Zakir Naik Exclusion Order a Serious Error of Judgement
18 June 2010
The Muslim Council of Britain deplores Home Secretary Theresa Mays uncharacteristically intemperate move to ban the renowned Indian mainstream Islamic scholar Dr. Zakir Abdul-Karim Naik, from a speakers tour in the UK, reported in the media (Daily Telegraph, 18th June 2010), apparently because of his unacceptable behaviour and that his visit would not be conducive to the public good.
The Home Secretarys 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.
It appears that Government has responded to a recent campaign of vilification against the scholar, ignoring what Dr Naik stated on 11th June 2010: ‘the purpose of this statement is in response to the recent press reports about my intended tour to the UK in June 2010, including the things I am supposed to have previously said including their context and my views about terrorism and violent extremism in the light of the beautiful faith of Islam…as a student of comparative religion my work has involved engaging in constructive discussion with people of other major faiths, promoting similarities and converging values for a common platform of Peace using the commonalities that bind us all together….’
Expressing his grave concern at the decision, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain Dr Muhammad Abdul Bari said today “this exclusion order demonstrates the double standards practised by the government concerning freedom of speech. While preachers of hate such as Geert Wilders are free to promote their bigotry in this country, respected Muslim scholars such as Dr Naik are refused entry to the UK under false pretences. It is deeply regrettable this is likely to cause serious damage to community cohesion in our country.”
Notes to Editors:
Dr Naik’s statement, 11th June 2010: http://www.peacetv.tv/downloads/Dr%20Zakir%20Naik%20-%20Press%20Release.pdf
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Letter of SupportThe Home Secretary
Right Honourable Theresa May MP
2 Marsham Street
Tel: 020 7219 5206
Tel: 020 7035 4848
Fax: 020 7219 1145
18th June 2010
Dear Home Secretary
Re: Dr Zakir Naik – Exclusion Order
I am writing to inform you that I believe your decision to exclude Dr Zakir Naik, the eminent Islamic Scholar from India, from entering the United Kingdom to conduct a series of lectures as part of a Peace Conference, is extremely disappointing.
Your decision goes against the values we hold dearly in our country of freedom and social justice and does nothing to promote integration and harmony between the diverse peoples of this land.
On the contrary this decision is likely to alienate the very people we seek to promote our values to.
Home Secretary, I would urge you to re-consider your decision in the name of freedom and social justice and withdraw this exclusion order immediately.
Thank you in anticipation of re-considering your decision.
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