Home Secretary Theresa May yesterday confirmed that fanatical Muslim cleric Abu Qatada has been deported to Newcastle. The move happened on Tuesday last week, with immigration officials whisking Mr Qatada from London to a council flat in a secret location two doors down from Newcastle’s St James Park.
Initial legal reaction was that the deportation could violate the recent European Court of Human Rights decision dealing with Mr Qatada, on the grounds that sending a Londoner to Newcastle could be considered a prohibited use of torture. Ms May denied this saying: “Ok, you wouldn’t go their voluntarily, and you wouldn’t want to eat those ‘patsy’ thingies that Labour is kicking up such a fuss about, but my legal advice is that this falls slightly short of torture. The deportation is thus a powerful deterrent to fanatical extremists everywhere - Ken Livingstone better behave if he wins the London mayoralty.”
Despite the strong words, it may be that the Home Secretary’s move will backfire as it has emerged that Mr Qatada is revelling in his new surrounds. “Aye, these Geordies are even more fanatical than I am” said Mr Qatada. “I went to their place of worship on Saturday, and the service was just smashing – over 90 minutes of sustained chanting by 50,000 believers while they all faced the middle of a field watching the preachers perform dressed in traditional black and white cloth. It reminded me of the way Mecca used to be before being overrun by the Pakistani package tourists. The people made me feel so welcome, even sharing some of their brown holy water which uplifted me in a way I have never felt since Paula Abdul appeared on Al Jazeera’s ‘Unveiled’ special. But when a chap named Oz recounted how he used to work on a building site in Germany, and ‘kiss’ Turkish Muslims, I knew I was amongst kindred spirits.”
For their part, the Geordies have warmed to Mr Qatada, with Newcastle United FC fan club official Kevin Stone saying: “Ok, we invited him to the game because we heard he had pissed off the Southerners, and he had been big in the Arab League. But once he chanted ‘glory to God’ as the cameras focused on Kevin Keegan in the crowd, we knew he was one of us. To then say that Newkie Brown was now the official drink of Islam bought tears to my eyes. We thought nothing could top that but then he announced he had bought the entire fan club committee an all expenses trip to the United States next week – he even bought us matching baggage and kit. We had to laugh as all the shoes he bought us were 3 sizes too big, but he has promised us that before we go, he will repack the ends of them so our feet won’t flop about.”