But Pamela Geller and I, who oppose wife-beatings, are the subject of a huge campaign to bar us from entering that country. I just did an hour on the BBC about it. Are those who are trying to keep us out in favor of wife-beating? Or jihad terror?
“Preacher Who Backs Wife-Beatings Let Into UK,” from Sky News, June 20:
In the light of the furore caused by Charles Saatchi’s assault on his wife Nigella Lawson, the decision by the UK’s Home Office to allow a radical Saudi preacher to come to Britain this week is interesting.
Mr Saatchi said he accepted a police caution for assault only to prevent a cloud hanging over the couple for months to come.
There was popular outrage at photographs published in a newspaper, and widespread condemnation which re-energised the debate about domestic violence.
Now entering the fray comes the popular Saudi preacher Muhhamed al Arefe who is a Sunni Muslim with pronounced views on Islam.
In the past he is alleged to have made anti-Semitic and anti-Shia Muslim views.
He certainly takes a different view of what in the UK is considered domestic violence.
He argues that a man “may use beatings to discipline his wife”, but he says, “he must beat her lightly”.
This caveat may explain why the Home Office, post Woolwich/Nigella, feels this is the sort of foreign preacher this country needs.
Despite our enlightened cleric’s dubious views on Shia Muslims and Jews, which the Swiss felt were not the sort of the thing people should be propagating in the land of cuckoo clocks, the Home Office seems to take a different view.
Mr al Arefe is expected to preach at a London mosque at the weekend.
The Home Office told Sky News it would not comment on individual cases.