Hamza ‘close to being deported’

The Telegraph (England), Feb. 25, 2003

Abu Hamza, the radical Muslim cleric, is under “very close investigation” by the Government as it considers whether to use new powers to revoke his British citizenship and deport him.

Beverley Hughes, the Home Office minister, said the powers – under section four of the Asylum, Immigration and Nationality Act 2002 – would come into force within weeks.

Hamza and others “are being very, very closely monitored”, she told the House of Commons.

“The Government will initiate deprivation action if we consider the facts of an individual case meet the test set out in section four,” she added.

Ms Hughes was responding to calls for the cleric to be deported.

To shouts of “chuck him out” from the backbenches, Andrew Dismore, MP for Hendon, said he believed the public thought Hamza’s deportation “long overdue”.

He asked: “Bearing in mind that Abu Hamza continues to spread his message of hate against Jews, Hindus, the US and Britain, has seditiously abused the sanctity of Finsbury Park Mosque to incite violence and race hatred, and actively recruited among British Muslims for terrorism abroad and fund-raised for terrorist groups, is wanted overseas for serious terrorism offences – is there any reason why section four should not be used to deprive him of his citizenship?”

The Government also faced demands to increase the Home Secretary’s ability to protect the country from such people by withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights and re-entering it with reservations.

Ms Hughes stressed this would be a “tortuous and difficult process” – but did not rule it out.

Hamza has been banned by the Charity Commission from speaking at the Finsbury Park Mosque in north London, shut after an anti-terrorism raid. He was accused of abusing his position to preach his radical brand of Islam and make inflammatory sermons.

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