Los Angeles Times

Entry ban on Farrakhan to be contested

The Nation of Islam announced a fresh legal challenge Thursday to Britain's 15-year entry ban on its leader, Louis Farrakhan.

A judicial review of the ban--imposed in 1986 for political views that Prime Minister Tony Blair's office once described as "clearly offensive"--will begin at London's High Court on July 12, the group told reporters.

The Nation of Islam will fight the ban using freedom of speech legislation contained in Britain's new Human Rights Act.

"This is not about whether you agree or disagree with Minister Farrakhan, it is about the right to speak and our fundamental right to hear for ourselves and make up our own minds," said Hilary Muhammed, the group's representative in Britain.

Home Secretary Jack Straw maintained the ban in 1998 after Nation of Islam members disrupted an inquiry into the racially motivated killing in London of Stephen Lawrence, a Black teenager.

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