Dr Zakir Naik banned from UK ahead of Wembley Arena peace conference
12:42pm Friday 18th June 2010
THE keynote speaker at a Muslim conference set to be the focus of protests in Wembley has been banned from the UK.
Dr Zakir Naik, an Indian preacher who was once quoted saying “every Muslim should be a terrorist”, has been denied entry to the country by Home Secretary Theresa May.
Dr Naik was due to speak to the Al-Khair Peace Conference at Wembley Arena on Saturday, June 26, an appearance which has sparked a protest from the English Defence League (EDL).
Mrs May said in a statement today: “I have today excluded Dr Naik from the UK. Numerous comments made by Dr Naik are evidence to me of his unacceptable behaviour.
“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.
“Exclusion powers are very serious and no decision is taken lightly or as a method of stopping open debate on issues.”
The EDL told the Harrow Times today that the organisation, which has labeled the conference as a vehicle for “preachers of hate”, will proceed with its demonstration despite the news.
A spokesman, who would not give him name, said: “People going to this conference support his ideology, there are other speakers still going, and these people obviously condone his behaviour.
“The fact they are saying it is a peace conference and that they are a charity is rubbish. The fact that the Home Secretary has banned him speaks for itself.”
The spokesman also took a swipe at Unite Against Fascism (UAF) who have vowed to hold a counter-protest in Wembley on the same day.
He said UAF have a track record of violence and being arrested at protest, and insisted the EDL is a peaceful protest group trying to exercise its right to demonstrate.
How does Dr. Naik feel about his obvious exclusion from the country? ‘Disappointed’ of course. In fact, he’s so disappointed he’s seeking to see if he can have the home secretary’s decision legally overturned. And his buddies at the Muslim Council of Britain? They’re upset too:
“The Home Secretary’s action serves to demonise the very voices within the world ready for debate and discussion. “The tour would have been a golden opportunity for young Muslims who are eager to hear the true messages of Islam which promote understanding between communities.”