British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith
Photo: Reuters

Hizbullah journalist kept out of UK

British Home Secretary denies visa for editor of Hizbullah-linked paper, meant to deliver a lecture at U of London on 'Hizbullah history, strategy, and ideology'

A Hizbullah-affiliated journalist was refused a visa to the United Kingdom, on the grounds that his presence would not be "conducive to the public good," the British newspaper the Telegraph reported Saturday.


Ibrahim Moussawi, who edits the Hizbullah-linked al-Intiqad (translation, 'criticism') newspaper, had been due to deliver a lecture on "political Islam" at the School of Oriental and African Studies, part of the University of London, later this month.


Material advertising the lecture described Moussawi as an "expert on Hizbollah and Islamist political theory" and said that he would talk about Hizbollah's "history, strategy and ideology" and "current politics and prospects."


Last Thursday, Britain's Foreign Office announced that it had contacted Hizbullah's political wing in an attempt to reach out to its legislators.


Britain's Conservative party had written to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith demanding that she block the visa application on the grounds that Moussawi was a "known extremist" who had made "anti-Semitic and inflammatory" remarks in the past, the Telegraph article noted.


According to the paper, a recent article in the New Yorker magazine quoted Moussawi as saying that Jews are "a lesion on the forehead of history." Likewise, his newspaper routinely describes fighters who are killed and suicide bombers as "martyrs" and condemns Israeli forces as criminals.


Last month the British government banned Dutch politician Geert Wilders from entering the UK for the purpose of showing his controversial film 'Fitna' in the House of Lords, because the film - which attempts to show a connection between terrorism and Islam - was deemed as incitement by British politicians.


It would send out "entirely the wrong message" if Miss Smith banned people who threatened community harmony, but let in those who glorified terrorism or were part of terrorist groups, the Telegraph quoted a Tory representative as saying.


Past travels

In the past, Moussawi was banned from the Republic of Ireland in 2007 when working for the al-Manar television station. The Beirut-based TV station has been accused of anti-Semitism based on such products as a 30-part series based on the The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.


Despite that, and repeated opposition from the Tories, the journalist was twice granted permission to travel to Britain to speak, in 2007 and 2008, and was also awarded a PhD in Political Islam from Birmingham University two years ago, the Telegraph reported.


The Home Office said that it could not comment on an individual case, the article added.


פרסום ראשון: 03.14.09, 09:37
 new comment
This will delete your current comment