UK parliament to weigh debate on banning Trump

MPs to consider debate as petition to ban US Republican presidential candidate from UK entry passes 100,000 signatures.

Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, a statement which his fellow Republican presidential candidates condemned [Morry Gash/AP Photo]
Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the US, a statement which his fellow Republican presidential candidates condemned [Morry Gash/AP Photo]

British MPs will have to consider debating a petition to block United States Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump from entering the country.

By Wednesday, the “Block Donald J Trump from UK entry” petition had been signed by more than 300,000 people.

Having received more than 100,000 signatures, the petition now has to be considered for debate by parliament and will require a written government response.

“The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech,” the petition reads. “The same principles should apply to everyone who wishes to enter the UK. 

“If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behaviour’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.”

The petition was launched in response to a call made by the 69-year-old presidential hopeful to ban Muslims from entering the US earlier this week.

On Monday, the former reality television host called for a “total and complete” block on Muslims entering the US “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”.

His comments were widely condemned by politicians and officials worldwide, including the British Prime Minister David Cameron, who said Trump’s comments were “divisive, unhelpful and quite simply wrong”.

Chancellor George Osborne said that while Trump’s comments “fly in the face of the founding principle of the United States … the best way to defeat nonsense like this is to engage in robust democratic debate” – not by placing a ban on his travel.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Corbyn, the leader of the opposition Labour party, tweeted: “Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the US is an attack on democratic values & affront to common humanity. Let’s unite against racism”.

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Miqdaad Versi, assistant secretary-general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said that while Trump is running to lead the US, his comments have far-reaching consequences for Muslims in the UK.

“His comments are only going to allow extreme bigotry to seem more moderate and reasonable, and that’s worrying in the UK where we have a growth of Islamophobia,” Versi told Al Jazeera.

“Consistency is most important. If the government has chosen to ban those who preach and incite hatred, that should be applicable to all, regardless of whether they are a US presidential candidate or a preacher from a faith group.”

While some corporations stuck to their business partnerships with the Trump Organization, which is owned by the presidential hopeful, one leading retailer in the Gulf – Lifestyle – stopped selling Trump-branded products such as mirrors and jewellery boxes.

Meanwhile, the Robert Gordon University in Aberdeen, UK, revoked an honorary degree issued in 2010 because “Mr Trump has made a number of statements that are wholly incompatible with the ethos and values of the university”.

Follow Anealla Safdar on Twitter: @anealla

Source : Al Jazeera


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