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UK: MPs debate calls to ban Donald Trump from UK

19th Jan 2016
UK: MPs debate calls to ban Donald Trump from UK

LONDON (AA) – As thousands of people signed the petition to ban U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump from entering the U.K, British MPs met Monday to debate the call.

Paul Flynn, the Labour MP leading the debate opened the floor by warning MPs against giving Trump the “halo of martyrdom” by paying him “too much attention”.Trump has been a frontrunner in the race to become the Republican Party’s candidate in the 2016 presidential election. During his campaign, he called for a complete ban on Muslims entering the U.S. in the wake of the San Bernardino attack in which 14 people were killed by two suspected Daesh sympathizers.

In the U.K., more than half a million people have signed a petition calling for the billionaire to be barred from entering Britain, where he has business interests. In the U.K., all public petitions that receive more than 100,000 signatures are considered for debate by the House of Commons Petitions Committee.

“As politicians we have to make very difficult decisions and one is when freedom of speech actually insults public safety,” Labour MP Tulip Siddiq said during the hearing. She added that Trump’s words were “not funny, but poisonous”.

Conservative MP Edward Leigh, asked during the debate: “If we only allow free speech for those we already agree with, is that free speech at all?” and he added that this was just an attempt to “shut down an honest debate” on immigration.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the Scottish National party MP, argued that the Home Office has already banned 84 people on the grounds of hate speech. The government should make Trump the 85th person.

“[Trump has] fuelled racial tensions across the world while undermining the national security of both the US and the UK …

“Using the powers vested in her, Theresa May has excluded people who have included serious criminals, far-right extremists, homophobic extremists and these rules should be applied consistently and equally to all. Because if they exist they exist for that very reason and we have a responsibility for peace and security to ensure whoever comes in and out of our country is treated in the same way.”

 

However, Bradford Labour MP Naz Shah, who called Trump as a”demagogue”, said Trump should not be banned as “In my Islam and the ground I understand, in Surah [Chapter] 41 and verse 34 it teaches that goodness is better than evil.

“If someone does bad, you do good in return. I will not allow the rhetoric of badness into my life, into my heart, or that of my constituents.

“What I will do is challenge that with goodness because hatred breeds hate – and that is not something that I will tolerate.”

She said she would invite Trump to her constituency and take him to mosques, synagogues and churches.
The debate will not end in a vote. “It’s not for us to decide, that’s a matter for the home secretary. But what it does do is allow us to have our say,” Conservative Paul Scully said.

Ahead of the debate a statement came from Sarah Malone, executive vice president of Trump International Golf Links in Scotland, saying that the debate was a waste of time.

“It is absurd that valuable parliamentary time is being wasted debating a matter raised as part of the American presidential election. For the U.K. to consider banning someone who made a statement in America, about American borders during a U.S .election campaign is ridiculous,” Malone said.

 

 Author Büşra Akın Dinçer

 

Additional reporting The Muslim News

 

[Photo: US Presidential hopeful Donald Trump. Flickr/Creative Commons]

 

 

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