If you are an elderly religious leader enjoying iconic cultural status, a girlish giggle goes a long way – especially when you’re on shaky moral ground. This, arguably, is true of the Dalai Lama; and it is certainly true of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
This week the retired Archbishop – undoubtedly with a giggle – pulled out of a leadership summit in Johannesburg because of the presence of Tony Blair. In a statement, his office explained that “Mr Blair’s decision to support the United States’ military invasion of Iraq . . . was morally indefensible. . . it would be inappropriate and untenable for the Archbishop to share a platform with Mr Blair.”
My colleague the Rev Peter Mullen has already drawn attention to the Archbishop’s sanctimony. I’d add that Tutu is displaying hypocrisy of Pharisian proportions. Since March, Tutu has happily been associated with members of Hamas, which has long been regarded by Britain and the USA as a terrorist organisation. The Archbishop is on the Advisory Board for a controversial group called the Global March to Jerusalem (GM2J), which aims to stage civilian marches on Israel’s capital. The group’s advisers also include two members of Hamas, Zaher Birawi and Ahmad Abo Halabiya.
Let’s bring this into sharper relief. In a sermon given at a mosque in Gaza and broadcast live on Palestinian TV, Ahmad Abo Halabiya allegedly said: “Have no mercy on the Jews, no matter where they are, in any country. Fight them, wherever you are. Wherever you meet them, kill them . . . and those Americans who are like them, and those who stand by them.” The Archbishop is apparently willing to share a platform with men like these, but not with Tony Blair. Continue reading on the Telegraph website