U.K. Ban On Dutch Politician Undermines Freedom Of Speech

   It’s hard to know which is the most objectionable. Is it the British government’s craven cowardice in banning Dutch MP Geert Wilders from entering this cradle of democracy for fear he may offend? Or is it the British government’s gross, head-bangingly crass stupidity in banning a minor politician who would have made a speech in a backroom in the House of Lords which nobody would have heard, and returned to Holland.

Now the whole country will hear about Wilders.

*see YouTube’s version of his interview on BBC’s HardTalk programme – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6cFKQNBH3s

Can it really be true that a British government is afraid of what a freely-elected European MP might say, and stop him speaking, because they think some minorities might be offended? Offended! This is a mature, free-speech loving democracy is it not?

But Wilders has some things to say about extremist Islamists, so we must be protected. The government must put its nannying fingers in our ears.

What is the British government afraid of? On what grounds can it ban the freely expressed view of a European? Is he inciting violence? No. He is telling a few home truths about the Koran, and how some extremist Muslims use it to justify terrorism and suicide bombing. That doesn’t sound very controversial to me. After all, it happened on the London Tube, and the World Trade Centre. Will some extremist seek to shut his mouth by saying this will cause a violent reaction?

Certainly.

But this is the logic of the madhouse. It means that anyone can silence another citizen’s view by saying they will react violently to it. Surely, this is the crime that should be banned, not the expression of a view, short of suggesting violence be committed on another person.

If this ban stands it will set a horrendous precedent, and perhaps fatally undermine this most important of our hard-fought freedoms. If any Muslims are “offended” by what Wilders might say, they should be told that is what happens in a liberal democracy. They are free to argue back.

The BBC reported that the Home Office had banned Wilders from entering the U.K. under E.U laws enabling member states to exclude someone whose presence could threaten public security. In other words, someone can be banned, not for what he does or says, but because others might react in an unlawful, violent way.

That is an outrage in a free country.

Let’s face it, nobody ever died from being offended. But arguments must be free. All issues deserve to be aired. Those people that really do feel offended by an opinion which falls well short of threatening physical violence really ought to return to their medieval societies where this kind of mature discussion is only allowed by unelected, totalitarian elites.

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