Pressure Works: UK Denies Entry to Hizbullah Official

(HH here: IT seems sense may be breaking out. Or at least a good imitation. Lets see how far they take it.)

by Avraham Zuroff

(IsraelNN.com) After mounting pressure to deny entry of a senior Lebanese member of the Hizbullah terrorist group from entering British borders, the UK’s Home Office denied an entry visa on Friday to Ibrahim Moussawi.

Britain’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, faced growing pressure to deny Moussawi’s visa, after details of his intended visit were first published in the British Daily Mail last month. Despite the newly-appointed Hizbullah media relations director’s anti-Semitic background, Moussawi had been allowed into the UK to speak publicly in December 2007 and February 2008.

British officials granted senior Hizbullah member Moussawi a visa to visit the country on Thursday, and revoked it the next day. Moussawi intended to lecture at a conference on political Islam at the University of London on March 25.

Secretary Smith revoked the entry permit after critics said his entry would represent a “double standard” in visa refusals. Dutch MP Geert Wilders had previously been banned from presenting his film about Islam extremism, Fitna, out of concern that it would threaten “community harmony.” Conservatives stated that Smith’s ban of people who threaten community harmony while allowing in members of terrorist groups would emit the wrong message.

The British government granted Moussawi a permit to visit Britain in 2008, as well. During that visit he appeared at events sponsored by the British group Stop the War.

Moussawi, who has been quoted as calling Jews “a lesion on the forehead of history” and justifying attacks on Israeli civilians, insists that he is not an anti-Semite. “I’m a bridge-builder and I’ve always been an advocate of dialogue and discussion,” he claimed in response to criticism of an earlier visit.

Moussawi also edits Al Manar, Hizbullah’s weekly paper. In the past, he served as political editor of Hizbullah TV, which has been banned in the United States as well as some European Union nations due to its anti-Semitic content.