A UK parliamentary debate has been scheduled for January 18, to discuss a petition calling for US Presidential Candidate Donald Trump to be banned from the country.
The petition, signed by more than 560,000 people, was created nearly a month ago in response to Trump’s perceived hate speech towards the Muslim community, which has received widespread condemnation.
Most notably, Trump advocated at a rally in South Carolina, for a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslim arrivals in the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.”
Trump went on to state: “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.”
Suzanne Kelly from Aberdeen, UK, is the woman behind the successful petition, but admits that even she was shocked by it’s popularity. “This man is no longer a joke in the corner, but someone who is aiming to become leader of one of the most powerful nations in the world,” she told the Guardian last month. “This petition also gives all those people who agree with me a platform to say we also disagree with hate speech.”
Washington Post reports that Britons have been offended by many of Trump’s comments, especially his idea that London Police are afraid for their lives in many “radicalised” areas of the city.
London Mayor Boris Johnson memorably retorted: “The only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump,” and although he does not support Trump’s exclusion from the UK, British Prime Minister David Cameron has similarly condemned his suggestions as “divisive, stupid and wrong.”
A secondary petition has also been created, which opposes the barring of the billionaire from Britain on the simple grounds of “let’s mind our own business”. Although this petition garnered less than 40,000 signatures – below the 100,000 minimum to warrant a debate – it will also be discussed in the parliamentary session, reports the Guardian.
The scheduled debate can be viewed online on January 18.