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July 21, 2005
Osama's Ambassador Loses Diplomatic Immunity In Britain

The Scotsman reports that Britain may finally get serious about deporting radical imams and activists preaching hate and jihad in the wake of its first-ever suicide bomb attack. Abu Qatada now faces deportation to Jordan in a hastily-arranged agreement with the Hashemite Kingdom not to execute or torture deportees from the UK:

ABU Qatada, the extremist cleric known as "Osama bin Laden's ambassador in Europe", is finally facing deportation to Jordan after British officials brokered a potentially groundbreaking extradition deal.

Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, announced yesterday that authorities in Amman had agreed to give verifiable commitments not to impose the death sentence or impose torture on anyone handed over.

This was billed by ministers as the first in a string of deals aimed at dismantling what critics have called "Londonistan" - the community of Islamic extremists being protected from extradition.

Qatada, a Jordanian national, is wanted by eight police forces across three continents and is currently under house arrest in London. He has been suspected for years as a key player in the al-Qaeda network.

Tony Blair, the Prime Minister, made no reference to him yesterday - but said that there were several foreign nationals whom Britain cannot deport because the courts rule that they would be ill-treated.

Watching their subways and buses -- and fellow Londoners -- get blasted into bloody pieces seems to have lessened the concern over deportees getting ill treatment abroad, as it should. No one wants to see people tortured, but there should be limits to Western forebearance. Free democracies do not need to consider liberty a suicide pact. Those who emigrate to these societies and then turn around and preach violence (and plan and conduct it) against their hosts and the allies of their hosts do not deserve the protection of that society.

Islamofascists have declared war on the West, and Britain's response was to allow them to remain free, spreading hate and recruiting enlistments into their lunatic armies. This comes from the same impulse that says we should understand Islamist terrorists instead of fighting them; surely if we treat them nicer than their experiences in their native lands, they will moderate themselves. It doesn't work that way with fanatics, as Britain found out too late on July 7.

The only way to handle individuals who insist on becoming enemies through deeds and incitement to action is to treat them as enemies, not illegal immigrants and possible asylum seekers. Both Britain and the US need to eject those who alight themselves on our land as parasites, looking to live off our openness while plotting and preaching its destruction, and let the terrorists and their sympathizers deal with the consequences of their deportation.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at July 21, 2005 6:36 AM

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