The Leader of the Opposition has urged the Prime Minister to stop controversial Islamic theologian Yusuf al-Qaradawi from entering the country.
Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions in the Commons, David Cameron said that he was a “hate preacher” and should be denied entry.
Mr al-Qaradawi is known to have supported suicide bombings in Israel, the oppression of women’s rights and has argued in the past that homosexuals should be put to death.
He is reported to be seeking medical treatment in the UK.
“This is a man who, incidentally, Mayor Ken Livingstone calls the best hope for progress in Islam,” said Mr Cameron.
“He has been banned from the USA since 1999. He is opposed to secularism and believes that the penalty for homosexuality is death.
“And he has defended the use of terrorism in Israel and Iraq.
“Despite this, news reports say that it’s been recommended to the Government that he be given permission to enter the country.
“I’ve said it before and I will say it again. People like al-Qaradawi and Moussawi are dangerous and divisive and should not be allowed in this country. Full stop.”
Gordon Brown told MPs that the Islamic preacher is not in the country yet and in any case there are judicial processes that supervise deportations.
He said a decision about whether to grant Mr al-Qaradawi entry into the UK will be made “very soon.”
Mr Cameron accused him of dithering:
“People watching this will just conclude this Prime Minister cannot answer a question and cannot make a decision.”
Yesterday Mr Cameron led calls to refuse entry to Mr al-Qaradawi and others who “preach hate, pit one faith against another and divide our society.”
The Tory leader was responding to news reports that the Home Office and Foreign Office recommended Mr al-Qaradawi be allowed into the UK, while the Department for Communities and Local Government felt such a move would offend some Muslims and other groups such as the LGBT community.
He is banned from entering the United States, but has visited Sweden and France in recent times.
Mr al-Qaradawi, 80, was at the centre of a row in 2004 when he came to London as a guest of Mayor Ken Livingstone, who was then heavily criticised by gay rights campaigners and Jewish organisations for inviting him.