So, to continue from the last post, who is Yvonne Ridley, the woman we saw recently leading the 'Viva Palestina' convoy to Gaza? What is her agenda?
At the lecture I described in the first part, she was introduced to us as an ordinary, liberated, British woman and mother who had simply found the truth of Islam, with no political or other agenda. I will now expose this for the outright lie it is.
Here's the biography from her official website:
British-born, award-winning journalist Yvonne Ridley is well known in the Muslim world for her outspoken views and defence of Islam. She endeared herself to the Muslim community in Britain when she reverted to Islam 30 months after making international headlines when she was captured by the Taleban on an undercover assignment in Afghanistan. She was a senior reporter of the Sunday Express at the time, having spent nearly 10 years in Fleet Street working for several prestige titles including The Sunday Times, The Observer, Daily Mirror and Independent on Sunday...
I found an interview she gave to the BBC shortly after her conversion was announced. It confirms a few of the points she told us in the lecture which I described in my first post, including here first thought about the Taliban soldier capturing her being 'he's gorgeous'.
More on the Taliban:
"I couldn't support what they did or believed in, but they were demonised beyond recognition, because you can't drop bombs on nice people."
She says of reading the Koran and converting:
"I was absolutely blown away by what I was reading - not one dot or squiggle had been changed in 1,400 years.
"I have joined what I consider to be the biggest and best family in the world. When we stick together we are absolutely invincible."
She also described the Koran as 'a Magna Carta for women', and stated Islamic abuses of women stem from local cultures rather than Islam, as Islam 'makes it clear women are equal'.
One thing they miss, though - Ridley was 'defending Muslims' and radical Islamic causes long before she became a Muslim herself. Oh yes, indeed.
In fact, her first husband was a colonel in the Palestine Liberation Organisation, the PLO. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, to be specific.
You could not make this stuff up. What is this individual, Daoud Zaaroura, up to these days? You may well ask - he is the chief executive of the North of England Refugee Service.
"...Daoud Za'aroura is a Palestinian refugee, born in 1947 in a little town near Nazareth (Saffouri). In 1948 his family left Palestine to Lebanon with hundreds of thousands of other Palestinian refugees who have lived since then in Palestinian refugees camps. As a young Palestinian he joined the Palestinian resistance movement and was active within the Palestinian political groups. He left the Middle East in 1992 and arrived in Britain where he was granted political asylum. Since then he has been working with refugees and homeless people in a charitable refugee organisation in Britain. He continues to be involved in refugee issues and social justice research.
He and Ridley met in Cyprus whilst she was on an assignment; in 1992, they had a daughter together, so presumably that's what got him into the UK.
When they met, he was still an active officer in the PLO. I shan't comment on the wisdom of letting such a man run a 'refugee' service - you, the reader can make up your own mind about whether this is sensible or desirable. But please bear in mind that 'resistance movement' is a coy euphemism for 'terrorist organisation' - and one of the most vicious and violent the world has ever known.
However, these are the sorts of circles in which she has moved since her younger days. On this basis, I find it very hard to believe that she only troubled herself to find out about Islam after her release from Taliban captivity.
Don't most non-Muslim women who marry Muslim men have to convert? Wouldn't her daughter have been born and raised a Muslim? Even if she didn't convert, wouldn't she have been at least a little curious? Why does it seem she took on his politics but not his religion?
For the record, I recognise the PFLP is technically a secular, Marxist branch of the Palestinian terror tree. But to be accepted under the PLO umbrella, there must have been some recognition of the majority agenda - Islamic supremacy and Arab nationalism.
There is a conspiracy theory which suggests Ridley's capture was staged, part of a ploy to draw attention to various Islamic 'resistance' movements and rehabilitate the Taliban in the same vein as the PLO.
Frankly, I think the whole situation is bizarre enough, although I'm sure her ex-husband could have pulled some strings somewhere. Many believe that she would have been killed as a spy had it not been for her already impressive CV of militant Islamic connections.
After her release and conversion, Ridley's life becomes a murky stew of warped views, questionable motives and shady connections. You have to ask whether Islam can change someone totally - or perhaps like attracts like?
Soon after her conversion, she started insisting that the CIA and Mossad were conspiring to kill her in order to escalate the war in Afghanistan. No reason was given why they would do this or desire it - apart from the worldwide conspiracy against peace-loving Muslims, obviously.
Ridley supports the vast majority of the Muslims jailed for terror offences in the UK, no matter how extreme. Her website hosts poems and letters by jailed Babar Ahmad (who, as I reported earlier, also counts Sadiq Khan MP amongst his friends), awaiting extradition to the US for hosting terrorist funding websites.
Among the websites he hosted and ran was 'azzam.com' a site which raised funds for Mujahideen fighting British, American and coalition troops in Afghanistan. The organisation 'Stop Political Terror', formerly 'Stop Police Terror', is also heavily involved in the campaign to prevent his extradition - and Ridley was closely linked to this organisation.
A barrister friend assures me that Ahmad would not have been in jail for 5 years awaiting extradition unless the evidence was 'overwhelming enough to convict him here'.
In fact, comparing democratic Western leaders and institutions to the bloody, murdering, terrorist ones she supports and apologises for is a bit of a forte of hers. I believe the psychological explanation for this phenomenon is 'projection'.
She wrote an article on her website saying she wouldn't blame Iraqi terrorists for cutting off George Bush's head, or at least wanting to; she compared Tony Blair to Pol Pot, and calls Israel
"...that disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East" and further that her party, the Respect Party, "is a Zionist-free party...if there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out. We have no time for Zionists," while both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were "riddled with Zionists." 
Presumably, these would be the same 'Zionists' or, if we're being honest, Jews who want to kill her because she's just so important it would intensify a foreign war.
Despite claiming these organisations wished to kill her, she was allowed into the US for a university speaking tour. She mocked US intelligence services:
In an article about her conversion she taunted members of US intelligience agencies as "incompetant spooks"and joked about "opening a Madrassah for [al-Qaeda] recruits from my flat in Soho".
Ridley calls the PLO and the Taliban resistance to coalition forces in Afghanistan 'humanitarian organisations', and when asked about British Muslims found with footage of Western hostages being beheaded in Iraq, her response was thus (according to her own Wikipedia page):
At the "Muslimer i Dialog" conference in Copenhagen in September 2005, Ridley was asked if she didn't see it as a problem that militant Islamists distribute recruiting videos of Iraqi insurgents killing hostages. She replied that it was necessary for Muslims to have these videos at home as an alternative form of news to what she perceived as the propaganda of Western media. At the same meeting she compared British Prime Minister Tony Blair with Pol Pot.
As far as I can tell, the 'Yvonne Ridley' Wikipedia page many of these quotes come from is maintained by herself and her supporters - she is referred to as 'sister' throughout.
Now, the following is very serious, and reveals much about her character and her interpretation of Islam. Here is a set of quotes from radical Islamic cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri, taken from his wiki page - please read them carefully:
Abu Hamza claims that the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster was a sign from God:
"These missions would increase the number of satellites for military purposes. It would increase the slavery of governance of other countries by America. It is a punishment from God. Muslims see it that way. It is a trinity of evil because it carried Americans, an Israeli and a Hindu, a trinity of evil against Islam. The fact that the motor of the craft fell on Palestine [a town in Texas] – all these are messages from God. It is a strong message, for the Israeli, to be taken up there to space and he spoke about the Holocaust, to try to make religious advancement from it and gain some moral high ground, hence you have seen this message over Palestine."
"Killing of the kafir (non-believer) for any reason you can say it is OK, even if there is no reason for it." He called on his followers to poison, ambush and kill non-believers and added: "You must have a stand with your heart, with your tongue, with your money, with your hand, with your sword, with your Kalashnikov. Don't ask shall I do this, just do it."
He suggested that people coined the term suicide attack to put others off it. "It is not called suicide - this is called shahada, martyring, because if the only way to hurt the enemies of Islam except by taking your life for that, then it is allowed," adding: "The person who hinders Allah's rule, this man must be eliminated".
In January 2006 while on trial, he accused the Jewish people of being "blasphemous, treacherous and dirty" and explained that this was "why Hitler was sent into the world".
He also called for "a world dominated by a caliph, sitting in the White House". Whilst under cross-examination Hamza claimed the Jews control the Foreign Office, the media and the money supply in Britain and the USA.
OK. Nice chap, right? What does Yvonne think? He phoned her after news of her conversion broke:
He said, 'Sister Yvonne, welcome to Islam, congratulations'.
"I explained I hadn't yet taken my final vows and he said, 'Don't be pressured or pushed, the whole community is there for you if you need any help, just call one of the sisters.'
"I thought, I can't believe it, this is the fire and brimstone cleric from Finsbury Park mosque and he is quite sweet really.
"I was just about to hang up when he said, 'But there is just one thing I want you to remember. Tomorrow, if you have an accident and die, you will go straight to hellfire'.
"I was so scared that I carried a copy of the vows in my purse until my final conversion last June."
A sweet guy. Someone who believes Hitler was born to teach the Jews a lesson. You have to ask yourself at this point what sort of person would want to be associated with the religion of a man like him. What impressed Ridley most, however, was how generous he was in lending her Islamic texts.
Anyway, after her conversion Ridley became even more prominent in the Muslim world. She joined the Islam Channel, then al-Jazeera, then Press TV, all of them English-speaking Muslim backed channels with an agenda.
In fact, she was instrumental in setting up the English section of al-Jazeera and helping it spread, propagating the lie that Western media outlets were more biased than the Islamist shills she worked for.
On at least two of these channels she hosted programmes called 'The Agenda with Yvonne Ridley' - apparently without irony.
In 2005 she courted yet more controversy by backing the radical cleric Abu Musab al-Zarqawi and his campaign of violence in Iraq and Jordan, describing the victims of the 9 November 2005 Amman bombings in Jordan, which saw 60 persons killed and 115 injured, as:
"Iraqi collaborators, Saudi, Indonesian and Chinese intelligence officers and the upper echelons of society." The outpouring of public outrage manifested in spontaneous demonstration she described as staged and the work of "Jordanian troops out of uniform" and "government lackeys" together with "Christian and Muslim Bedouins" who had all been commandeered or paid to demonstrate by the Jordanian government and the CIA."
Al-Zarqawi was denounced by his family after the bombings, a move that Ridley thought "cowardly." She said of al-Zarqawi himself that she would "rather put up with a brother like Abu Musab al-Zarqawi any day than have a traitor or sell-out for a father, son or grandfather" – a reference to Jordanian royal family. .
In 2006 she was active in the propaganda campaign against Israel in its struggle with Hezbollah, which had breached its borders and captured and killed a number of Israeli soldiers. Here is a video of her speaking outside the Israeli (or possibly American) embassy on 22/10/06:
To screams of 'Allahuakbar' and 'long live Hezbollah', Ridley mounts the platform. She launches into a rant - the people in the embassy are 'behind the wire', under siege. Hezbollah 'whupped the arse' of the world's fourth most powerful army. By that, I assume she's referring to the 121 Israelis who died in the 2006 Lebanon War, 44 of them civilians.
She then informs us that 'drinking Coca-Cola is the same as drinking the blood of Palestinian children' and 'shopping at Marks & Spencer is the same as giving bullets to Israeli soldiers to shoot into the backs of Palestinian schoolgirls'. She calls Israel an apartheid state, quoting the words of that well known authority on morality, leader of the Iranian Revolution Ayatollah Khomeinei.
After that, she blesses the 'Palestinian resistance movement' and the Second Intifada which was responsible for the deaths of 1,079 Israelis, 731 of them civilians.
But then, 2006 seems to be the year in which Yvonne sank further and further into extremism. In June 2006, this had occurred:
At a meeting of the Respect party on 6 June 2006, following a controversial police raid in Forest Gate, East London, on 2 June 2006, Ridley urged all Muslims in Britain to "boycott the police and refuse to co-operate with them in any way, shape or form until the boys are released," including "asking the community copper for directions to passing the time of day with a beat officer." Her comments were labelled as "sheer, undiluted madness" by Shadow Home Secretary David Davis.
Yeah, David Davis usually hits the nail on the head, I find. But when George Galloway thinks your beliefs are too extreme, well, maybe the message should be heeded.
After the Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev (accused of the Moscow theater hostage crisis and blamed for the Beslan school massacre) was killed, Ridley wrote an article referring to Basayev as a "shaheed". She went on to refer to Basayev as leader of "an admirable struggle to bring independence to Chechnya". 
As you can see, with Yvonne Ridley there is no attempt to claim the middle ground - she is an unashamed extremist.
Now, last but not least, we will look at her recent activities in the 'free Gaza' movement, which she joined in August 2008. This movement took a flotilla of boats from Cyprus to 'break the Israeli blockade' around the Gaza strip and deliver aid and supplies.
They completed this mission, and Ridley was given a genuine Palestinian diplomatic passport by Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, who described her as 'an ambassador for Palestine'. Here you can see her pathetic attempts to reconcile her beliefs with reality at the Rafah border crossing:
Finally, it all came full circle with the setting up of 'Viva Palestina' and the £1 million, 100 vehicle aid convoy which drove from London to Gaza. After the 25 day journey, she wrote the following article for the 'Viva Palestina' website:
"I'VE never been a huge flag-waving fan of the Union Jack because to me it was largely a symbol of the old British Empire and all the bad things it once represented in terms of occupation, slavery, tyranny and imperialistic wars."
Yes, it must be nice to be part of a 'worldwide family', as you term your religion, that would never dream of being involved in any such shenanigans. Never mind the fact that Islam is synonymous with slavery, tyranny, occupation and imperialistic wars. Never mind the fact that Muslims would rather die and violently slaughter innocents around the world for a 20,770 / 22,072 km2 (151st in the world) 8,019 / 8,522 sq mi strip of land, Israel, because people who aren't Muslims dare to live there and run a successful, modern state - when they could be enjoying the 13,953,041 km2 (2nd) (5,382,910 sq mi) which is the Arab League alone.
Still, why would a little thing like reality intrude?
"I can't really remember the urge to pick up the Union Jack again declaring to the world: "I am proud to be British".
As Leo Tolstoy once remarked, such patriotism in its simplest form is nothing more than a "means of obtaining for rulers their ambitions" as well as a sign from us lesser mortals as our "slavish enthralment to those in power".
So it was rather a peculiar feeling when I watched several members of Viva Palestina cloak themselves in the Union Jack for the final stages of our 5,000 mile journey from London to Gaza.
In truth, the British flag was flown throughout our marathon journey across nine countries and the message was loud, proud and clear at each border crossing: "We are British, the convoy is British and we support the Palestinian people."
Clearly this woman is not familiar with the term 'irony'. She claims patriotism is a means of 'claiming for rulers their ambitions' - but what is her slavish love for the Islamic world and every Muslim-backed power struggle going?
The convoy was not 'British' - it was largely made up of Muslims and deluded idiots, with a few people who can't see beyond the goodness of their own hearts for good measure.
To finish, I would like to say something to Yvonne Ridley which I'm sure she'll be familiar with:
"Not in my name."
That's what she said about the struggle to remove the Taliban from power. I repeat it back to her now about her and Galloway's shameless attempts to pretend the British people are all duped dhimmis who can't see through the 'Palestinian liberation struggle'. It's nationalism and chauvinism in its purest, ugliest, most dangerous form, pure and simple.
You're not fit to hold the Union Flag Yvonne, let alone wax lyrical about the 'noble Desert Rats'. I had two relatives who served with the British army in North Africa, and I can assure you they didn't do it with the dream of a Muslim Britain or Europe - they were fighting against evil, oppressive beliefs, not for them.