Switzerland denies Saudi sheikh entry for 5 years

Updated 26 May 2013

Switzerland denies Saudi sheikh entry for 5 years

Saudi Sheikh Mohammad Al-Arifi has been banned again from entering Switzerland and all European Union countries, according to a Swiss official.
Jourg Walban, Swiss Foreign Ministry spokesman, said that Swiss authorities issued a new decision that bans Al-Arifi from entering all EU states for five consecutive years.
Al-Arifi is known for his controversial statements and has a large following on Twitter and YouTube.
The decision denies Al-Arifi entry to 26 European countries included in the Schengen Agreement that allows a visa holder entry to an EU country. The Schengen also allows the visa holder to travel to other EU member countries without restrictions.
Al-Arifi was due to participate in the second annual meeting of the Swiss Islamic Council.
Last December, Switzerland issued the six-month ban.
Al-Arifi had planned to attend an Islamic conference, but had been barred from entering the country following accusations that he made anti-Semitic comments and offered advice on wife beating.
Al-Arifi reportedly has about 2.2 million followers on Twitter.
His statements on Twitter have sparked controversy, including a statement he reportedly made in December in which he accused the Middle East Broadcasting Center’s children’s channel, MBC3, of promoting “atheism and corruption.”
He also once stated that a daughter should not sit alone with her father because she might tempt him into lusting after her.


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