UK

Supporters Of Pamela Geller And Robert Spencer Ban Petition Theresa May To Overturn Ban

27/06/2013 15:03 BST

More than 2,000 people have signed a petition to overturn the Home Secretary's ban on two "anti-Muslim hate group" leaders who had intended to fly from the States to attend an English Defence League rally.

Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller have been told they will be refused entry to the UK, in a personal intervention from Home Secretary Theresa May, after a concerted campaign from Hope Not Hate and MP Keith Vaz to stop the two addressing an EDL rally in Woolwich.

Spencer and Geller reacted with fury to the ban, directing their anger at Hope Not Hate's director Nick Lowles, whom Spencer called "a fascist jihad enabler who is bringing darkness and untold misery to Britain. It will come to you also."

pamela geller

US anti-Islam activists Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer

"Oh, you can be sure your subjugation and enslavement - which you have enabled - will be lavishly televised."

Lowles told HuffPost UK after the Home Office announcement: "This is victory for common sense and people power.

"26,000 signed a HOPE not hate petition in just four days and this led others to also call for these anti-Muslim haters to be banned."

Both Geller and Spencer called on their supporters to sign a petition to allow them into the UK.

The petition calls the pair "freedom-loving", stating that Geller "has rescued girls from certain death" and Spencer is a "world-renowned authority whose family suffered in the Middle East."

The petition, and many on Twitter who support the pair accuse May of double-standards, pointing out the recent creation of hate preacher Anjem Choudary's new Muslim patrol group, Islamic Emergency Defence.

The IED, which calls on Muslims not to remain "passive" in the wake of rising Islamophobia, is described as "vigilantism.. and seeks to provoke others to serious criminal acts."

Others on social media have pointed to the case of Mohammad Al-Arefe, a highly controversial Saudi cleric currently touring the UK.

The petition ends: "Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are law abiding and have never been involved in any violence or incitement. They are journalists and authors of the highest calibre. It is pure hypocrisy to ban them."

Many on Twitter however, expressed their delight at the move, and praised May's judgment.