British gov’t bans ‘hate preacher’ from entering UK

Islamist preacher banned from UK for unacceptable behavior.

Zakir Naik (photo credit: Associated Press)
Zakir Naik
(photo credit: Associated Press)
An Islamist preacher has been banned from entering the UK this week for statements he made which have been deemed as “unacceptable behavior” by the government.
Home Secretary Teresa May banned Indian television preacher Zakir Naik, 44, for attacks on the West, glorification of terror and religious incitement.
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His controversial comments have even been denounced by moderate Muslims.
Naik has accused former US president George W. Bush of being behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks and said that he was “with” Osama bin Laden over the attacks on “terrorist America.”
He was also been quoted as saying that “every Muslim should be a terrorist” and that “people who change their religion should face the death penalty.”
“I have excluded Dr. Naik from the UK. Numerous comments made by Dr.
Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behavior,” the home secretary said on Friday.
Naik had been scheduled to speak at lectures in London and Sheffield. The previous Labor government had allowed the Islamist preacher permission to visit.
In 2006 his visit to Britain was condemned by Conservative MP David Davies, who described him as a “hatemonger.”
Davies stated that Naik’s views did not deserve a “public platform” and called for his appearance at a conference in the UK to be cancelled.
Kafeel Ahmed, one of the terrorists who fire-bombed Glasgow Airport in 2007, was believed to have tried to get the preacher to speak at one of his group’s meetings.
The home secretary can deport or stop people entering the UK if it is deemed that there is a threat to national security, public order or the safety of citizens. This includes banning people if she believes their views glorify terrorism, promote violence or encourage other serious crime.
“Coming to the UK is a privilege not a right and I am not willing to allow those who might not be conducive to the public good to enter the UK,” May said. “Exclusion powers are very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate on issues.”
“It is encouraging that the government has acted quickly to ban Naik from entering the UK,” said Robin Simcox, research fellow at the Londonbased think tank Center for Social Cohesion. “He holds extreme views and is an apologist for terrorism.
“The more worrying issue, however, is that there are those in this country that want to listen to Naik’s bigoted and ill-informed comments in the first place,” Simcox said.
Based in Mumbai, Naik works for the Peace TV channel. The channel’s Web site describes him as “a medical doctor by professional training... and a dynamic international orator on Islam and comparative religion.
“Dr. Naik clarifies Islamic viewpoints and clears misconceptions about Islam using the Koran,” the Web site states.
A spokesman for Naik said it was “deeply regrettable” the UK government had “bowed to pressure from certain groups” to exclude him.
Naik is the first person to be excluded from the UK since May became home secretary after last month’s general election. It follows a pre-election promise by the Conservative Party to oppose radical Islam and ban dangerous preachers from Britain.
Meanwhile some British-based Islamist preachers are speaking at an event in Birmingham on Sunday described by the organizers as “the most comprehensive Islamic event of the decade.”
Al Hikma Media’s one-day event, titled “United Muslims’ Convention 2010,” has two UK-based clerics speaking, Riyadh ul-Haq and Zahir Mahmood.
Haq has allegedly shown support for the Taliban, stating in 2000 that they are “the only group of people upon the earth who are establishing the Sharia and the law of Allah.”
Asking what crime has the Afghani government has committed, Haq said in 2001: “All they have done is they have refused to hand over Osama bin Laden whose guilt is yet to be proven.
Because of that crime, the entire nation is being punished and as a result, because they strive to represent Islam, the whole of Islam is being demonized.
And as a result, Muslims all over the globe are being discriminated against.”
With reference to Israel in an article in The Times in September 2007, Haq called for Muslims to “be willing to sacrifice anything that may be required of us.”
Claiming that al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem must be liberated, he said “we are willing to die in the process” and that when called upon, “we will consider it an honor and a privilege to shed our blood.”
He stated that Allah has promised that Islam will “prevail over all other religions, even though the disbelievers may dislike it.”
According to the Times article, Haq has also made anti-Semitic statements, warning against integration and labelling the culture of non-Muslims as “evil.”
“Allah has warned us in the Koran, do not befriend the kuffar [unbelievers], do not align yourselves with the kuffar,” he said.
“They’re all the same. The Jews don’t have to be in Israel to be like this. It doesn’t matter whether they’re in New York, Houston, St. Louis, London, Birmingham, Bradford, Manchester.
They’re all the same. They’ve monopolized everything: the Holocaust, God, money, interest, usury, the world economy, the media, political institutions… they monopolized tyranny and oppression as well and injustice.”
Speaking at a Viva Palestina reunion in Birmingham last year, Zahir Mahmood said: “By Allah, history will remember [anti-Israel activist] George [Galloway] as a hero. And the other thing is that we cannot allow the perverted narrative to remain the norm.
Hamas are not terrorists. They’re freedom fighters, they’re defending their country.
“Praise to God, [Hamas leader] Ismail Haniyeh , the prime minister of Palestine, has given all those who went on the convoy Palestinian passports. We are Palestinian nationals!”