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Raed Salah was given a deportation order after he flew into the UK in June, reportedly breaching a travel ban.
The Community Security Trust expressed disappointment at the outcome of the appeal. It also stood by the claims that Salah could have a “radicalising impact” on UK audiences and it had not “misled” the Home Office which had sought its advice on the Islamist leader.
His arrest had followed an appeal by Mike Freer, Conservative MP for Finchley and Golders Green, who asked Home Secretary Theresa May that Salah be banned because of his “history of virulent antisemitism”.
Salah has always denied that a 2007 East Jerusalem sermon he made about children’s blood being used to bake “holy bread” were references to the blood libel against Jews.
And in a 2002 poem, the leader of the Northern Branch of the Israeli Islamic Movement referred to oppressors as “monkeys and losers”, a term commonly used by Islamists to describe Jews.
The tribunal, led by senior immigration judge Mr Justice Ockleton, said: “We do not find this comment could be taken to be anything other than a reference to the blood libel against Jews”. But the appeal succeeded “on all grounds” because judges concluded that May had been “misled”, had “acted under a misapprehension of the facts” and had shown “disproportionate interference” when deciding to ban him.
On the 2002 poem, the judges ruled that the issue was “not at the heart of the appellant’s message” and that “it is not easy to see that any reasonable observer would associate the appellant with them in any general sense”.
The judges also found that there was “no evidence that even Israel sees” Salah as any danger. His presence in Britain, they added, had “caused no difficulty of any sort”.
The CST defended itself amid accusations that the Home Secretary had been misled. A CST spokesman said: “CST was contacted by the Home Office to provide information relevant to Salah’s deportation on the grounds of his presence not being conducive to the public good. CST provided information, in good faith, exactly as our community would expect us to. CST stands by its actions and notes, in particular, that the tribunal recognised that Sheikh Salah’s intemperate expression could offend and distress the Jewish community. We trust the Home Office will appeal against this decision, which threatens to undermine the government’s anti-extremism policy.”
Meanwhile, Abu Hamza, the radical cleric who is alleged to be al-Qaeda’s man in Europe and the face of violent extremism in Britain, can be extradited to the United States to face terrorism charges, the European Court of Human Rights has ruled.
The Strasbourg court said that the human rights of Hamza and four other men held in Britain would not be infringed.Anger after radical Israeli Palestinian allowed to stay by Joseph Millis