London Asharq Al-Awsat – The Philosophy department at Trinity College in Dublin announced it will hold debate between Islamist and secular figures to be held on November 10th 2005 to discuss the causes behind the September 11 attacks.
Omar Bakri Mohammad, currently barred from returning to Britain and former leader of the extremist al Muhajiroun and al Ghurabba organizations is expected to take part in the debate. along with Omran Jaweed, Khaled keely, the former head of al Muhajiroun in Ireland and Anjem Choudary, also known al Abu Loqman, the group’s ex- Secretary General in Britain.
In a telephone conversation with Asharq al Awsat from his current residence in Beirut, where Bakri has been living since leaving London in August, the cleric indicated he would contribute to the debate as an expert on Islamic militant groups and a researcher and not as former spiritual guide to al Muhajiroun.
“I will participate through Sky TV and give my view on the position of several Islamist extremist groups on September 11 and its justifications.”
He added, “I will closely examine the fundamentalist view on the attacks on New York City and Washington D.C allegedly it is legitimate resistance to the antagonist US policies against Muslim countries, or it is an illegitimate act.”
The Syrian-born cleric described the debate as a yearly discussion.
Other participants include British journalist Yvonne Ridley who converted to Islam following her ordeal in a Taliban jail, Muslih Farhady, head of the Islamic Forum at the university, Wassim Yaqub of Islamic Relief and Mohammad Ali, from an Islamic satellite channel, and Ian Dorothy, a journalist and political analyst at The Irish Independent newspaper.
Bakri, who had referred to the September 11 hijackers as the “Magnificent 19” sought asylum in Britain in 1985, founded al Muhajiroun which later disbanded itself.
A debate on globalization is set to take place at Trinity College on November 17th, 2005 featuring a number of political analysts and academics.