CAIRO – Rejecting hateful messages of Republican US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, the British parliament will debate a petition demanding the billionaire businessman be barred from the country over his anti-Muslim rhetoric.
“By scheduling a debate on these petitions, the committee is not expressing a view on whether or not the government should exclude Donald Trump from the UK,” House of Commons petitions committee chairwoman, Helen Jones, told the Guardian on Wednesday, January 6.
“As with any decision to schedule a petition for debate, it simply means that the committee has decided that the subject should be debated. A debate will allow a range of views to be expressed.”
According to the petitions’ committee, a hearing on a petition signed by more than half a million people against Trump will be held in Westminster Hall on January 18.
Launched last month after Trump called to ban Muslims from entering the US, the petition was signed by more than 560,000 people so far.
“If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behavior’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful,” the petition says, Anadolu Agency reported.
On the other hand, a separate petition opposing banning trump from the UK has gained only 40,000 signatures so far, falling short to reach the 100,000 required to trigger a debate.
Last month, the billionaire businessman called for urging a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on”, triggering an international backlash.
Defending his offensive remarks, Trump claimed there were “places in London and other places that are so radicalized that police are afraid for their own lives”.
Britain is home to a sizable Muslim minority of nearly 2.8 million, according to last census published in 2011.
Nearly half of British Muslims are born in UK.
While more than 2.6 million Muslims live in England, about 76,737 of them live in Scotland.