Skip to comments.Will Radical Cleric Be Allowed into UK under new anti-terror regime? Daily Telegraph asks
Posted on 07/19/2005 1:58:02 PM PDT by quesney
Will it be the same ol', same ol' in the UK....?
Extremist cleric puts terror laws to the test By Philip Johnston, George Jones and John Steele (Filed: 19/07/2005)
A planned visit to Britain next month by a Muslim cleric who has praised suicide bombings against Israel will become the first test of the Government's promised clampdown on extremist preachers after the London terrorist attackss.
Yusuf al-Qaradawi, 79, who is due to speak at a conference in Manchester, is banned from visiting America because of his links with the fundamentalist Muslim Brotherhood.
But although Charles Clarke, the Home Secretary, has the power to exclude individuals whose presence is judged not to be conducive to the public good, there is no suggestion that the controversial Qatar-based imam is to be banned.
Last Friday the Home Office outlined proposals aimed at restraining militants by making it a crime to glorify or condone terrorism. Ministers said that would cover statements suggesting that suicide bombers were martyrs.
Although Qaradawi's supporters said he had condemned the Tube and bus attacks, he has praised suicide bombings against Israel.
Last year he told the BBC's Newsnight: "It is not suicide; it is martyrdom in the name of God. I consider this type of martyrdom operation as an indication of the justice of Allah almighty. Allah is just.
"Through his infinite wisdom he has given the weak what the strong do not possess and that is the ability to turn their bodies into bombs as the Palestinians do."
Qaradawi's visit to London last year at the invitation of Ken Livingstone, the mayor, outraged gay and Jewish groups because of his attitude to homosexuals and Jews.
He is due to address the Muslim Unity Convention in Manchester on Aug 7 unless Mr Clarke excludes him.
Mohammed Shafiq, of the Ramadhan Foundation, which organised the event, said: "He is a moderate and he says that what he has said has been taken out of context and we take his word on that. He is a respected figure in the Muslim community and that is why he has been invited: to help promote cultural and religious diversity."
Mr Clarke may be reluctant to act against Qaradawi while attempts are going on to secure cross-party and inter-community support for new counter-terrorism laws.
The Home Secretary held talks yesterday with his Tory and Liberal Democrat counterparts, who agreed in principle to support a new terrorism Bill to be introduced in Parliament in the autumn. It will create new offences of making preparations to carry out or support terrorist acts and of "indirect incitement" to terrorism. Further planned offences include a ban on receiving training in terrorist techniques in Britain or abroad.
Mr Clarke, who will update MPs tomorrow on the progress of the investigation into the London bombs, said: "The central message is the determination by all of us to legislate on counter-terrorism and make progress on the matters we have been discussing."
Tony Blair has invited Muslim leaders to a meeting today at which they will be urged to take action to counter the "perverted view" of Islam that is motivating suicide bombers.
Four Muslim MPs and five Muslim peers have also been invited to the talks, to be attended by Michael Howard, the Tory leader, and Charles Kennedy, the leader of the Liberal Democrats.
No 10 said Mr Blair felt it was time the Muslim community went beyond talking about extremism to taking "practical" steps to tackle it.
A spokesman said it was not enough to condemn the bombers; Muslim leaders had to find ways of countering the "perverse view" of Islam that was being used to justify the London bombings and other terrorist actions.
He declined to comment about Qaradawi's visit but said the Government was looking at whether "people excluded from other countries" should be allowed into Britain.
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said the law restraining the activities of firebrand clerics was too weak and he hoped that the new Bill would strengthen it.
He said that it was important to prevent fundamentalist imams from coming from abroad to radicalise Muslim youth.
''Britain is tolerant and respectful of people's religious views but that does not extend to allowing people to encourage violence.''
Mr Blair has called police and intelligence chiefs to No 10 on Thursday to review the lessons that have been learned from the attacks and the investigation.
Scotland Yard said that detectives had so far viewed more than 6,000 CCTV video films and estimated that they would eventually collect about 25,000 tapes.
Maps have been drawn plotting dozens of potential routes from West Yorkshire, where three of the four bombers lived, to Luton, from where they travelled to London.
It is still not known how and when exactly they arrived in Luton and CCTV film is being gathered from service stations, restaurants and shops on all the routes. Members of the public have supplied mobile telephone images, statements have been taken from 1,000 witnesses and there have been 3,500 calls to the Metropolitan Police anti-terrorist hotline, many said to be valuable.
Searches of addresses in Leeds and Aylesbury, Bucks, have yielded at least 3,500 documents, including bills and telephone records. Computers have also been seized.
Yesterday the focus of the investigation shifted to Pakistan, which three of the suicide bombers visited in the past year.
Photographs were issued of Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer arriving together at Karachi on Nov 19 aboard a Turkish Airlines flight. Both stayed in Pakistan for about three months and returned to London on Feb 8.
A third suicide bomber, Hasib Hussain, may have arrived in Pakistan four months earlier but there is no record of his departure.
Detectives are in touch with the Egyptian authorities over Magdy Elnashar, a biochemist with a PhD from Leeds University who is in custody in Cairo and who had reported links in the past with a Leeds address where explosives were found. However, sources said they were keeping an open mind on his significance.
A senior source said that police had yet to establish the exact nature of the explosives used - which were home-made, not military - and forensic tests could take "some time".
Experts will then try to establish conclusively that explosive traces still being gathered from the four bomb scenes were linked to materials discovered at the Leeds address and in a car which had been parked at Luton station.Cleric's visit will test curb on incitement.
If the Leftists that run Britain have any brains there is no test. Duh! Keep the murdering idiot out, flippin no brainer.
If the British make distinctions about radical clerics (because they favor suicide bombing in some countries--Israel--but not others--Britain), then they have learned nothing and deserve what they get.
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