Tuesday April 16, 2024

UK to bar entry to 'hate preachers' from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Indonesia

Development follows an impassioned speech by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street

By Web Desk
March 03, 2024
UK PM Rishi Sunak on August 23, 2022. — AFP
UK PM Rishi Sunak on August 23, 2022. — AFP

According to a recent report by The Daily Telegraph, the UK government is planning to bar entry of hate preachers with extremist views from countries such as Pakistan, Afghanistan and Indonesia. 

Citing a concerning rise in extremist activity, officials are actively working to identify individuals with the most dangerous ideologies from abroad, intending to add them to visa warning lists. Under these proposed measures, those on the lists would automatically be denied entry to the United Kingdom.

This announcement comes on the heels of an impassioned speech by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at 10 Downing Street. He emphasised the threat extremists pose to the democratic and multi-faith values of the country. "The Home Secretary has instructed that if those here on visas choose to spew hate on protests or seek to intimidate people, we will remove their right to be here."

In addition to addressing hate preachers, Sunak called on demonstrators protesting the Israel-Hamas conflict to ensure their actions are not exploited by extremists. He highlighted the importance of unity in combating divisive forces and warned against the mutually reinforcing relationship between extremists and the far right, stating, "Extremists and the far right feed off and embolden each other."

The report from The Daily Telegraph also references an official review led by Lord Walney, the government's independent adviser on political violence and disruption. Lord Walney's review recommends addressing the growing threat posed by fringe left-wing groups aligning with extremists during pro-Palestine marches across the UK. He pointed out an "unholy alliance" between far-left groups and some extremism witnessed during these events.

Lord Walney's report is currently under consideration by the UK Home Office and is scheduled for publication later this month. A spokesperson for the Home Office reaffirmed a strong stance against extremism, stating, "Extremism has no place in our society, and we will not tolerate tactics that set out to intimidate, threaten, or cause disruption to the law-abiding majority." 

The spokesperson emphasised careful consideration of the report's recommendations with a commitment to respond accordingly.