Zakir Naik appeal hearing set for 20 October
An Islamic scholar barred from entering the UK for his “unacceptable behaviour” has won the first round of his court battle against the Home Secretary’s ruling. A High Court judge decided the case for Dr Zakir Naik should be fast-tracked despite objections from Theresa May’s lawyers.
Dr Naik’s solicitor Tayab Ali is being assisted by two QCs from the chambers of Tony Blair’s wife Cherie Booth. He said: “It is manifestly unfair to proceed to judgment on the basis of remarks made many years previously.” Mr Ali added: “His comments have been taken extremely selectively and completely out of context.”
Dr Naik, 44, was banned from coming to Britain on June 16 for a charity tour. His supporters said the decision was blatant political posturing and unfair victimisation. The founder and chairman of global satellite channel Peace TV was due to address thousands in London, Birmingham and Sheffield. He has given more than 1,300 lectures around the world in the past 20 years.
Mr Justice Nichol ordered a two-day hearing to begin on October 20.
Stand by for a renewed campaign from the right-wing press against Dr Naik and those who have opposed the ban. See for example “Anti-terror chief tried to secure UK entry for Muslim preacher” in the Daily Telegraph, which adds little to a report that appeared in the Sunday Times back in August.
For an illustration of the double standards applied by the Home Office when it comes to determining who is allowed into the country, see “Hindutva terrorist enters UK” in the Pakistan Daily Mail and Sunny Hundal’s post at Pickled Politics.