Saturday, October 6, 2012

London's Islamic bogeyman

As a boy in the northern London suburb of Islington, my grandfather Ernest Skyvington [1891-1985] used to play in Finsbury Park, while dreaming about going out to Australia in one of the steamships associated with his uncle William Mepham, and riding horses.


In those days, of course, there was no such thing as an Islamic mosque in the vicinity of Finsbury Park. And young Ernest would have never risked running into a grey-bearded personage in dark sunglasses with a steel hook for a right hand.


As of today, like my grandfather, Abou Hamza has changed continents. But it's America, not Australia, that has received this 54-year-old Egyptian guy as a guest, after a marathon legal battle of eight years. Besides, I don't imagine that Abou Hamza is likely to be doing much horse-riding in the USA. As a naturalized British citizen, this frail would-be terrorist will have ample opportunities of explaining to his American hosts why he's really a nice guy: a kind Islamic soul, as harmless as a lamb.

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