The Holocaust denying former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who has called for Britain to be destroyed, is set to visit Parliament next week.
Sheikh Ekrima Sabri will be in Britain from 11 to 15 September, as guest of pro-Palestine group EuroPal to discuss the “recent escalation” in Israel with MPs.
Sabri has a history of anti-Semitic and terrorist-supporting views, which led to his removal as Jerusalem’s Islamic leader by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in 2006.
He threatened that Jewish prayer at Jerusalem’s Temple Mount would “prompt massacres” and lead to “rivers of blood”. And during interview with Italian newspaper la Repubblica, Sabri flatly denied the Holocaust, stating: “Six million Jews dead? No way, they were much fewer. Let’s stop with this fairy tale exploited by Israel to capture international solidarity.”
CUFI UK executive director Des Starritt said: “At a time of increased fear of Islamic extremism in our country, it is inconceivable that our Government would grant a radical hate preacher such a platform. This strikes a message of double standards. It implies terrorism against Jews is acceptable.”
Sabri has supported acts of terrorism, including the use of children. In a sermon on Palestinian television he said: “The Muslim loves death and [strives for] martyrdom”. He has also previously said that: “The younger the martyr – the greater and the more I respect him.”
In addition to calling for the destruction of America and Britain, he has said Jews are “the most cowardly creatures Allah has ever created”, adding that he is “filled with rage toward the Jews”.
Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan MP said she is: “alarmed to hear reports that Sheikh Ekrima Sabri will be speaking in Parliament given his reported views on the holocaust, terrorism and the Jewish people. If these reports are true, he should not be allowed into the UK, let alone into Parliament. Giving a platform to those who spout hatred and violence is not the way to achieve justice and peace in the Middle East.”
A Home Office spokesperson said: “The Home Secretary has the power to exclude an individual if she considers that his or her presence in the UK is not conducive to the public good.”
“We are clear that coming here is a privilege and this would be refused to those who seek to subvert our shared values.”