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Black-Listed in the United Kingdom

Scott on May 6, 2009 at 12:53 pm

On May 5th, the U.K.’s Home Office released a list compiled by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith of 16 people who are banned from entering the country (even though most of these people have never tried to gain access to the U.K.) Many of the names on the list seem to be understandable, but there is at least one name on the list that has people on both sides of the pond scratching their heads.

According to the Times of London, the U.K.’s 16 Least Wanted include:

Abdullah Qadri al-Ahdal, Yunis al-Astal, Samir al-Quntar, Stephen Donald Black, Wadgy Abd el-Hamied Mohamed Ghoneim, Erich Gliebe, Mike Guzovsky, Safwat Hijazi, Nasr Javed, Abdul Ali Musa (previously Clarence Reams), Fred Waldron Phelps Sr, Shirley Phelps-Roper, Artur Ryno, Amir Siddique, Pavel Skachevsky and Michael Alan Weiner (aka Michael Savage)

Of those listed in the top 16, Yunis al-Astal is a leader in Hamas, Mike Guzovsky is a Jewish extremist, Stephen Donald Black is a former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and Erich Gliebe is a neo-Nazi.

I can certainly understand people like this being on this list. They advocate violence and have a disregard for the lives of the innocent. But what is puzzling is why United States talk show host Michael Savage is on the list. He has never engaged in violence, nor does he advocate violent extremism. Mr. Savage doesn’t understand why he is on the list either, which is why he will be suing the Home Secretary for defamation of character. According to the Times:

Michael Weiner, also known as Michael Savage, a shock-jock broadcaster in America, has described the Koran as “a book of hate” and questioned the validity of autism.  He told his radio audience in the US that he intended to sue Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, who he described as the “lunatic… Home Secretary of England To link me up with skinheads who are killing people in Russia, to put me in league with Hamas murderers who kill people on buses is defamation.”

Mark Stephens from the law firm of Finers, Stephens and Innocent in London says:

“He [Michael Savage] would seem to have a very good case. The people on the list who have been banned are supposed to be advocating extreme violence and so to put him into that category is clearly defamatory. His views, such as those on homosexuals, may be offensive but that is another thing entirely. The Home Secretary appears not to have appreciated the difference between tolerance and defamation.”

So Michael Savage has dissed Islam and doubted the veracity of diagnosing autism. Does this make him a threat to the security of the U.K.? If it does, then there are probably a few more people who should be added to the list…people who have advocated similarly outrageous views:

Tom Cruise – Cruise does not believe in the validity of psychiatry, nor in the use of prescription medications to treat commonly diagnosed illnesses and disorders. He also believes that we have the spirits of dead space aliens inside us.
Christopher Hitches – An atheist who is unabashedly against Christianity (and other religions for that matter). According to Hitchens, religion is “violent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children.”
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad – Denies the Holocaust AND has repeatedly declared his hatred for Jews and his desire to see Israel destroyed. By the way, he also hates homosexuals.

I’m just saying that if the Home Secretary is going to put together a list like this, she should probably be consistent in the criteria she uses to identify those who should be black listed.

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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