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Louis Farrakhan UK ban overturned

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    http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/uk/newsid_1467000/1467587.stm Tuesday, 31 July, 2001, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK Farrakhan UK ban overturned Louis Farrakhan s views
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2001
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      Tuesday, 31 July, 2001, 19:24 GMT 20:24 UK
      Farrakhan UK ban overturned

      Louis Farrakhan's views have sparked concern

      Controversial US black political leader Louis Farrakhan has won his High
      Court battle for the right to visit the UK.
      The Nation of Islam leader has been excluded from Britain since 1986.

      Mr Justice Turner, sitting in the High Court in London, ruled on Tuesday
      that the ban must be quashed.

      Mr Farrakhan, 67, will not be able to come to the UK until after the judge
      outlines his reasons for his decision on 1 October.

      Nation of Islam representatives were at court for the ruling

      The government is deciding whether to appeal against the ruling which
      overturns a ban imposed by successive home secretaries.

      Mr Farrakhan, who is suffering from cancer, challenged last November's
      decision by the then Home Secretary Jack Straw to maintain the ban.

      In November Mr Straw justified upholding the ban imposed on the grounds that
      Mr Farrakhan had expressed "anti-Semitic and racially divisive views".

      Lawyers for Mr Farrakhan argued that the ban was unlawful in interfering
      with the leader's right to speak with his UK supporters about spiritual
      values for the black community.

      And they said the ban was contrary to the Human Rights Act and the common

      Home Office minister Beverley Hughes said the government was "very
      disappointed" by the ruling and would be considering an appeal.

      "We believe that it is the home secretary's right to defend the social
      cohesion and racial harmony of this country," she said.

      David Liddington, shadow home affairs spokesman, shared the government's

      "I find it extraordinary that the judge is not prepared to give his reasons
      for his decision for a further two months," he said.

      Ruling welcomed

      But Hilary Muhammad, UK spokesman for the Nation of Islam has welcomed the

      "Now the citizens of UK will have a chance in the near future to see, hear
      and judge the honourable Minister Louis Farrakhan for themselves," he said.

      Mr Muhammad, who was at the High Court on Thursday for the decision, said
      that Muslims were grateful that their leader would be able to come to the UK
      to offer guidance.

      And Sadiq Khan, the solicitor representing the Nation of Islam, described
      the judge's decision as "very brave and sensible".

      "There was no evidence at all that any of his other trips to countries
      around the world, including Israel .... had led to any problems whatsoever,"
      he told BBC Radio 4's World At One programme.

      Indeed he said that Mr Farrakhan had promised the British consulate in
      Chicago as well as the Canadian and Australian governments that he would
      respect and obey domestic laws and not do anything to damage race relations.

      But the Director of the Board of Deputies of British Jews, Neville Nagler,
      was among those who condemned the decision.

      He told BBC News Online: "We remain concerned that his presence in this
      country, with his message of racial segregation, will in the current climate
      do more harm than good to race relations."
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