Friday, December 08, 2006

The Great Big 'Alexander Litvinenko Died A Muslim' Lie Rumbles On...

Following on yesterday's posts, a reader has been kind enough to send a link to the following story from 'The Scotsman' -
"THE funeral of the poisoned Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko was held yesterday as it was claimed that a key witness in the murder inquiry had fallen into a coma....
However, the burial service was overshadowed by an unscheduled interruption by an Islamic imam - specifically against the wishes of Mr Litvinenko's widow, Marina.

The burial service was supposed to be a strictly non- denominational ceremony.
After Mr Litvinenko's father had spoken at his graveside, an Islamic associate of his Chechen friend Ahmed Zakayev interrupted and performed a Muslim prayer.

Alex Goldfarb, one of the former spy's closest friends, described the action as unfortunate and said it was yet another thing Mr Litvinenko's wife had had to deal with.

It followed controversy over whether Mr Litvinenko had converted to Islam on his deathbed.

Mr Litvinenko's father Walter said earlier this week that his son had requested before his death to be buried according to Muslim tradition.

However, his closest friends say they have "strong reservations" about this. "
'The Times' report of the funeral indicates that his father (who was a doctor in the gulags) is adamant that his son converted before death.
"What was meant to be a private, non-denominational service was interrupted by a Muslim imam who pushed his way to the front of the mourners to conduct prayers over the coffin. Litvinenko’s father had claimed that his son had converted to Islam on his deathbed.

His wife, Marina, restrained a number of burly Russian minders from intervening to stop the imam, pleading with them: “Remember why we are here.”

She held on to the hand of her 12-year-son, Anatole, who stared straight ahead at the lead-lined, airtight coffin in which officials insisted Litvinenko was buried to avoid any health risks. "
'The Times' also reports a piece of information which one had not seen elsewhere -
"Earlier it was revealed that Litvinenko had taken part in a citizenship ceremony in October using a false name, Edwin Carter.

It is understood that Whitehall officials knew that he had changed his name for his own protection."
The statement appears to confirm a story which appeared in 'The Hornsey Journal' two days ago.
No imam alleged to have attended to Alexander Litvinenko in hospital has been produced.
The timelines for the reported dates of his conversion don't match up.
The story originates from the propaganda arm of a Chechen 'rebel' (Muslim terrorist) group which is symbiotically connected to his next door neighbour, best buddy and fellow Berezovsky pensioner Akhmad Zakayev.
And Mrs. Litvinenko, who might perhaps been better qualified to know her husband's mind than anyone else, is reported to have made it clear that she wanted a secular funeral, and 'friends' publicly doubt that the conversion ever happened.
Sometimes one needs to pinch oneself to remember that the 'Alexander Litvinenko died a Muslim' meme has been falling apart for nearly a week.
Most likely because it's a lie.
'The Times ' report linked to above describes Boris Berezovsky as 'exiled'.
It might only be fair to point out that Berezovsky's exile is one of choice. Unlike exiles of old, he is free to return to Russia whenever he wishes.

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