The Holocaust denying former Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, who called for Britain to be destroyed, will not be making a publicised visit to the UK next week to meet MPs.
Sheikh Ekrima Sabri was due to be in Britain from 11 to 15 September, as guest of pro-Palestine group EuroPal to discuss the “recent escalation” in Israel.
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.”
A petition was launched by Christian United For Israel UK (CUFI UK) urging Home Secretary Amber Rudd to ban him. France blocked his entry in 2012.
On Tuesday, CUFI UK claimed Sabri had been denied entry, after more than 18,000 people signed their petition to have his visit blocked. However, it later emerged that Sabri had not applied for a visa for his trip, calling into question whether he intended to travel in the first place.
Paul Charney, chairman of the Zionist Federation said: When a religious leader is guilty of inciting terrorism, encouraging children to become martyrs and calling for the destruction of Great Britain and the USA, there should be no way of allowing him to even enter the UK. The ZF are relieved to have learned that the Sheikh was refused a visa into the UK and hope that this serves as a message to all those across the world who promote and support terrorism against innocents – you are not welcome here”.
After launching the petition, 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.”