Egyptian scholar Sheikh Wagdy Ghoneim, on his way to attend a two day convention in Switzerland held by local Muslim organizations, was denied entry into the country by Swiss autorities. While the government has not yet issued a statement on why Ghoneim was not allowed into the country, it may have a little something to do with him having being arrested in Egypt, being on American terrorist watch lists, and having been accused of funneling money to Hamas. Of course, Swiss Muslims leaders have responded with their characteristic hyperbole, charging the government with anti-Muslim bias, according to Islamonline.net (thanks to Sr. Soph):
Swiss Muslim leaders hit out at airport authorities for banning prominent scholar Sheikh Wagdy Ghoneim from entering the country to attend a key conference, while slamming the conspicuous absence of invited officials at the two-day event.
“This is not the first time, and probably not the last, that a Muslim scholar is denied access to the country,” Gamal Al-Khatib, the organizer of the 15th annual meeting of the League of Muslims in Switzerland (LMS), told IslamOnline.net.
He said the reasons behind the decision will remain as usual vague and unknown.
“The decision is driven by a bunch of opportunists who are playing the terror card to scare authorities and to provoke the Muslim minority.”
Airport authorities said Egyptian Ghoneim, who holds a valid Swiss visa, is accused of raising funds for the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas, has been arrested by Egyptian police and is a persona non-grata in the United States.
Regardless of the fact that they invited a suspected terrorist to their convention, Muslim leaders castigated government officials for not attending:
Separately, the LMS harshly criticized government officials for failing to show up in their annual meeting, themed the Mercy to Mankind, in Fribourg.
“This is unacceptable and inexcusable,” LMS head Mohammad Karmous told IOL.
“Ignoring the forum by Swiss officials, particularly those who tirelessly talk about the integration of the Muslim minority, raises many question marks.”
He said government officials were expected to attend to listen to minority leaders and address problems facing Muslims.