Tough audience...

Comic enrages terror suspect

A female comic has enraged the leader of suspected Islamic terror group Ansar al-Islam.

Mullah Kreka, founder of the fundamentalist Kurdish group, exploded with fury when fellow Muslim Shabana Rehman grabbed him on stage.

She then lifted him off the ground, joking that it proved he couldn't be a fundamentalist.

Kreka, who normally appears calm in public, grabbed the microphone and raged: "She does not have the right to touch me. She is showing contempt for me. I can't accept this."

The mullah threatened a lawsuit, and demanded that all the photographers in the Oslo hall erase any pictures of him being lifted. But they have emerged anyway.

The incident happened during a debate in the Norwegian capital, where Krekar now lives, despite repeated arrests and court cases,

Pakistan-born Rehman talked Krekar into allowing her to perform what she called a little test to see if he was a fundamentalist.

She walked onto the stage, grabbed the Mullah around the hips, and lifted him up, prompting howls of laughter.

Later, she told the Aftenposten newspaper: "If he is as tolerant and relaxed as he presents himself, he didn't need to react so strongly, anyone who is not a fanatic would have gone along with such a joke.''

Kreklar called the act a gruesome humiliation and has filed charges against the comedian. But he also reportedly assaulted a journalist who tried to take his picture when he went to court to lodge the writ.

Washington has accused Ansar al-Islam of being linked to Osama Bin Laden's Al Qaeda network and other terrorist activity.

Published: 30 Apr 2004

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