May 06, 2009

Britain's least wanted

Former KKK leader, Stormfront-owner
and Nick Griffin's good buddy, Don Black

From the 'Aryan Barbarian' to Slav skinhead leaders, they stand accused of fostering hate.

Islamist preachers, white supremacists, a radio shock- jock, an Arab terrorist and two anti-gay evangelicals are just some of the people to have been banned from entering Britain recently, it emerged yesterday.

In a bid to regain the initiative after weeks of negative publicity and fears that anti-immigration parties will sweep the board at the forthcoming European elections, the Home Office took the unprecedented step of "naming and shaming" 16 individuals who were barred from coming to the UK between November and March.

Most of those on the list are foreign Muslim preachers whom the Home Office believes would incite hatred or glorify terrorism if they were allowed in. But the list also includes a number of white supremacists, homophobic preachers and an anti-Arab Jewish militant. Two Slav supremacists on the list have been incarcerated in a Russian jail since October 2007.

Under a new law introduced in 2005, Britain is able to pre-emptively ban anyone who promotes hatred, terrorism or serious criminal activity. Since the measure was introduced, 101 people have been refused entry. In the five months to March, 22 were excluded; the Home Office refused to name six of the people, citing national security reasons.

The Government claims such bans are vital to prevent hate preachers from spreading their messages, but critics argue that the orders are a form of pre-emptive policing that stifles free speech and, in the age of the internet, have little effect on halting hateful remarks.

Some of the most prominent Islamists on the list include Safwat Hijazi, a populist Egyptian cleric who preaches on a hardline Arabic television station, and Wagdy Ghoneim, an Islamic scholar expelled from the US in 2004 for alleged terrorist links.

Two Pakistani nationals with links to militancy are also on the list. Nasr Javed, a Kashmiri separatist believed to be a member of the Lashkar-e-Taiba terrorist group, and Amir Siddique, a preacher at a notorious Islamist mosque in Pakistan's capital Islamabad, have been banned.

Among the white supremacists excluded are Don Black, a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard and founder of the neo-Nazi website Stormfront, Erich Gliebe, a West Virginia-based neo-Nazi, and Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, two Russians whose skinhead gang murdered at least 20 people and were jailed in December.

However, Inayat Bunglawala, of the Muslim Council of Britain, believes people should be arrested if they break anti-hatred laws, rather than pre-emptively banned from the country. He said yesterday: "This whole process seems to be a futile and gimmicky attempt by the Government to look tough on the issue of hate preachers.

"I would like to know how many of these people have actually expressed an interest in coming to the UK over the past six months. The two Russian skinheads have been in jail for more than a year."

Samir Al Quintar: Lebanese Militant

The former fighter with the Palestinian Liberation Front took part in the attempted kidnapping of an Israeli family in Nehariya in 1979 which resulted in the deaths of five people, including two children.

He was imprisoned by the Israelis in 1980 but released last year as part of a prisoner swap between Israel and the Lebanese militant group Hizbollah. He is considered a national hero in Lebanon but is reviled as an unrepentant terrorist in Israel.

Since his release, he has given a number of interviews calling for further attacks on Israel.

Nasr Javed: Militant Leader

Believed to be a Kashmiri nationalist involved with Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Pakistan-based Kashmiri terrorist organisation thought to be behind the recent attacks in Mumbai and Lahore. India has accused Javed of being a mid-ranking Lashkar operative who helps train their suicidal fedayeen fighters. After the Mumbai attacks, Javed was widely quoted by the Indian and Pakistani press as promising more assaults by Lashkar militants.

Amir Siddique: Preacher

Siddique is said to be deputy prayer leader at Islamabad's Red Mosque, a notorious stronghold for Islamic militants. The army laid siege to the mosque in 2007 after militants kidnapped foreigners and imposed strict rules on shopkeepers. Hundreds of people, including the mosque's leader, were killed. It is supposedly back under Pakistani government control but many survivors of the siege have gone on to fight for the Taliban in the Swat Valley.

Fred Waldron Phelps Snr & Shirley Phelps-Roper: Anti-Gay Evangelicals

Fred Waldron Phelps founded the Kansas-based Westboro Baptist Church, a highly controversial but small sect of evangelicals who believe God is punishing the world for tolerating homosexuality. The church is primarily made up of members of Phelps's family and its followers have caused outrage in the US by picketing the funerals of Aids victims and soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Phelps's daughter Shirley Phelps-Roper is the pastor and senior leader of the Westboro Baptists. The Home Office banned her from entering the UK after she threatened to picket a school play in Basingstoke, Hampshire, about an anti-gay murder.

The Westboro Baptists regularly claim that they will picket events outside North America but they have yet to do so. They are largely ignored by the American media, which treats them as an insignificant congregation of radical believers who hold little sway beyond their families.

Don Black: White Supremacist

Don Black, photographed above with the British National Party chairman Nick Griffin at a conference in New Orleans in 2005, is one of America's most prominent white supremacists.

A former grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, he went on to set up Stormfront, one of the most popular white power websites in the US. In 1981, he led a farcical KKK attempt to take over the island nation of Dominica to create a white supremacist state and was later jailed. Mr Griffin and the BNP's deputy leader, Simon Darby, have met Black on numerous occasions.

Yesterday, Mr Darby said: "Just because the BNP shares a platform with someone doesn't mean we agree with what they say."

But a spokesperson for the anti-racism group Searchlight, said: "The fact that Nick Griffin is prepared to embrace someone as vile as Don Black says everything you need to know about Griffin and his party. The European election campaign has only just started and already the BNP's mask of moderation has been torn away."

Abdullah Qadri Al Ahdal: Preacher

An extremist who is banned because he is considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour, including justifying or glorifying terrorist violence.

Michael Weiner: Shock Jock

A conservative commentator and "shock jock" DJ, Savage's regular rants on US radio are as controversial as they are popular. He is a best-selling author who once called the Koran a "book of hate" and said an autistic children was "a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out". He also once suggested that America should let its immigrants starve to death in order to ease overcrowding.

Wagdy Ghoneim: Islamic Writer

A prolific writer and Islamic scholar who has frequently called for jihad against Jews, Ghoneim was thrown out of the US in 2004 after serving as an imam in a California mosque. The Americans accused the Egyptian of raising funds for terror groups, but expelled him because they did not have enough evidence to prosecute. Ghoneim denies any terrorist links and says he is just an Islamic scholar.

Yunis Al Astal: Hamas MP

A preacher with a sizeable following among the inhabitants of the Gaza Strip, Al Astal is a Hamas member of the Palestinian parliament.

He has described Jews as "the brothers of apes and pigs" and in a sermon last year called for a jihad, or holy war, to conquer Europe and the US. Last April, he declared that Rome, "the capital of the Catholics", would soon be overtaken by Islam.

Abdul Ali Musa: Islamic Writer

A controversial US-born Muslim convert who heads the Institute of Contemporary Islamic Thought in Washington, a global Islamic think-tank that promotes orthodox Sunni Islam. The Anti-Defamation League has accused Musa of regularly making anti-Semitic statements. He believes the 11 September attacks were a Jewish conspiracy and has previously praised Palestinian suicide bombers.

Mike Guzofsky: Jewish Supremacist

A militant Jewish leader and follower of Kahanism, an ideology which critics say is quasi-fascist.

The US government says Guzofsky has links to Kahane Chai, a group named after the extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. A fundamental tenet of Kahanist ideology is that the state of Israel should defend itself against Arab and Nazi enemies, and give full citizenship only to Jews.

Artur Ryno & Pavel Skachevsky: Slav Supremacists

The former Moscow art student-turned-supremacist led a gang of skinheads which carried out 20 racist murders and 12 attempted murders. At his trial, the 19-year-old claimed he wanted to cleanse Russia of non-ethnic Russians. At his sentencing in December, he shouted: "For faith, tsar and fatherland." It is unlikely he ever applied to come to the UK: he has been in custody since October 2007.

Pavel Skachevsky acted as Ryno's right-hand man and was found guilty of murder at the same trial. Little is known about him because the hearing was held behind closed doors. Their gang is thought to have carried out at least 20 racist murders between August 2006 and October 2007. Their victims included Tajik labourers, Chinese migrants and a chess master from Russia's far east.

Safwat Hijazi: Televangelist

This popular Egyptian preacher appears regularly on Al-Nas [The People] TV – an Arabic-language satellite channel which promotes a hardline Salafi interpretation of Islam. In 2006, the station dismissed all of its female staff. Israel wanted the station shut down after Hijazi issued a fatwa allegedly permitting the killing of Israeli Jews in Arab countries and the Palestinian territories.

Eric Gliebe: Neo Nazi

A former professional boxer who fought as the "Aryan Barbarian", Gliebe is chairman of the Nationalist Alliance, America's best organised and most effective white supremacist group, based in West Virginia. His activity in racial nationalism was inspired by his father, who served in the German army in the Second World War. Gliebe has also helped to pioneer the white supremacist music scene.



Specky said...

"In 1981, he led a farcical KKK attempt to take over the island nation of Dominica to create a white supremacist state and was later jailed."

Sounds like it would make a great comedy film.

"Mr Griffin and the BNP's deputy leader, Simon Darby, have met Black on numerous occasions."

Why should nobody be surprised at this? Remember all the talk about Croatia? All the weapons training? The startling numbers of security wherever Mr G goes?

Private armies? Plans for the future, maybe learned at Don Black's knee?

Anonymous said...

I think the ban is right all extreamists should be banned from the UK.

Anonymous said...

Funny how hypocritical the BNP are. They want the so-called Islamic "preachers of hate" banned from these shores, but racists and homophobes free to come and go as they choose, the nazi bastards!