hizbullah flag 88.
(photo credit: )
Jewish community leaders have voiced their concern after the editor of Al-Manar, Hizbullah's television channel, was allowed to enter the UK to attend a conference.
The Board of Deputies of British Jews has urged the Home Office to explain why Ibrahim Mousawi, a former Hizbullah spokesperson, was allowed into the country to speak at a Stop the War Coalition conference, entitled "World Against War," in central London last week.
In a statement, Henry Grunwald, president of the Board of Deputies, said: "Al-Manar exists to promote Hizbullah's jihadist ideology and virulent anti-Semitism. It is hard to understand how a senior official from this channel can be considered an appropriate person to enter the country, never mind to speak at a so-called 'peace conference.'"
"The Mousawi case seemed to us to represent a clear example of when exclusion would be warranted and this view appears to have been shared by some in government. Critically, however, the Home Office has come to a different view and they need to explain why, and how their decision sits with a declared intention to fight extremism and incitement."
The Department of Communities and Local Government and the Foreign Office both advised against allowing Mousawi in to the country, but the Home Office allowed him to attend the conference.
Jewish leaders met with Community Cohesion Minister Parmjit Dhanda prior to the conference, where he acknowledged the visit may have an effect on community cohesion, but said that it was a matter for the Home Office.
A spokesman for the Home Office said: "We cannot comment on individual cases, but the decision would have been based on all the available evidence."
Al-Manar had claimed that the 9/11 terror attacks were a Zionist conspiracy and that Jews orchestrated wars and stock market crashes. The network is banned in the US and France. In 2005, it broadcast a soap opera that portrayed Jews killing a Christian child to use its blood for matza.
Speaking at the conference, Mousawi described Hizbullah as a "social network that helps children and the elderly."
He also told the participants: "I don't occupy anybody's land, don't attack anybody, steal anybody's water, steal their soil, but this is what the Israeli occupation is doing."
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