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article imageIsraeli Muslim leader Sheikh Raed Salah granted bail in UK

By Sam Halaby     Jul 15, 2011 in World
The British High Court has ruled to grant bail to Sheikh Raed Salah, the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel’s northern branch.
After an attempt to grant bail last week was denied, Salah will be released from a prison in the United Kingdom on Monday.
The Arab League condemned the British government for the arrest, and demanded his immediate release after the news was received “with considerable shock and surprise”.
The arrest also drew condemnation from other Israeli-Arab Knesset Members, Haneen Zoabi and Ahmed Tibi, who called the move “baffling and undemocratic”.
Knesset Member Taleb el-Sana of Israel’s United Arab List party brought a legal team to the UK to assist with extraditing the Muslim leader back to Israel.
El-Sana told the Jerusalem Post that Salah’s arrest was politically motivated, and that assistance from the Foreign Ministry would have been different if he was Jewish.
The leader was arrested in a London hotel in late June while on a speaking tour after allegedly entering the country illegally. According to reports, Salah entered the UK legally at Heathrow airport in London using an Israeli passport, and the Islamic Movement in Israel claimed at the time of his arrest that they had “no knowledge” of any travel ban imposed on him.
The UK’s Interior Ministry has neither confirmed the details nor the nature of the travel ban order on Salah, who was even scheduled to speak at the House of Commons the day following his arrest.
When asked during a parliamentary question period, the UK’s Home Secretary Theresa May answered that the reason for Salah's arrest was due reasons as “unreasonable behaviour” and “non-conducive to a multicultural society”, according to the Independent.
Salah has a history of alleged anti-Semitic remarks, which members of his legal team have “categorically denied”, due to what they call questionable interpretations made in Arabic to Israeli newspapers.
In 2008, Salah was charged in Israel with inciting violence and racism during a 2007 speech in which he allegedly invoked blood libel, accusing Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread. He also served five months in prison in 2010 for assaulting a police officer and leading violent demonstrations in Jerusalem’s Old City.
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