British clergy stand accused of being duped by asylum seekers after it has emerged that an Afghan refugee who attacked two women and her children in Clapham last week with an alkaline chemical, potentially seriously disfiguring the 31-year-old mother, had entered the UK on the back of a lorry in 2016 and had his asylum claim rejected twice but then was allowed to remain in the UK only after he claimed to have converted to Christianity —despite being convicted of a sex offence in the UK in 2018 and being put on the Sex Offenders register.
However, friends of Abdul Ezedi (35) describe him as a “good Muslim” who buys half a halal sheep every fortnight. Home secretary James Cleverly is now reviewing the case.
Ezedi remains on the run with detectives offering a £20,000 reward for information leading to his arrest; and the mother, who has suffered life-changing injuries, remains in hospital.
In the “Daily Telegraph” Braverman wrote: “Whilst at the Home Office, I became aware of churches around the country facilitating industrial-scale bogus asylum claims. They are well known within the migrant communities and, upon arrival in the UK, migrants are directed to these churches as a one-stop shop to bolster their asylum case. Attend Mass once a week, befriend the vicar, get your baptism date in the diary, and bingo…”
Patel cited the case of Emad Jamil Al Swealmeen, an Iraqi asylum seeker and Christian convert, who detonated a bomb in Liverpool in 2021.
Dame Priti told the Telegraph: “Where Christian conversion is involved it is right that those cases are scrutinised and that there is a degree of honesty in establishments, including the Church of England, as to what their motivations were. Political activism is coming in from these quarters. It is important that the public question their motivations.”
Forty asylum seekers on the Bibby Stockholm barge (an accommodation vessel) are converting to Christianity.
The Church of England told TOI it had no information about Ezedi, adding: “It is the role of the home office, and not the Church, to vet asylum seekers.”
A home office spokesperson said: “Caseworkers are trained to be able to establish the credibility of claims around religious beliefs.”
The Prime Minister’s official spokesperson said that Rishi Sunak “thinks that foreign criminals should not be able to stay in the country and put the public at risk”.