14 October 2009

Geert Wilders allowed into the UK

Geert Wilders says he is a libertarian. He is a Dutch MP. He hates Islam with a passion and was banned from entering the UK earlier this year. He was banned because Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said ... wait for it... "his opinions threatened community security and therefore public security".

Land of the free? No. Except the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal have overturned the ban. It has disappointed the neo-fascists at the Home Office who "oppose extremism in all of its forms", and have done such a stunning job at stopping it.

Even the Quilliam Foundation, which finds his views offensive, did not want him banned, but wanted his views on Islam debated. The British Government couldn't allow that. You can publicly criticise Christianity, you can be a Muslim preaching anti-Western sentiments, but you can't be a European citizen hating Islam (not Muslims he explicitly says).

You can hate Christianity, capitalism, fascism, environmentalism and communism in the UK, but not Islam.

So that is why Geert Wilders has been branded "far right" although many of his policies are quite libertarian, with much lower tax, smaller government, much smaller role for the EU, although he also seeks to ban non-European immigration, founding new mosques and Islamic schools and some populist statements about public services.

The point is that he expresses an opinion about a religion, which should be protected free speech in the UK. I hate Islam, I have no time for religion preaching submission, and I have yet to see anything in it to like. I also have no time for any other religion, but should I be banned from expressing that view?

What's most galling is the House of Lords got to see Wilders's controversial film criticising Islam which is here. His visit to the UK might inflame and upset some people, but so what? As long as he does not do violence and does not incite violence, then he is not to blame. If others seek to do violence to him or his supporters, the law should punish them.

The UK should be a country where people accept the right of free people to have freedom of speech, religion (or no religion) and political belief. That means tolerating the spectrum of opinion and philosophies. Those who don't like it may also express that view, but if they wish to impose their views on others, they should simply leave.

There are plenty of countries in the world that tolerate only an official line on religion and politics. Europe was once overrun with such governments. Today it should proudly assert that it rejects this, and anyone who lives in Europe or enters Europe who seeks to use force or democracy to destroy free, secular, liberal democratic government, should simply be asked to go.

1 comment:

edwin sanchez said...

It is not Israel has done nothing to bring peace. They have had peace with Egypt and Jordan for years now.