Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

MEP calls for Islamic radical to be banned from EU

12th October 2005

Conservative foreign affairs spokesman inthe European Parliament and London MEP Charles Tannock has asked theBritish government - which currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union - to consider an EU-wide ban on extremist Qatar-based Islamic cleric Sheikh Yussuf al-Qaradawi.

In a written question tabled to the Council of Ministers, Dr Tannock says that "in the interest of fighting terrorism and those who encourage it", al-Qaradawi should be prohibited from entering the 25-nation bloc.

Dr Tannock highlighted the radical preacher's recent attempts to enter the EU and the huge body of moderate and reformist Islamic thinkers speaking out against him.

Dr Tannock said al-Qaradawi had clearly demonstrated his support for terrorism, encouraging suicide attacks against Israeli citizens and the murder of Jews.

Dr Tannock said: "Fighting terrorism is not just about rooting out bombers. The authorities must be free to take action against hate-filled clerics like al-Qaradawi who incite and glorify terrorism.

"His horrifying words against Israel and Jews mark him out as a dangerous man and someone determined to stir up violence in our towns and cities.

"I have asked the British government, which holds the EU presidency, to ban al-Qaradawi from entering any of the 25 member states.

"It's a simple but effective action which will contribute to making our society more secure - and protecting Jewish people throughout Europe in particular."