In September 2001 was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan while reporting for the Sunday Express. She converted to Islam after her release in 2003, after promising her captors that she would read the Koran.
In 2003 Ridley began work for al-Jazeera but was dismissed because of her “overly vocal and argumentative” style. She won several unfair dismissal cases which followed. In 2004 she ran for the European Elections representing the Respect Party in the North East of England. In 2006 she unsuccessfully stood for a seat in Westminster Council. She began presenting The Agenda With Yvonne Ridley, the Islam Channel’s politics and current affairs show, in October 2005. However, the show and Ridley were axed from the channel after she refused to shake the hand of a Saudi-prince at a post-Hajj festival. In April 2008 Ridley won her case for unfair dismissal and sex discrimination against Mohamed Ali Harrath, the CEO of the Islam Channel as well as the channel. In 2009 Ridley and George Galloway formed “Viva Palestina”. She has been accused of being a stooge of the Iranian government in relation to her association with the Iranian English language Press TV. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/dominic_lawson/article6638036.ece
She is also an outspoken critic of Israel, and has taken parts in many events aimed at undermining Israeli rule in Palestine e.g. Convoy of food with George Galloway.
Support for Terror
“I brought cash and I am happy to say I have given that cash to George Galloway and we have both given that money to the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh [head of Hamas], which has broken UN sanctions. If they want to charge us, if they want to arrest us, bring it on.”
“If I could use my Palestinian citizenship, it would be to vote Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas back in again in Gaza. Victory to intifada 3! Victory to Hamas!” http://www.hurryupharry.org/2010/02/01/respectable-radicalism/
“drinking coca-cola is like drinking the blood of Palestinian children”- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na5KLaj7LRg
“if you shop in Marks & Spencer you may as well hand bullets to Israeli soldiers to put in the back of Palestinian school girls- Stop it now”- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=na5KLaj7LRg
“the light on his face, it wasn’t a light shining onto his face, it was a light coming from within shining out”- talking about one of her Taliban captors
She described Israel as “that disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East” and further that her party, the Respect Party, “is a Zionist-free party … if there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out. We have no time for Zionists,” while both the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats were “riddled with Zionists.”
“Why don’t we start rooting out the religious extremists and start with number 10 Downing Street and The White House”
“Stay away from us [to Tony Blair], stay away from our children and stay away from our areas”- Promotes the impression that Muslim’s should be distinct from Non-Muslim’s http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1Be-i4cotc
“We can not rely on the Muslim leaders who have castrated themselves in order to gain the support of the government”
“Stop kissing the hand that slaps you, if we don’t stand up together and fight for our rights we will be picked off ruthlessly one by one”
“I don’t think the Muslim community should communicate with the police any more until they start showing some respect to the community”- http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/respect-urges-muslims-to-end-police-cooperation-481413.html
“I’m quite a fan of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who is adored by the common man and woman in Iran. Anyone who vows to narrow the gap between rich and poor can’t be all that bad… unless you’re one of the rich!”
11/2/2010- UCL- Celebrating anniversary of Iranian revolution-meeting had to be abandoned due to interference from critics of the regime & President Ahmadinejad- http://www.studentrights.org.uk/?s=ridley
10/2/2010- Lancaster Isoc- “Yvonne Captured by Islam”- http://www.lancs.ac.uk/socs/islamic/
11/10/2009- The Bordesley Centre, Birmingham- “My Dear Sisters Event”- http://forums.islamicawakening.com/f21/my-dear-sister-geust-speakers-yvonne-ridley-ethar-relief-sunday-11th-october-2009-a-28766/
4/2/2009- Bradford Uni Isoc- http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=7807885459&ref=ts#!/event.php?eid=465451495337&index=1
14/2/2007- Bristol University Isoc
UCL ISOC “War on Terror Week”- 29th Jan. 2007- “The War goes on….” http://www.gawaher.com/index.php?showtopic=37634
“Barber’s last chance; The High Court Demo” 11th July 2006- advertised by Westminster ISOC- http://www.forum.uwisoc.co.uk/archive/index.php?t-387.html
Abu Hamza (called him “very sweet”)
Respect Party/ George Galloway
A number of anti-racism activists have noted that her discourse potentially creates and promotes disharmony between Muslims and Non-Muslims.
Her support for the pro-genocide organisation Hamas, which murders homosexuals and Christians, and whose charter calls for the murder of all Jews, validates the label of extremist.