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Far-right Polish ex-priest barred from entering UK

Wednesday March 1 2017

The Guardian and The Times of Israel report the detaining of Jacek Miedlar, 28, a controversial far-right former priest from Poland. 

He was held by British border security at 8.40am in Stansted Airport on the 25th February 2017, hours before he was due to address an anti-Islam rally in Telford, Shropshire. Miedlar was subsequently barred entry by the UK Border Agency. 

The former Catholic priest, an icon for far-right extremists in Poland, was travelling to Telford, to address a rally organised by Britain First. The small town was chosen to host the march following a Daily Mail report which described Telford as “the new Rotherham”, referring to child sexual exploitation by “Muslim grooming gangs”.

Promoting the march, deputy leader of Britain First, Jayda Fransen tweeted last week: “Come and stand with us against Muslim grooming gangs!”

Miedlar’s blend of religious zeal and xenophobic nationalism has a sizeable following in Poland and a small audience among younger Poles in Britain. His speeches target the political left, Islam, Jews and immigration.

The protest has been broadly condemned by the town’s residents, including Conservative MP, Lucy Allan, who accused Miedlar of using the experiences of child abuse victims to gain political leverage.

Miedlar has been described by Rafal Pankowski, a Professor at Warsaw’s Collegium Civitas as “a radical nationalist on every front: anti-gay, anti-Muslim and anti-Semitic”, and was invited by Britain’s First as part of their campaign to build relationships with foreign nationalists in preparation for a “civil war” with Islam. 

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