Friday, August 12, 2005

Britain Bars Militant Muslim Cleric From Returning

NYT reports Britain said today that it would bar Sheik Omar Bakri Mohammed, a London-based Syrian cleric, from returning to the country from Lebanon.

That is a good idea, and not just because the British People would be asked to pay for a heart operation he has planned. With the Human-rights groups fighting the deportation of 10 other foreigners, they certainly should not let any back in
Sheik Mohammed, known for his incendiary anti-Western views, was granted asylum by Britain some 20 years ago and has lived here ever since. Last Saturday, after Prime Minister Tony Blair announced a host of new antiterrorism measures, including the deportation of religious leaders preaching violence, Sheik Mohammed left Britain for what he said would be a vacation in Lebanon. He was held there for questioning on Thursday but released today on the orders of Lebanon's general prosecutor, Saeed Meerza, who said it appeared the sheik had broken no laws.
I urge them to keep an eye on him, in any event
In a statement today, the Home Office said that Charles Clarke, the home secretary, had written to Sheik Mohammed to tell him he no longer has the right to live in Britain. "The Home Secretary has issued an order revoking Omar Bakri Mohammed's indefinite leave to remain and to exclude him from the U. K. on the grounds that his presence is not conducive to the public good," the statement said. The government's move came a day after it announced that it had seized and planned to deport Abu Qatada, another British-based cleric accused of fomenting violence against the West, along with nine other foreigners suspected of posing threats to national security. Today, Jordan said it would ask Britain to extradite Mr. Abu Qatada, who Spanish officials have described as the "spiritual ambassador" of Osama bin Laden.

Human-rights groups and British Muslims have attacked the move to deport the 10 foreigners, saying they feared they would be sent to countries where they faced abuse, torture and death sentences, in contravention of European human-rights laws.
But if they stay in Britain, and continue to encourage people to blow themselves up, and praise those that do it, innocent British citizens are at risk.
But today, Lord Falconer, the lord chancellor and Britain's highest judicial official, defended the planned deportations, saying that the risk of deportees' being abused abroad had to be weighed against the possible threat they posed to Britain.

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