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Thursday, July 2, 1998 Published at 00:24 GMT 01:24 UK


Farrakhan ban stays

Farrakhan has said Hitler was a "very great man"

Home Secretary Jack Straw has said he will maintain the ban on Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan entering Britain from the United States.

The decision follows "recent events at the Stephen Lawrence inquiry", the Home Office said in a statement.

Members of the group were involved in scuffles at the inquiry into the police investigation of the black teenager's murder.

The inquiry was temporarily suspended after members of the Nation of Islam forced their way into the inquiry in south London on Monday.

Members of the black supremacist group confronted policemen, shouting: "You are stopping the public from coming into the inquiry. You are disrespecting black people."

Separate nation state

Jamie Acourt, one of the five suspects who was being questioned on the stand at the time was rushed out of the chamber by police.

The Nation of Islam's doctrine includes claims for a separate nation state for black Americans, reasoning that history shows they "cannot get along" with white neighbours; intermarriage between races is prohibited.

In a 1984 radio interview, Louis Farrakhan responded to accusations that he was a new "black Hitler" by saying that he saw Hitler as a "very great man."

Mr Farrakhan was first blocked from the UK in 1986 by the then Home Secretary, Douglas Hurd.

In 1988, fears over his ability to invoke anger among opponents, particularly the Jewish community, led to the current ban being imposed on entry to the UK.

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