Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Have a Nice Trip, and Don't Come Back

I absolutely love this story. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott has a message for Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed:
"Enjoy your holiday... make it a long one".

The Deputy Prime Minister, on the second day of his annual holiday cover for Tony Blair, spoke out after it emerged that the preacher - who left Britain for Lebanon on Saturday - had informed reporters that he was merely taking a break.

Asked about the radical Islamist's suggestion that if he was not welcome in England he would not return, Mr Prescott told a news conference in London: "Good."

He was then asked whether Mr Bakri Mohammed was welcome here, and replied: "I don't think he is welcome by many people in this country, is he?

"But at the moment he has the right to come in and out. That is the circumstances at present and we have to change situations in this country by law. It's a democracy, not a dictatorship, for God's sake. I just say 'Enjoy your holiday, make it a long one.'"

The following statement illustrates why Prescott is glad to see Mohammed go:

In the telephone interview, Mr Bakri Mohammed said that he would return to Britain to clear his reputation, adding that he had never committed a crime. But the cleric reiterated his belief that it would be "against Islam" for him to inform the police of any terrorist attacks that he knew were being planned in Britain.

"I say publicly, Islam forbids me to report any Muslims, even if he is oppressive, you see, to the British police," he said. "Islam forbid me, that don't mean I know about crime."

Clearly, Blair's government has taken the gloves off, and that can only be a good thing...

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