Jacqui Smith was tonight warned against exercising “double standards” as an Islamic extremist prepared to travel to the UK. Ibrahim Moussawi, a known hardliner with links to Hezbollah, has been invited to speak at a London university.
Earlier this month, she banned the far-Right Dutch MP Geert Wilders from coming to Britain to show his film about Islam as it would threaten “community harmony”. But the Conservatives warned that to ban those who threaten community harmony, while letting in those who glorify terrorism or are part of terrorist groups, would send out the “wrong message”. There must be “no double standards on extremists”, warned Tory security spokesman Baroness Neville-Jones.
Moussawi, who has already made at least two trips to the UK, has been invited to speak on political Islam at the School of Oriental and African Studies next month.
Yesterday, in a letter to Miss Smith, Baroness Neville-Jones said: “You will be aware that Mr Moussawi has links to Hezbollah, which is a proscribed terrorist organisation in many countries. Mr Moussawi has also, over the years, made a number of remarks that are extremist, anti-Semitic and inflammatory.
“In October last year you introduced what you described as ‘tough new measures’ to deny entry to extremists. These measures included ‘creating a presumption in favour of exclusion in respect of all those who have engaged in fostering, encouraging or spreading extremism and hatred’. Mr Moussawi has so engaged. In line with your ‘tough new measures’, I trust that if Mr Moussawi applies for entry, you will use your powers to exclude him.”
It appears to have escaped Neville-Jones’ attention that Wilders intended to enter the UK with the explicit aim of inciting hatred against the Muslim community.
Is there any suggestion that Ibrahim Moussawi will be inciting hatred against the Jewish community on his proposed visit to the UK? No. Is Neville-Jones able to demonstrate that he has incited hatred on previous visits to the UK? Again, no. So the charge of double standards is entirely baseless.
The last time the Tories witch-hunted Ibrahim Moussawi was when he visited London to address a World Against War rally in February 2008. Neville-Jones told the Home Office: “it is vital that the Government always makes the security of the UK its top priority. That means stopping those who are likely to foment extremism or promote violence from coming here to speak.”
Here is the speech Ibrahim Moussawi gave at that rally. Perhaps Neville-Jones can direct us to the sections of the speech that promote violence and extremism?