What happened to debate?

Yusuf al QaradawiThe banning of a “preacher of hate” raises far more problems than it solves, writes Abdul-Rehman Malik

The recent denial of a visa to Yusuf al Qaradawi, the influential Qatar-based scholar accused of preaching hatred against homosexuals and encouraging terrorism amongst Palestinians living under Israeli occupation, is unsettling. The reasons for the rebuff are based on ad hoc, inconsistent policy and more importantly on a fear that a certain segment of our population is so particularly gullible and immature that they cannot be trusted to filter good ideas from bad ones.

The truth is that the UK welcomes all kinds of nefarious characters to its shores, whether they are retired despots (like Augusto Pinochet) or leaders of autocratic regimes (the list is rather long).