Shaikh Hamza and the Blair malaria programme (updated)
Recently, Shaikh Hamza Yusuf took part in an anti-malaria event recently held in Los Angeles, run by an organisation called Malaria No More which, unbeknown to him, was sponsored by the Tony Blair Faith Programme. Imam Zaid Shakir had been working with that organisation to try to get Muslims involved in efforts to eradicate malaria in Africa, where the majority of victims are Muslims. The organisation asked shaikh Zaid to put them in contact with Shaikh Hamza, so that he could speak in LA as a representative of the Muslims, while Rick Warren represented Christians. Shaikh Zaid wrote that neither he nor Shaikh Hamza would have participated had they known of Blair’s involvement. He posted an article at his New Islamic Directions website, which is still available in the Google cache here), but has since clarified matters, to the effect that the invitation was a misunderstanding, not an act of treachery on anyone’s part.
The clarification is to be found here. I posted the original so that nobody associated with either of the two shaikhs could be the subject of slander, and in particular so that none of the common Muslims who read and listen to his works would suffer such slander, as commonly happens when any public figure is deemed to be tained by association with anti-Islamic powers, and to make it clear that Shaikh Hamza did indeed denounce Blair’s involvement with the Iraq war during his speech:
Since he was there, Shaykh Hamza condemned Tony Blair to his face and warned him of the sad fate he would have when he met his Lord, precisely because of the role he played in the war. He does not endorse in any way the work of Tony Blair’s organization … His only intention was to help eradicate malaria, a disease he was personally afflicted with during his years of study in Mauritania, and a disease whose devastating effect he has witnessed first hand during his years of traveling and studying is West Africa.
Now that a clarification has been published, I have removed most of the extracts previously published, as requested. A clarification of the matter from Imam Zaid Shakir can be found here, insha Allah.
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