England Allows Entry of Pakistani Extremists for Speaking Tour

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The Church of England's highest priest has welcomed an extremist Muslim cleric from Pakistan to discuss countering "the narrative of extremism and terrorism" as reported by the International Business Times.

Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman and Hassan Haseeb ur Rehman both were vocal supporters of Mumtaz Qadri, the man who murdered the liberal governor of the Punjab, Salman Taseer, in 2011 after Taseer dared to question Pakistan's blasphemy laws. Qadri was one of Taseer's bodyguards.

Qadri was executed this year by Pakistani authorities, but Islamist extremists led a national campaign in support of Qadri, calling him a martyr.

Between 15,000 and 100,000 people attended Qadri's funeral, shrieking slogans such as "Qadri, your blood will bring the revolution" and "The punishment for a blasphemer is beheading."

Fierce riots ensued in Pakistan for after Qadri’s execution.

Despite their support for the murderer, the two clerics were allowed entry into the UK for a seven-week preaching tour of mosques. Muhammad Naqib ur Rehman was welcomed by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest priest in the Church of England, which comprises some 80 million Christians worldwide.

"They supported and incited my father Salmaan Taseer's murder," Taseer's son, Shehryar, 30, said. "The UK government should deport them, and Pakistan should prosecute them for the incitement of violence under the terrorism act."

"I find it disrespectful that a man like this has been entertained by the archbishop. My family has been on the front lines when it comes to inter-faith harmony and these people disrespect anyone and everyone who speaks about religious harmony," he added.

The UK home secretary has the power to ban people from the UK if their presence is deemed to not be "conducive to the public good." Former home secretary and now prime minister, Theresa May, used these powers to ban controversial counter-jihad activists Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from the country, as well as controversial Islamist preacher Zakir Naik.


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Meira Svirsky

Meira Svirsky is the editor of ClarionProject.org

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