The Associated Press reports that Dr. Zaki Badawi, a prominent moderate Islamic cleric in Britain, was refused entry to the USA on Wednesday, on the basis of some terrorist watch list database or other.
"On Sunday, Badawi joined other British religious leaders in condemning the bus and subway bombings. He appeared with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, Cardinal Cormac Murphy O'Connor, Free Churches Moderator David Coffey and Chief Rabbi Sir Jonathan Sacks."
"Badawi was given an honorary knighthood and in 2003 he was among the guests of Queen Elizabeth II at a state banquet for U.S. President George W. Bush."
What a propaganda coup for extremist Islamic agitators !
How can anyone have confidence in a so called border control system if it throws up false positives like Dr Badawi or Yusuf Islam / Cat Stevens or Senatator Edward Kennedy ? How many false negatives are there where real terrorist suspects are not detected by the anglicised misspelled foreign name based watchlist databases ?
Why is the reaction of the US authorities to a suspected terrorist actually arriving on US soil, to simply allow them to get on a flight away from the USA ? If these people are a real security risk, then they should be allowed into the country but placed under intensive surveillance to see who they are contacting.
Will the British Government demand a public apology, or will they ignore the incident and press on with their own bureaucratic "e-borders" system ?
Any United Kingdom "e-borders" system must have a mechanism for innocent travellers to challenge and to have corrected any libellous false accusations levelled against them.