'Most famous' imam visiting Banbury tonight

THE Muslim equivalent of The Pope is to give a speech in Banbury tonight.

Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais is the imam of the Grand Mosque in the Islam holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia and leads more than two million followers in prayer during the annual pilgrimage there.

He will visit Banbury Town Hall this evening from 7pm to give a speech alongside Tony Baldry MP and other community figures, but he is not unfamiliar with controversy.

He has previously been called an antisemite for publicly praying to God to 'terminate' Jews and as a result has been barred from conferences in America and been refused entry to Canada.

The sheikh will speak in Arabic, with his speech being translated into English.

Town councillor Alyas Ahmed has helped arrange the visit and said: "It is for all the community, we want as many people as possible to attend, of all religions and beliefs."