Express calls for ban on Tariq Ramadan

No place in our country for this preacher of hate

Sunday Express, 17 July 2005

Over the past 10 days, shocking evidence has emerged of the extent to which hard-line Islamic extremism has taken hold in Britain. Of the four suicide bombers, three were born here. The police are certain there is an Al Qaeda connection – there are reports that captured Al Qaeda operatives actually warned of plans to bomb London’s transport system. Against that appalling background comes the news that Home Secretary Charles Clarke is to allow Tariq Ramadan, an Egyptian-born academic who justifies terrorism, access to this country.

This is utter madness. Mr Clarke justifies his actions on the grounds that to do otherwise would inflame the Muslim community: it would do nothing of the sort. When the two-minute silence was held last week, Muslims stood alongside Christians, Jews and everyone else who inhabits this diverse country in utter condemnation of those wicked acts. Indeed, large parts of the Muslim community have been at pains to emphasis that terrorist activity has nothing to do with them.

The reason Tariq Ramadan should be barred from Britain is not because he’s a Muslim but because he supports a band of extremists prepared to slaughter innocent people. For years now, we have stood by and allowed preachers of hate to come to these shores, spout their warped rhetoric and in the process recruit a generation of young men now prepared to murder their own countrymen. No other Western country has been so foolhardy, at least since September 11 – indeed, neither the USA nor France will allow Ramadan entry.

The Prime Minister is adamant he will tackle the evil that has grown up in our midst: his very first step must be to ban anyone who threatens our national security.