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Board calls for ban

by: SJ Reporter - Last updated: 2004-07-06

Sheikh Yussuf Al-Qaradawi

Sheikh Yussuf Al-Qaradawi

The Board of Deputies is calling on the Home Secretary to ban an Islamist cleric from entering the UK for a series of conferences this weekend.

According to the Board, Sheikh Yussuf Al-Qaradawi has encouraged Palestinian terror attacks and openly called for the killing of Jews.

In a statement, the Board said:

"Qaradawi is a regular visitor to the UK. Several times over the past year the Board has written to the Home Secretary urging his exclusion on the grounds that his presence is not conducive to the public good.  Qaradawi, who is a senior leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been banned from entering the United States because of his alleged support for terrorism.  In his sermons he has called for the killing of Jews, making it clear that he sees no distinction between Jews and Israelis, all of whom should be treated as the enemy."

The Brotherhood is the main opposition force in Egypt. According to leading Arab TV news station Aljazeera,  Qaradawi was jailed three times in Egypt and stripped of his citizenship by President Jamal Abd al-Nasir. He fled to Qatar and has been a citizen since the 1970s.

In June 2004, Qaradawi said on Qatar TV:  "O God, deal with your enemies, the enemies of Islam. O God, deal with the usurper, oppressor, and tyrannical Jews. O God, deal with the plotter and rancorous crusaders."

Board of Deputies director general Neville Nagler commented: "Qaradawi makes no secret of his support for Palestinian terrorist attacks against civilians and for the killing of Jews.  His hostility towards interfaith dialogue with Jews makes it clear that he has nothing whatsoever to contribute to better communal relations in the UK.  His abhorrent views make him an unacceptable visitor to this country.  We have every confidence that in his efforts to develop greater community cohesion in the UK, the Home Secretary will exercise his powers to prevent people like Qaradawi from sullying our shores with his intolerable presence."