McCartney is no man on the run
So what do Paul McCartney and Salman Rushdie have in common — besides being British subjects?
They’ve both been targeted for death by Muslim extremists.
That’s right, Sir Paul, as he’s now known thanks to Queen Elizabeth, has been warned that suicide bombers will target him unless he cancels a concert slated for Sept. 25 in Tel Aviv. The concert is to celebrate Israel’s 60th anniversary.
A Muslim cleric named Omar Bakri told London’s Sunday Express newspaper that McCartney “is creating more enemies than friends,” by scheduling this gig.
Apparently, a little luck won’t help Sir Paul here. Imagine what his mate John Lennon would have thought.
According to Bakri, who made his comments on an Internet broadcast from his exile, in Lebanon, “The sacrifice operatives will be waiting for him.”
Several pro-Palestinian and political groups have asked McCartney to cancel his show, but he has refused.
Bakri has been labeled as a “bombers pal” in the London tabloids. According to the BBC, he blamed the British themselves for the subway bombings that racked the capital. Apparently, the bombers themselves were just innocent bystanders.
Here in the states, we know a little something about that kind of rhetoric. We just marked the seventh anniversary of 9/11.
Born in Syria in the late 1950s, Bakra became involved in the Muslim Brotherhood, a revolutionary organization that provided the foundations for Islamist political ideology. He apparently left the organization, moved around the Middle East, and eventually sought political asylum in the U.K. in the 1980s.
There, he and his followers established “Al Muhajiroun,” a radical group that had sought to recruit in Muslim communities, principally outside mosques in poorer areas. It has described 19 hijackers in 9/11 as the “Magnificent 19.”
He is now banned from returning to the U.K.
This is the holy man who sees fit to threaten the life of a musician who has done nothing but sing about peace, love and occasionally Sgt. Pepper, for most of his career.
McCartney is apparently more than a pop icon; he’s got guts, too, defying this holy man and going on with the show.
“I was approached by different groups and political bodies who asked me not to come here,” McCartney told Israeli reporters. “I refused. I do what I think and I have many friends who support Israel.”
This is one ex-Beattle who won’t be crying “Help!” any time soon. And the Jewish community should thank him.