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CLC seek to stop Islamist preacher entering UK

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Islamic fundamentalists have gone to the High Court in an attempt to over-turn the Home Secretary's decision to ban 'hate preacher' Dr Zakir Naik from entering the UK. The case has been fast tracked and Dr Naik’s two day hearing starts on 20 October 2010.

The case, which so far has been kept out of the public spotlight, has been revealed after a Christian minister, Reverend Mahboob Masih, made a legal application to the court to support the Government's position.  Revd Masih was sacked from his job as a radio host in 2008 for allegedly offending Muslims after allowing a Christian apologist to defend Christianity during a radio discussion on Dr Naik’s preaching.

Revd Masih's papers, lodged with the Court, state that "In my view and in the light of my experience of work in the Asian community in Britain, he should be completely barred from all western capitals until he has moderated his uncivilised behaviour, his distorted views on Western life and cultural values and ended his inflammatory oratory style."

Dr Naik decided to seek this judicial review after the Government's decision last summer to ban him from entering the UK days before he was due to arrive here on a preaching tour.  Home Secretary Theresa May banned him on the grounds that his presence "would not be conducive to the public good" after Dr Naik claimed that "every Muslim should be a terrorist" and, regarding Osama bin Laden, "if he is fighting the enemies of Islam, I am for him".

Andrea Minichiello Williams, Director of the Christian Legal Centre, which has been advising Revd Masih, warned: "Dr Naik’s views are extreme and inflammatory, and we do not think they should go unchecked. Being allowed into this country is a privilege and we should not allow extremism to be encouraged in the UK. We fully support the actions of Revd Masih."

Revd Masih's case is being brought by the Christian Legal Centre, who have hired the religious and human rights barrister Paul Diamond.