It is strange, this painless death. Like stepping through a door held politely open for him. It doesn’t seem right, somehow; a trivialization of the event. Death ought to be harder to achieve. Better to be hunted down, rooted out, hurting and bloody. Then death would come as a relief. It would be welcome.” — Richard Selzer Raising the Dead
to accuse the Mayor of London of “unfairly representing” his organisations views. He said that “what this young man has done is absolutely horrific”. However, Mr Johnson highlighted a recent interview with Mr Quereshi which “moved me to anger.” He said: “I have to say what moved me to anger is the thought you were claiming that the fault for the radicalisation of this young guy lay with the security services. “I watched you explain how he had been seeking a ‘career overseas’ and had been impeded. Actually he was going off to join a terrorist group in Somalia.
Mohammed Emwazi is ‘extremely gentle’, says British advocacy group Cage director Boris Johnson confronts Asim Qureshi – the full transcriptAsim Qureshi from Cage Boris over the last couple of days you have said a lot of things about my organisation. I feel that our opinions on this matter have been somewhat unfairly represented. What this young man has done is absolutely horrific. Boris Johnson It’s important that you should get this out there, because it wasn’t entirely clear. I have to say what moved me to anger is the thought you were claiming that the fault for the radicalisation of this young guy lay with the security services. I watched you explain how he had been seeking a ‘career overseas’ and had been impeded. Actually he was going off to join a terrorist group in Somalia. I really, really think that the focus of your indignation and your outrage should be on people who go out to join groups that throw g**s off cliffs, that behead people who don’t subscribe to their version of Islam, that glorify in the execution of innocent journalists and aid workers. They should be the object of your wrath, not the security services who are trying to keep us safe. I urge you more powerfully to differentiate between people like Mr Emwazi and ordinary Muslims and not cry Islamophobia when people criticise, attack, denounce those who engage in such atrocities. Asim Qureshi You don’t need to do that, the whole of the Muslim community is against these kind of people. Boris Johnson I watched you very carefully and you were asked several times to condemn and denounce what Mr Emwazi had been doing. You started off by instantly drawing comparisons with Tony Blair and Dick Cheney and all sorts of other irrelevant nonsense. If you are going to have an impact on the lives on the minds of young Muslims you have got to focus on what these people are doing wrong and not immediately start scattering blame around. You have got to focus on what they have got wrong about Islam. Asim Qureshi We never said he was radicalised by MI5 to commit beheadings. Boris Johnson You did say that. Asim Quereshi I said we want to understand whether or not security agencies, their actions led to him feeling that he is not part of UK society. Boris Johnson I just feel you have got it 100 per cent the wrong way up. The security services are trying to keep us safe. They cannot conceivably be blamed. If you are a human rights group funded by charity then you should be sticking up for the human rights of those being beheaded in Syria and Northern Iraq, that should be the focus of your concern.