A former U.S. Senator is to arrive today in Bahrain to lecture on 'behind the scene influence of the Zionist lobby on U.S. politics,' at the invitation of a local religious centre, a spokesman told Gulf News yesterday.

David Duke, who represented Louisiana in the U.S. Senate from 1989 to 1991 and ran unsuccessfully for governor the same year, "is a well-known critic of the Zionist lobby in the U.S. and its threat to the U.S. national security," said Mohammed Zuhair, manager of Discover Islam Centre.

The centre, an educational institute serving mostly the non-Muslim community in Bahrain, is sponsoring Duke's four-day visit.

"During his stay, he will deliver two lectures, 'Global Struggle against Zionism' and "Israeli Involvement in September 11 (attacks)'. Both will be open to the public and followed by a question and answer session," Zuhair said.

Duke is a figure with controversial ideas. He is accused of being a white supremacist and anti-Semite since his days in university in the early 1970s when he founded the White Youth Alliance as an anti-black organisation. He went on to join the racist Ku Klux Klan in 1974.

"But he quit this organisation in 1978; now he is a mainstream politician, a member of the Republican Party," Zuhair insisted.

He said Duke was not being invited because of his perceived anti-Jewish stand but because he has recently authored a book that 'exposes the Zionist agenda for world domination."