A judicial review has upheld the ban placed on Muslim preacher and writer Dr Zakir Naik by Home Secretary Theresa May earlier this year.
Dr Naik had planned a lecture tour to Britain in the summer at venues including the Sheffield Arena, Wembley Arena and the Birmingham National Exhibition Centre.
When the Foreign Office learned of the planned tour in May, it found statements he had made, including: “Strongest in enmity towards the Muslims are the Jews and the pagans... It [ the Quran] does not say that the Muslims should fight with the Jews... the Jews, by nature as a whole, will be against Muslims... there are many Jews who are good to Muslims, but as a whole... The Quran tells us, as a whole, they will be our staunchest enemy.”
Another comment said: “Today, America is controlled by the Jews, whether it be the banks, whether it be the money, whether it be the power. Nobody can become a president of the USA without walking the Star of David.”
A welter of newspaper reports called into question the new government’s commitment to preventing extremist preachers from entering Britain. Mrs May decided to use her personal powers to ban Dr Naik on the basis that his presence was not conducive to the public good.
Dr Naik denied the allegations made against him, including a claim that his preachings had radicalised others, and sought a judicial review of the decision.
Dr Naik had visited Britain 15 times previously and possessed a five-year visa valid until 2013.
Mr Justice Cranston, sitting in the High Court, said Dr Zaik “was not accorded procedural fairness to which he was entitled” prior to the Home Secretary’s decision to exclude him on June 16.
However, the judge said that prior to the Home Secretary confirming her decision in August, Dr Naik had had time to make representations, so his complaint about procedural fairness fell, along with other arguments. His Article 10 rights – freedom of expression – had not been interfered with, and the judge decided that his ban was lawful.
A spokesman for the Community Security Trust said: “CST welcomes the court’s decision because Britain’s anti-terror messaging needs to be strong, united and unequivocal.”