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Banning Extremists

Last year, the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced the Government’s plans to ban extremists from entering the United Kingdom:

Through these tough new measures I will stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country.

“Coming to the UK is a privilege and I refuse to extend that privilege to individuals who abuse our standards and values to undermine our way of life.”

I support the banning of extremists. The Home Secretary is right. We do not need those who incite violence or hatred, or who are aligned with far Right or far Left politics in this country. 

What is vital, however, is that these powers are used consistently. 

An Israeli politician, Moshe Feiglin, who echoes – from the other side of the divide – the Islamist line that Islam is inherrently violent has been formally banned from the United Kingdom. 

Now, so it seems, the Dutch politician Geert Wilders has also been banned:

Wilders, who was due to go to London this Thursday, received a letter on Tuesday from the British ambassador to the Netherlands telling him that he was not welcome, reportedly because his visit would constitute a threat to public order.

Dutch minister of foreign affairs Maxime Verhagen released a statement about the situation and said he phoned his British counterpart David Miliband to voice his dissatisfaction that a member of the Dutch parliament has been prohibited from entering a fellow European Union member state

Wilders showed the letter from the embassy in Dutch parliament on Tuesday and said that he still intended to travel to London: “I’ll see what happens at the border. Let them put me in handcuffs.”

Here – via Index on Censorship – is the letter banning Wilders from Britain. 

Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs explains clearly why Wilders is a particularly unimpressive ‘martyr’:

Wilders himself does not deserve to be called an icon of free speech, since he explicitly wants to ban the Koran and make Islam illegal in Europe; in other words, he wants to take away other people’s freedom of speech and freedom of religion, and that is simply wrong. Book banning is what totalitarians do, not believers in free speech.

Also note that Wilders has recently announced he plans to form an alliance with the neofascist Belgian party Vlaams Belang.

So while I denounce Britain’s decision, I can’t support Wilders either while he maintains these positions and associations. Britain is wrong, and Wilders is also wrong. It’s a bad situation all around.

Wilders has been banned in connection with a planned showing of his film, Fitna, in the House of Lords. Fitna is a film which intersperses violent religious incitement by Islamists, with the Quranic texts that inspire them. It ends by calling for a reformation, by Muslims, of the religion to remove those verses of the Quran that appear to sanction violence. 

Lord Ahmed is said to be the prime mover behind the cancellation of that film:

The decision to cancel the showing was taken on Friday when Lord Nazir Ahmed had a meeting with the Government Chief Whip of the House of Lords and Leader of the House of Lords, together with representatives from the Muslim Council of Britain, British Muslim Forum and other representatives from the British Muslim community. 

However, Lord Ahmed himself has hosted a  meeting at the House of Lords by the most vicious and outspoken of anti-Jewish racists, “Israel Shamir“. He was also prepared to debate with Hizb ut Tahrir, Hamas/Muslim Brotherhood, and Al Muhajiroun speakers, rather than calling for them to be banned. 

If the bottom line is that those whose stock in trade is thought to be stirring up “extremism” and “hatred” in our communities, will the Government ban “Israel Shamir” from this country?

And what about other inciters of extremism and hatred? Well, this Government could not bring itself to ban Ibrahim Mousawi:

Mousawi was the editor of Al-Manar: Hizbullah’s satellite TV channel. Al-Manar claimed that 9/11 was a Zionist conspiracy, and broadcast a TV show called ‘The Diaspora’ which is based on ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’. Here are a couple of scenes from that show. When the French broadcasting authority proposed banning Al-Manar for inciting antisemitism Mousawi complained that this was because of ‘political pressure by the Jewish lobby’. Mousawi also told the New Yorker that Jews are ‘a lesion on the forehead of history’.

Mousawi was invited to the United Kingdom by the Stop the War Coalition last year. And now they’ve invited him back, for an eight date UK speaking tour.

Now is the time to fix that error. Ban Mousawi today.

There are other Islamist advocates of extremism and hatred who must urgently be banned from entering the United Kingdom, because they are about to visit this country. Here are three of them.

Yusuf Al Qaradawi

Now, you will find the following piece of news hard to believe. I did. 

I am told that Sheikh Qaradawi - the cleric who theologically legitimates suicide bombings aimed at civilians  and who has called for Muslims to punish “the Jews”, as Hitler did – has not been banned from the United Kingdom.

He was certainly refused a visa on one occasion. However, I am told that Qaradawi he has not been sent the same letter that Feiglin and Wilders have received, telling them that they will not be admitted in the future. 

I have heard that the reason for Qaradawi’s equivocal treatment is that, because he supports terrorism only outside the United Kingdom, he is thought potentially to have a role to play in the Government’s PREVENT anti-terrorism strategy. Therefore, there are those in Government who oppose a permanent ban on the man. 

If this is correct, Qaradawi must be added to the list of people banned from entering Britain. 

Bilal Phillips

Bilal Phillips is the guest of honour at the Queen Mary Islamic Society Annual Dinner in March. 

He is banned from entering Australia. 

He is also an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Centre bombing in New York City, an is no longer welcome in the United States.

Here he is, in his own words, justifying the marriage of girls who have just reached puberty, denying that a man can rape his wife, and supporting the death penalty for certain apostates. 

Here is another briefing on Phillips which details his views, associations and activities. 

Here he is supporting suicide bombing (at 17:45 minutes)

This is why the Government must move quickly to ban this man from entering the United Kingdom. 

Yayha Ibrahim

The Muslim Brotherhood aligned student assosication the Federation of Student Islamic Societies (“FOSIS”) is about to start touring a very extreme cleric, Yahya Ibrahim, around British universities. Yahya Ibrahim is a Saudi-trained Canadian Islamist who lives in Australia. In a tour organised by FOSIS, this month he will be speaking at the University of Birmingham , Goldsmiths, Queen Mary, Warwick, and the Green Lane Mosque.

Yahya Ibrahim was excluded from the United States in 2005.

No reason was announced to the public, but it is not hard to find out why the US may be much less fond of Mr Ibrahim than FOSIS. For example, in this tape of a talk titled “How the kuffar try to put out the Light of Islam”, he has this to say about the Jews and Christians, or “the enemies”:

“Never, never will the Jews and the Christians be satisfied or content or pleased with you until you follow them and their religion. These are the words of Allah and Allah does not just stop there but he orders us to do something. Say to them, verily we will not follow thee. Allah is telling us, say to them, the guidance of Allah is the only guidance to be followed. And this is what I wish to speak to you about today in short words. I wish to speak to you about how they are trying to influence us, how the disbelievers are trying to take us from our religion.”

Later in the same talk, Ibrahim claims AIDS is a sign of Allah’s wrath:

“We see people who are committing zina, committing fornication, and Allah punishes them by giving them diseases like AIDS.”

Ibrahim also translates and disseminates extreme Salafist texts:

Fluent in Arabic, he specializes in translating the works of some of Saudi Arabia’s most extreme Wahhabi preachers into English. Among them, three books by Sheikh Abdurahman al Sudais, whose views and television broadcasts across the Middle East urge Muslims to kill “Jews and worshippers of the Cross” as well as “Hindus”. It would be fair to say Sudais is an equal opportunities genocidal maniac.

Another of Ibrahim’s translations is Explaining the Hadith of Battling The Jews, a book often used by the terrorist group Hamas to justify suicide bombings and other attacks on Israel. The translation includes verses like “…the decrepit nation in which the scattered Jews of the world were gathered unrightfully and in oppression – the State of Israel – shall cease and be erased from existence.

“It is abundantly clear that the big battle is inevitably coming and that the Word of Tawheed (Islamic monotheism) will be victorious without a doubt.”

In another of his translations it is written,

“Allah has cursed the Jews in the Qu’ran on numerous occasions, informing us of his anger towards them…the enemies of the Prophets – especially the Jews – shall not be given inheritance of the earth during their worldly life and they shall face a grievous everlasting punishment in the Eternal Fire in the next life.”

This Government Must Move Quickly to Ban Extremists from Entering the United Kingdom 

Both Bilal Phillips and Yahya Ibrahim represent a significant threat to community cohesion. Wilders was coming to speak to senior Parliamentarians. Both these Islamists are coming to address young students in British Universities. Wilders has called for the Quran to be banned. Phillips and Ibrahim preach hatred of members of other religious faiths.

Both have been banned from entering two other Western democracies. 

Jacqui Smith must urgently take steps to ban these preachers of hate from the United Kingdom.