John Howard bans Islamic leader
Gerard McManus / The Herald Sun
Banned: Sheik Bilal Philips.
EXCLUSIVE: THE Howard Government has banned a radical Muslim sheik from entering Australia to speak at a major Islamic conference in Melbourne on the weekend.
Sheik Bilal Philips, who has been linked to the 1993 World Trade Centre bombings in New York, was refused a visa at the last moment by Department of Immigration officials, sources told the Herald Sun.
It is believed the department acted on advice from national security agencies.
Sheik Philips, 50, a Canadian citizen who lives in Qatar, once wrote: “Western culture, led by the United States, is the enemy of Islam.”
The US Government named him as an “unindicted co-conspirator” in the 1993 bombings that killed six people and injured 1000. He was deported from the US in 2004.
A second speaker billed to attend the first annual Australian Islamic Conference at Melbourne University on Easter weekend has been asked to show cause why he should be allowed to enter the country.
Sources said it was unlikely that Sheik Jaafer Idris, a Saudi-based academic, would be able to provide information in time.
Four other foreign Islamic speakers have been granted visas, including controversial Briton Yvonne Ridley, who has described suicide bombings as “martyrdom operations”.
Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews confirmed last night that Sheik Philips’ visitor application had been refused.
“The department checks each individual against the movement alert list, which contains approximately three million records of persons of concern, including those who may pose a national security risk,” Mr Andrews said.
“My department works closely with security and law enforcement agencies to ensure the data held on the movement alert list is accurate and current.”
Mr Andrews said that all visitors to Australia had to meet character checks as part of the visa application process.
“I can assure you that in all cases my department conducted the usual checks and screening processes,” he said.
The Melbourne University conference is sponsored by the Islamic organisation Mercy Mission, which is promoting the event with the slogan “Islamic values are universal values”.
Sheik Philips was born Dennis Philips in Jamaica. His family moved to Canada when he was 11.
He was a Communist Party activist before converting to Islam.
* In other words: He is a sucker for totalitarian madness. If he wasn’t a commie he would be a Nazi. In this case he became a Muhammedan.
He holds to a radical form of the religion that advocates marriage to pre-pubescent girls, public executions and stonings.
During the first Gulf War, Sheik Philips helped to convert hundreds of American soldiers to Islam while they were encamped in Saudi Arabia, according to US Government reports.
* Imagine a situation during the cold war when we were fighting the commies and some of our soldiersÂ would openly ‘convert’ or ‘revert’ to communism. Unthinkable!.
Hard to imagine that we are now governed by clueless jerks who allow our soldiers to become turncoats in the middle of a war. Even more bizarre that it all happens right in our face and under our noses and because of political correctness and because of ‘religious freedom’ everything we hold dear is being perverted.
He told the London weekly Al-Majallah that he was employed by the Saudi military to run a camp for cultural information at a US army barracks solely to win over US troops to Islam.
Sheik Philips has advocated on his website that “the cutting of hands and heads, stoning of people to death, and (public) lashings are only to be held on Fridays”.
Sheik Idris, 76, a Sudanese citizen now teaching in Saudi Arabia, espouses the radical form of Islam known as Wahhabism.