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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 July 2004, 08:13 GMT 09:13 UK
Newsnight 7 July
Gavin Esler
Presented by Gavin Esler.

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Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi

Fresh off the plane - and causing controversy already. Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation, was in London for a series of events. Home Secretary David Blunkett was asked to ban the Egyptian from entering Britain because of his provocative views, including alleged support of suicide bombers.

This is not suicide, it is martyrdom in the name of God.
Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi
However al-Qaradawi, has given an interview to Newsnight and explained why he believes Islam justifies suicide bombings. In his words "This is not suicide, it is martyrdom in the name of God." he goes on to say "I consider this type of martyrdom operation as an indication of the justice of Allah Almighty. Allah is just - through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak what the strong do not possess and that is the ability to turn their bodies into bombs like the Palestinians do."

We spoke to Dr Azzam Tamimi of the Muslim Association of Britain; the Labour MP Louise Ellman; and by the Home Office Minister Fiona Mactaggart who has cancelled plans to send a message of support to a conference attended by Dr Al Qaradawi.

Intelligence failings

The Senate Intelligence Committee inquiry was expected to report on the CIA's handling of intelligence about the Iraqi threat in the run up to the war. Leaks suggest it had clear criticisms. In Britain, we're a week before the Butler Inquiry reports about British intelligence failings. Our intelligence services, and their relationship with policy makers, are under scrutiny as never before. Where might both services be found wanting?

We talked to Dr David Kay - former Head of the Iraq Survey Group - who concluded that Britain and America mistakenly estimated Saddam's weapons capability.


On Friday's programme we reported on the troubles of Russian energy giant Yukos. They had been given a deadline of 9pm our time to sort out their extensive tax arrears. So what would they do?

Divorce settlement

In a landmark ruling the ex wife of the Arsenal midfielder, Ray Parlour, won her claim to more than a third of his future earnings. Karen Parlour said her original maintenance award wasn't enough and claimed her ex husband's earning potential was down to her hard work. It's the first time someone's future income has been ruled an asset of the marriage, but don't get too excited it looks like this sort of ruling will only apply to the very wealthy

Gavin was joined by Sandra Davis a solicitor who has worked on a number of celebrity divorce cases including Jerry Hall's and Princess Diana's.

Newsnight can be seen on BBC Two at 2130 GMT 2230 UK, or in Real video, either live or on demand, by clicking on the latest programme button.

al-Qaradawi on why he thinks Islam justifies suicide bombs

OECD slams Russia's Yukos trial
07 Jul 04 |  Business

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