Britain’s leading Muslim organisation has called on the Home Office to refuse a UK visa to a prominent US evangelical preacher with links to Donald Trump and a track record of Islamophobic statements.
Franklin Graham, the son of the evangelist Billy Graham, has been invited to preach at a Christian festival in Blackpool this month.
The preacher, who said Trump’s election victory was evidence that “God’s hand” was at work, has called Islam “evil” and “wicked”, claimed Barack Obama’s “problem is that he was born a Muslim” and said Satan was the architect of same-sex marriage and LGBT rights.
The Muslim Council of Britain has joined three MPs, including a government whip, in demanding the Home Office apply its criteria on hate speech to Graham’s visa request.
The MCB said: “In the past the government has banned individuals whom they claim are ‘not conducive to the public good’. Mr Graham’s remarks are on record and clearly demonstrate a hatred for Muslims and other minorities.
“We would expect the government to apply its criteria here. If it does not, it will send a clear message that it is not consistent in challenging all forms of bigotry.”
SOURCE: Harriet Sherwood