A controversial Jewish-American radio host has threatened to sue the government after he appeared on a Home Office list of people banned from entering Britain.
Michael Savage, whose real name is Michael Weiner, was described by the Anti-Defamation League as an “equal-opportunities offender — he offends Jews, blacks, gays and the disabled in equal measure”.
His name was one of 16 that appeared on the first-ever list of people excluded for stirring up extremism or hatred to be published by the Home Office.
The list contains one other Jew — Mike Guzovsky, former leader of the Israeli extremist group Kahane Chai — a number of Muslims, white extremists and a father and daughter from a Baptist church.
The list covers people excluded from Britain between October last year and the end of March and its publication was part of tougher measures introduced by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith last year to stop hate-mongers from entering the country.
However, it does not include Ibrahim Moussawi and Dyab Abou Jahjah, who have been turned away in recent weeks but have not been banned permanently; or Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who has been a guest of former London mayor Ken Livingstone despite defending suicide attacks and who was refused a visa last year.
Mark Gardner, communications director of the Community Security Trust, said: “By issuing these lists, the government is making a practical demonstration of what it means by expressions such as ‘preventing extremism’ and ‘protecting social cohesion’. We warmly welcome this initiative.”
Ms Smith said: “Coming to the UK is a privilege and I refuse to extend that privilege to individuals who abuse our standards and values. Therefore, I will not hesitate to name and shame those who foster extremist views as I want them to know that they are not welcome here.”
While the list briefly explains why each person has been banned, it does not say against whom their hatred is aimed. In the case of Samir al-Quntar, the Home Office simply says he “spent three decades in prison for killing four soldiers and a four-year-old girl”. It does not say he was involved in one of the most brutal crimes seen in Israel, the 1979 murder of Israeli policeman Eliyahu Shahar, 31-year-old Danny Haran and Haran’s four-year-old daughter, Einat. He was released controversially in a prisoner swap last year.
A Home Office spokesman said: “We are not getting into the wider debate. It’s not for us to provide biographies. If people want to find out more they can look for themselves.”
Also barred from britain…
● Samir al-Quntar
Spent three decades in prison for killing four soldiers and a four-year-old girl. Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs and to provoke others to terrorist acts.
● Wagdy Abd el-Hamied Mohamed Ghoneim
A prolific speaker and writer. Banned for same reasons as Quntar.
● Eric Gliebe
Has made web-radio broadcasts in which he vilifies certain ethnic groups and encourages the download and distribution of provocative racist leaflets. Banned for same reasons as Quntar.
● Mike Guzovsky
Leader of a violent group and involved with military training camps. Banned for same reasons as Quntar.
● Abdullah Qadri Al-Ahdal
Preacher. Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour ... and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.
● Yunis Al Astal
Preacher. Banned for same reasons as Ahdal.
● Stephen Donald Black
Set up Stormfront, a racist website. Banned for same reasons as Ahdal.
● Safwat Hijazi
TV preacher. Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by glorifying terrorist violence.
● Nasr Javed
Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs.
● Abdul Ali Musa
Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by fomenting and glorifying terrorist violence in furtherance of his particular beliefs and seeking to provoke others to terrorist acts.
● Michael Alan Weiner (also known as Michael Savage)
Controversial American author and daily radio host. Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred.