Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run? (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Iraq's Christians - Nowhere to Run?

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Towards a "Third Intifada"?

Read more

FOCUS

What solutions for California's overcrowded prisons?

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Gaza conflict: Palestinians mark sombre Eid

Read more

WEB NEWS

Celebrities in the Israel-Gaza crossfire

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Israeli strike takes out Gaza power station

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

French newspaper apologises for Sarkozy story

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Last-ditch talks aim to avert Argentina default

Read more

  • Video: Inside Hamas ‘terror’ tunnels in Gaza

    Read more

  • Scores feared dead in India landslide

    Read more

  • Russia defiant as US, EU unveil 'phase three' sanctions

    Read more

  • Israel says it is 'days' from completing Gaza tunnel hunt

    Read more

  • US House votes to sue Obama for over-reaching his powers

    Read more

  • Argentina fails to reach deal with creditors

    Read more

  • Women should not laugh in public, Turkey's deputy PM says

    Read more

  • Suspect in Jewish Museum attack charged with 'terrorist' murder

    Read more

  • Fourth female suicide bomber targets Nigerian city

    Read more

  • US rebounds to 4% growth in second quarter

    Read more

  • Video: Coping with rocket attacks in Israel’s Sderot

    Read more

  • Rats on the rampage at Louvre museum gardens

    Read more

  • France evacuates nationals, closes embassy in Libya

    Read more

  • 'Compelling' signs Kosovo leaders trafficked organs, prosecutor says

    Read more

France

Four Islamic clerics banned from entering France

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-29

Four high-profile Islamic clerics were banned from entering France Thursday over what the government said were concerns that their “calls for hatred and violence” posed a threat to public order.

AFP - France said Thursday it had banned four Muslim preachers from entering France to attend an Islamic conference, saying their "calls for hatred and violence" were a threat to public order.

President Nicolas Sarkozy had wanted to ban the high-profile Islamic clerics from attending the conference next month in the wake of a series of killings by Al-Qaeda inspired gunman Mohamed Merah that shocked France.

Saudi clerics Ayed Bin Abdallah al-Qarni and Abdallah Basfar, Egyptian cleric Safwat al-Hijazi and a former mufti of Jerusalem Akrama Sabri are banned from entering France, a statement said.



"These people's positions and statements calling for hatred and violence seriously damage republican principles and, in the current context, represent a serious threat to public order," said the statement from Foreign Minister Alain Juppe and Interior Minister Claude Gueant.

The ministers also voiced "regret" that prominent Swiss intellectual Tariq Ramadan has been invited to the April 6-9 meeting organised by the Union of Islamic Organisations in France (UOIF).

They said his "positions and statements are against the republican spirit, which does not do any service to France's Muslims".

France cannot prevent Ramadan from entering as Switzerland is a member of Europe's visa-free Schengen zone.

Influential Qatari preacher Yusuf al-Qaradawi and Mahmud al-Masri of Egypt have decided not to come for the conference, the statement said.

Ramadan is considered one of Europe's leading Muslim thinkers and was an advisor to former British prime minister Tony Blair.

His grandfather founded Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, of which his father was a senior member exiled by former Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser.

He is known for promoting a modernised form of Islam and for his opposition to the 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. He has been barred from entering US territory since 2004.

Sarkozy said on Monday that Qaradawi, 86, an influential Qatar-based Sunni Muslim cleric, was not welcome in France.

Qaradawi, who hosts a popular show on Al-Jazeera satellite television, backed the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, and has launched a fund-raising effort for the Syrian opposition.

That ban, which has now turned into a withdrawal, was criticised by the International Union of Muslim Scholars which Qaradawi heads.

The union said that Qaradawi is "a moderate scholar who contributed to combating extremism in Islamic thoughts."

The cleric is accused of having made anti-Semitic and homophobic statements and was banned from entering Britain in 2008. He has been banned from entering the United States since 1999.
 

Date created : 2012-03-29

  • TOULOUSE SHOOTINGS

    Merah to be buried in France after Algeria refuses body

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    The 'global mufti' Sarkozy barred from entering France

    Read more

COMMENT(S)