Jamaica Muslim Cleric Deportation Snag
January 6, 2010 Leave a comment
The plan by the authorities in Kenya to send a Jamaican-born Muslim cleric back to his place of birth has reportedly hit a snag.
It is being reported that South Africa and the United Kingdom have both refused to grant a visa to Sheik Abdullah El-Faisal who was arrested last week by Kenyan anti-terrorism police for allegedly violating the conditions of his tourist visa by preaching in mosques. A spokesman for the Ministry of Immigration, Kennedy Buhere, told the Associated Press that in order for El-Faisal to fly to Jamaica he would need a transit visa to allow him to connect to flights in the US, Europe or Canada.
Meantime, there is some discomfort in Jamaica where police and members of the Muslim community await his return.
Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations Glenmore Hinds said his office has been in touch with international investigators and police in the island would be monitoring the cleric when he returns. President of the Islamic Council of Jamaica, Mustafa Muhammad, told the Observer newspaper that local Muslims were concerned about the “negative press” that would follow El-Faisal to Jamaica.
“Any Muslim community right now across the world could do without any unnecessary negative press coverage, especially with what is happening right now,” he said.
But the Kenyan government is strongly defending its decision the radical cleric.
“This is not a religious matter. We are not targeting him because he is a religious man…We are targeting him because he has a history of criminality and we just don’t want him in this country,” Kenya’s Immigration Minister Otieno Kajwang said.
El-Faisal, born in Jamaica in 1964 as Trevor William Forest, served four years in Britain for inciting murder and stirring racial hatred by urging followers to kill Americans, Hindus and Jews. Internet postings purportedly written in 2005 by a Nigerian man now charged with trying to bomb Northwest airline flight on Christmas Day referred to El-Faisal as a cleric he had listened to.