The leader of the UK opposition, Jeremy Corbyn, says he wants to invite US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump to a mosque in London. The property tycoon was roundly criticized after saying Muslims immigrants should be banned temporarily from the US.
Corbyn made the comments a day before the British parliament will debate whether Trump should be banned from entering the UK. However Chancellor George Osborne said in December that Trump would not be prohibited from entering Britain, despite a petition demanding his exclusion reaching more than half a million signatures.
There will also not be a vote following the discussion.
“I decided to invite Donald Trump on his visit to Britain to come with me to my constituency because he has problems with Mexicans and he has problems with Muslims,” Corbyn told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show, hoping to gain some support from the Muslim community in the UK.
“As you know my wife is Mexican and my constituency is very, very multicultural, so what I was going to do was go down to the mosque with him and let him talk to people there,” he said, referring to his Islington North constituency, where a majority of voters are Muslim. It’s not very, very multicultural, it’s Islamic.
Trump’s remarks on December 7 were made in the wake of a mass shooting at a Californian care home, carried out by two Muslims who the FBI say had been radicalized.
Trump advocated a total shutdown of Muslims entering the US “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
“Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump said.
The Republican presidential candidate said he would cancel a £700 million ($997 million) investment deal in Scotland if he were barred from entering the UK.
“Any action to restrict travel would force the Trump Organization to immediately end these and all future investments we are currently contemplating in the United Kingdom,” the company said in a statement. “Westminster would create a dangerous precedent and send a terrible message to the world that the United Kingdom opposes free speech and has no interest in attracting inward investment.”
This is not the first time that Corbyn has offered to take Trump to a London mosque if he is in the UK capital. In December, the Labour Party leader told the Huffington Post that the property tycoon should not be banned from entering the UK.
“If Donald Trump wants to come to Britain, absolutely fine – he can come and join me in Finsbury Park mosque.”
“And then he can come to the synagogue afterwards. We can have a chat there. We’d go around.”
“We manage to have a coherent, multi-faith, multicultural society in London, in Birmingham, in Leicester, all parts of this country. He’s welcome to come and see. He might learn something,” Corbyn said. And it is possible that Corbyn even believed every word he said.