5.05pm American Airlines flight to Amman, where Qatada is currently awaiting trial of terrorism charges.
The family’s departure signals a victory for the Home Office, which successfully secured Qatada’s deportation from Britain last month, following a decade long legal battle, which is estimated to have cost the taxpayer in excess of £3 million. A spokesman for the Home Office confirmed that the family had left and said they had also abandoned their bid to be granted the right to live here permanently. Sources said the Home Secretary would also use the powers available to her to prevent the family from returning to Britain in the future.
Members of the extremist English Defence League had also held protests against the family’s continued presence in the UK. In a letter to an Islamic website, one of Qatada’s sons recently wrote: “Racist pressure groups in Britain hold demonstrations outside the house on a weekly basis between four in the afternoon and eleven in the evening. These demonstrators would scream and curse at us and at Islam.”
Radical cleric Abu Qatada has appeared in court in Jordan after being deported from the UK. His plane left RAF Northolt at 02:46 BST for his home country, where he was formally charged with terror offences, which he denies. Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “delighted” at his removal. Abu Qatada was first arrested in the UK over alleged terror connections in 2001. He was rearrested in 2005, when attempts to deport him began. The Palestinian-Jordanian cleric’s deportation was finally able to proceed after the UK and Jordan signed a treaty agreeing that evidence obtained through torture would not be used against him.
Home Secretary Theresa May said she was glad that the government’s determination to remove him had been “vindicated”. “This dangerous man has now been removed from our shores to face the courts in his own country,” she said. She added that she wanted to streamline such deportation processes in future. “I am also clear that we need to make sense of our human rights laws and remove the many layers of appeals available to foreign nationals we want to deport.
Speaking on BBC Breakfast, Mrs May said she had been provided with updates on the deportation throughout the night and that she had been “as frustrated as the public” about the estimated £1.7m cost and length of time it had taken to remove Abu Qatada, but that people would welcome the end result.
There was tight security as Abu Qatada arrived back in Jordan – where he grew up – for the first time in more than 20 years. He was immediately driven from Marka airbase to the state security court – a journey that would have taken just a few minutes. After the hearing his lawyer Tayseer Diab said: “The attorney general interrogated him today, and he directed a series of accusations towards him – he accused him of conspiracy to take part in terrorist acts. My client denied all the allegations, and he asserts that his return to Jordan was out of his own free will, in order to be with his family. The procedure was carried out well, and he received good treatment.”
Asked whether Abu Qatada’s wife and children would have the right to stay in the UK, Mrs May said they would have to decide what they want their future to be before the government gets involved.
The Home Office’s long legal duel with the radical cleric Abu Qatada has cost taxpayers £1,716,306, Theresa May has told MPs. The figure includes £647,658 in legal aid for the terror suspect and more than £1m in government costs, the home secretary disclosed in a letter to the all-party Commons home affairs committee. But the overall bill would have been nearer £2m if more than £200,000 had not been used from Abu Qatada’s frozen assets, according to officials. The bill, run up since 2005, was revealed as the formalities were being finalised for a legal treaty with Jordan which would allow Abu Qatada’s deportation. Ministers are hoping this can be ratified at Westminster by next Friday and the cleric put on a plane as soon as possible afterwards. Home secretaries have been trying for years to deport Abu Qatada to Jordan, where he was convicted in his absence in 1999 of terror charges related to bomb attacks. The Special Immigration Appeals Commission previously heard that a USB stick understood to belong to Abu Qatada’s eldest son contained “jihadist files” made by the “media wing of al-Qaida”.
The Jordanian parliament has approved a treaty with the UK designed to trigger the removal of radical cleric Abu Qatada, the Home Office has said. The agreement, unveiled by Home Secretary Theresa May in April, aims to allay fears that evidence extracted through torture will be used against the terror suspect at a retrial. The agreement has been approved by both houses of the Jordanian parliament but must still be signed off by the country’s King Abdullah. The UK Government expects the treaty to be ratified in Britain by June 21.
March 19, 2013
A Capuchin monk from Friulana, Marco D’Aviano, who energized Christians troops before the Battle of Vienna in which Ottoman army of 300,000 warriors was stopped in their besiegement of Vienna on September 11, 1683. The film explains that this was the first September 11; 300 years ago. Produced by RAI the film will premier on April 11 and will be distributed by Microcinema. The distribution of the film has already been postponed once due to the film’s political incorrectness according to RAI leadership.
The film, which cost over € 5 million, was filmed with great battle scenes in Romania and Italy. The director’s aim was not necessarily to show that there is evidence to support a comparison between September 11, 1683 and that of 2001. The director stresses that “is not a film against Islam but on the total senselessness of the wars of religion. It’s a movie that focuses on a figure from the depths of history that of a great Christian priest: Marco D’Aviano. Marco D’Aviano was canonized a few years ago by Pope John Paul II, who aware of the priests importance in the history of Europe. Yet, inexplicably, no one knows who is Marco D’Aviano.” The film also focuses on Kara Mustafa, a great Muslim leader (played by Enrico Lo Verso). Both characters are convinced that their God will bring them a superhuman feat: Kara Mustafa wants to destroy Vienna and come to Rome to transform the St. Peter’s Basilica into a mosque. Marco D’Aviano wants to prevent this plan.
4 February 2013
UK based Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) finally succeeded in its campaign against “strip search” body scanners that are expected to be introduced in the UK airports. It was a government measure to prevent a terrorist strike similar to 9/11; the scanner was thought to be more efficient in detecting explosive material.
However, a number of faith and civil liberties groups, especially Muslims, globally objected the scanners on several grounds. These included the breach of civil liberties, health issues, the explicit nature of the body scanners and storage of images taken by the scanner. In addition it has been argued that the scanners could not detect plastics and liquids which had been given as a reason for their introduction.
IHRC has been a leading campaigner against the scanner and it supported the legal action by a former a IHRC employee against the government’s policy on scanners. The legal action had been given the right to proceed to a full judicial review.
Upon the decision of the court the UK government announced the cancellation of the plan to install the scanners.
The Chair of IHRC, Massoud Shadjareh considered the decision as “a massive victory for the Muslim community:
“IHRC has campaigned and lobbied against airport scanners, which cost £100,000 each, since their introduction and contributed to government consultation on the issue as early as 2010. With continued campaigning and action by IHRC, this decision by the British government is a massive victory for the Muslim community and all who believe in civil liberties.”
12 January 2012
Muslim charity The Qur’an Project was displaying pro-Islamic posters in five major London Railway Stations – Waterloo, Victoria, Liverpool St, Marylebone and St Pancras International during the period 10 – 24 December 2012. The project aimed to tackle Islamophobia by educating people about Islam. The places had been reserved and they had agreed on the cost of the advert. However, the adverts were taken down by JCDecaux, the company who manages advertising in the UK railways.
In their letter to The Qur’an Project, JCDecaux gave the following reason: “…rail companies have pointed out that this is not acceptable and we should not have done so. As a consequence, we began the process of removing your posters from the rail stations over the weekend…”
The move has been considered to have Islamophobic motivations since JCDecaux and Network Rail have allowed similar campaigns for other religious groups over the last two years.
CBC – October 26, 2012
Quebec’s Agricultural Ministry ieyed many farms as thousands of Muslims took part in traditional lamb sacrifices to celebrate the Eid al-Adha. The Muslim Canadian Congress said it is pleased with the government’s decision to ensure regulations are respected during the religious celebration.
Mayor of Mont-Saint-Grégoire Suzanne Boulais, a town about 50 kilometres southeast of Montreal, also kept a close eye on a nearby farm. “I have no problem with Muslims slaughtering lambs, but it must be done legally,” she said. “This person does not have a permit for a slaughterhouse, and it’s not in a zone where the municipality allows it.” Fines for such charges can cost between $5,000 and $15,000. A second offence could cost someone up to $45,000. In the last five years, nine people have been charged with operating illegal abattoirs.
News Agencies – July 6, 2012
At 2,000 square metres, it has capacity for 1,500 people and cost 3.75 million euros to build. The town of Cergy pitched in by guaranteeing half of a 2.2 million loan taken out by the Cergy Muslim Federation, and by leasing the land at a nominal price for 99 years. The rest came from donations from Federation members.
”We want it to be clear that we paid for this, through donations,” Imam Tahar Mahdi said. There have been projects to build a mosque in Cergy since the 1980s. The new mosque also has a cultural center, a tea room, a funeral parlor, and schoolrooms.
25 June 2012
The president of the Union of Islamic Communities of Spain (UCIDE) Riay Tatary, has claimed more Muslim cemeteries in Spain – they have twelve in the country – to avoid having to repatriate the bodies, which is very expensive, more in this time of crisis, as the cost can amount to 6,000 euros, depending on the country of origin of the deceased.
Speaking to Europa Press, Tatary has indicated that, although the Law 26/1992, a Cooperation Agreement between the Spanish State and the Islamic Commission of Spain, recognizes the Islamic communities with “the right to reserve plots for Islamic burials in municipal cemeteries, and the right to own their own Islamic cemeteries “, some municipalities are playing deaf.
Tatary indicated they are trying that, where there is a fairly large Muslim population, there is a cemetery or burial plot for Muslims or at least that they will be allowed to transfer the body to the nearest graveyard, which, as he explained, “is very difficult “because” municipalities do not want it.”