Bar Pol­ish far-right speaker from UK, Home Of­fice urged

Ex­trem­ist groups tar­get­ing Bri­tain to spread big­otry and hate, MPs and ac­tivists say

The Guardian - - NATIONAL - Sarah Marsh and Ana de Liz

The Home Of­fice has been urged to stop a Pol­ish far-right speaker en­ter­ing the UK, amid grow­ing con­cern about ex­trem­ist groups send­ing peo­ple to Bri­tain to spread hate­ful views.

Rafał Ziemkiewicz, a Pol­ish au­thor and jour­nal­ist who has been ac­cused of com­par­ing Mus­lims to “in­vaders” and “bar­bar­ians”, is due to speak at events in Bris­tol and Cam­bridge to­mor­row and on Satur­day.

He has been ac­cused of writ­ing ar­ti­cles stat­ing he sees “no hope” for France as French Mus­lims are wait­ing for “white peo­ple to get ex­hausted while they grad­u­ally ex­pand their sharia en­claves … tak­ing con­trol over the en­tire coun­try”. He dis­putes the ac­cu­racy of these quo­ta­tions and says he did not call Mus­lims bar­bar­ians.

One event at which Ziemkiewicz was due to talk, in Ac­ton, west Lon­don, on Sun­day, has al­ready been can­celled after Rupa Huq, the Labour MP for Eal­ing Cen­tral and Ac­ton, was alerted to it. She said it was her un­der­stand­ing that the event had been moved to Slough.

Huq wants the Home Of­fice to pre­vent Ziemkiewicz from en­ter­ing the UK. She said: “Ziemkiewicz’s pres­ence is not con­ducive to good race re­la­tions any­where in the UK and just as I have spo­ken in the House of Com­mons urg­ing that we ban [Don­ald] Trump I sim­i­larly con­tend that Rafał Ziemkiewicz is not wel­come on these shores.”

She added: “This is a man with a track record of de­lib­er­ately an­tag­o­nis­ing mi­nor­ity com­mu­ni­ties with his big­oted com­ments. His party pieces of Holo­caust de­nial and Is­lam­o­pho­bia are not wel­come in Eal­ing.”

Ziemkiewicz is not the first far-right speaker from Poland who has tried to come to Bri­tain to in­crease their fol­low­ing and raise funds. Last Fe­bru­ary Jacek Międ­lar, a for­mer priest, was de­tained at Stansted to stop him at­tend­ing a far-right rally in Telford, Shrop­shire. He has ac­cused Mus­lims of run­ning groom­ing gangs in the UK.

Fiyaz Mughal, the founder of Faith Mat­ters, which works to re­duce ex­trem­ism, said: “The big risk is clearly the tar­get­ing of lo­cal set­tled Bri­tish com­mu­ni­ties of Pol­ish her­itage. These guys are try­ing to in­fil­trate them with far-right rhetoric. It’s ex­treme un­der Home Of­fice def­i­ni­tion … the com­ments are anti-LGBT and an­ti­semitic.”

The Labour MP for Cam­bridge, Daniel Ze­ich­ner, ex­pressed sim­i­lar con­cern over the event there. He said: “Any in­di­vid­ual or group sup­port­ing Is­lam­o­pho­bia, an­ti­semitism or racial dis­crim­i­na­tion is not wel­come. I would pose the ques­tion to the or­gan­is­ers of this event whether they be­lieve a speaker that has made anti-Is­lamic or an­ti­semitic state­ments will be warmly re­ceived in Cam­bridge. I can as­sure you that the res­i­dents of the city I rep­re­sent do not sup­port views of this na­ture in any way.”

Ziemkiewicz in­sisted he was not ho­mo­pho­bic and said that his ap­pear­ances would not be in­cen­di­ary, adding: “I don’t see any rea­son to worry about my meet­ings in UK … There is noth­ing in my books, ar­ti­cles etc that would be against the law or in­de­cent.”

He added: “For more than 20 years my work has been in the main­stream of Pol­ish pub­lic life. As long as the con­ser­va­tive and pa­tri­otic po­si­tion is not banned in Europe … I strongly deny such ac­cu­sa­tions.”

He later threat­ened to sue Huq.

ce to in­crease its fo­cus on the is­sue. “Why are we lead­ing the charge?” he asked. “We are a small NGO. The Home Of­fice needs to look at what is hap­pen­ing … they need to be more proac­tive on this is­sue and en­gage with groups like us.”

A Home Of­fice spokesper­son said it did not com­ment on in­di­vid­ual cases but added: “The home sec­re­tary may ex­clude an EEA na­tional on the grounds of pub­lic pol­icy or se­cu­rity if they pose a gen­uine, present and suf­fi­ciently se­ri­ous threat.”

▲ Rafał Ziemkiewicz is due to speak at events in Bris­tol and Cam­bridge

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.