January 23, 2006

Your witness

Its hard to know what to write from growing scrawls. I've got half a big spiral bound just since Mr. Hamza took the stand. Whilst Mr. Fitz was questioning him, it seemed he was almost enjoying the chance to bear witness to Islam. For a lot of it though it also seemed that Fitz, the Judge and Hamza were all speaking diferent languages. Hamza answers like the Egyptian preacher of islam he is and I never know which bit to write down.

After one break the Judge asked him why he swore on the afirmation and not the Koran. He said it was because the statement says "put your hand on..." and "There is no hand...". He went on to say that Muslims swear by Allah, not the Koran, he would swear on the Koran if it helped.

Today Perry got to cross examine.

"I want to establish some ground rules..." he started and told Hamza sarcastically that he wouldn't be asking about concrete technology certificates. If he didn't get an answer he would keep asking the question. Lots of "Do you understand?" like he was talking to a foreigner who was pretending not to.

Hamza started saying no almost straight away. Every question he was asked it was like he was scared to say yes. The Judge joined in a bit with a few "answer the questions" Perry spent a bit of time ridiculing Hamza's claim that he hadn't read the Encyclopiedia of Afghan Jihad, Hamza retorted that MI-5 were MI-5 and not MFI (a furniture shop in the UK) and so they knew who was and who wasn't a terrorist.

Perry asked why Hamza took the plans of Sandhurst to Afghanistan. Hamza told him he took everything with him. Engineers always take all their notebooks to refer to for further projects and Sandhurst was still safe and well. Perry then proceeded to put Hamza in the picture about his position of responsibility and to lay into him about how he spoke about Jews as "dirty" and "the second enemy of Islam".

Hamza tried to explain that it was action and not people which he was preaching against. He said there were 3 types of Jews. Those who did wrong, those who were neutral and those who did right. He spoke of a few Jewish people who were against the Zionists invading Palestine. Under cross examination he also tried to dispute he was exhorting the killing of those who granted licences for wine-sellers, saying that it is a body which grants the licence not a person.

He spoke about Jewish "lobbyists" controlling what was reported about Palestine over here to make war and control what people thought. He thinks of "Zionism" as a world wide movement controlling other countries economies through the banking system and the media.

Perry carried on to attack Hamza's view of Jihad, view of women in Israel as Soldiers and implied Hamza took it upon himself to define who was an "apostate scholar".

Throughout Hamza consitently toned down the stuff which was on the tapes into barely understandable words and phrases. He wouldn't be specific about apostates in this country and defended the idea of Muslims attacking apostates abroad by recolecting US attacks on Gadaffi and Saddam. He said that the Israeli's were proud of the young age of their army and that only women actually firing bullets would be a target. Muslims would have to travel to an area and find out from the Mujahadeen what was happening before targetting.

"Do you accept that we have a problem with radicalised Muslims made extreme?"

"You make these terms. Extreme from what? Near to what? Am I extreme or near? By what measurement?"

Perry tried to get Hamza to say which groups were advocating a caliphate in the Whitehouse or in Downing street, which Hamza finally admitted was "Al-Mujaharoun"(Common knowledge).

"You ask me questions you could ask any postman who has read the paper. I am tired of standing, either give me questions I can answer or lock me up..."

If there was a consistent line throughout all this it was that Hamza feels he is dealing with theories, not specifics. Its all teaching from the Koran which are debated amongst scholars.

This is all really confusing. The tapes look threatening. Hamza hasn't looked threatening for years. What can I tell you? You couldn't cartoonise Perry and Fitz anymore if they stood still whilst you drew round them with a pencil. Perry (prosecuting) is very wolflike and Fitz is every bit the bumbling bespectacled defence barrister.


Anonymous said...

Bones I enjoy reading comments on the goings on in Britain, but it's hard for me to comment because the media here is mostly interested in "Brangelina," (talk about a declining civilization). Why don't you throw a small "bone" out for us colonials so we can make comments that don't come across as jabberwocky.

DAVE BONES said...

brangelina is important stuff.