Muslim hate preacher to appeal UK ban

Zakir Naik, the Muslim preacher who has been banned to enter the UK by the Home Secretary, Theresa May, plans to challenge the order.

Ms May announced last week that Dr Naik, who was to start a speaking tour of Britain, was “not conducive to the public good”.

Some of his remarks have led to him being called a “hatemonger” by Monmouth Tory MP David Davies.

He has reportedly said that former US president George W Bush was behind the attack on the Twin Towers, that “every Muslim should be a terrorist” and that “people who change their religion should face the death penalty."

A spokesman for the CST welcomed the decision, and said: “Zakir Naik is known for his derogatory attitude towards non-Muslims and he has an ambiguous attitude towards terrorism.

“The concern is that anyone should be wanting him here in the first place, particularly to address such large venues.”

Dr Naik, the Mumbai-based founder of Peace TV, has also been banned from headlining a religious conference in Canada next month.

Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said the move showed “double standards” by the Government and said Dr Naik is a “respected Muslim scholar”

“It is deeply regrettable this is likely to cause serious damage to community cohesion in our country,” he added.

Dr Naik told Indian news channel, Headlines Today, that the decision was politically motivated and that his comments had been taken out of context.

He said: “We are going to challenge the decision of the UK government to exclude me from the country. We have had thousands of phone calls and emails from Muslims saying they want to do a protest.”

Meanwhile, a second Muslim preacher, Abu Ameena Bilal Philips, who was planning to attend a religious conference, has also been banned from entering the UK.

He wrote on his blog that he attempted to arrive last Saturday only to be denied entry and sent back on a plane.

The CST spokesman said: “This is a man who has expressed views many people will find highly offensive and it is entirely proper that the government should at the very least be questioning his right to enter the country and preach.”

Last updated: 3:12pm, June 24 2010