First, the updates on the ongoing Freedom of Speech Circus that is swarming around Dutch politician Geert Wilders and his attempts to accept an invitation to speak at the House of Lords in the UK:


Few Attend UK Screening Of Wilder’s Film – Friday, February 13, 2009

The film Fitna was shown in the British upper house of parliament on Thursday despite the British authorities’ refusal to allow its maker, Dutch rightwing populist MP Geert Wilders, into the United Kingdom. Only around 30 people attended the screening, five of them members of the upper house. All 743 members of the upper house were invited, as were the 646 members of the lower house, none of whom attended.

Read the full story.

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Anti-Islam Dutch Lawmaker Sent Back To Netherlands Amid UK Ban

-Thursday, February 12, 2009

An anti-Islam Dutch politician banned from entering Great Britain was sent back to the Netherlands after he traveled to the U.K. anyway.

Upon Geert Wilders’ arrival at Heathrow Airport, he was presented with a letter from Britain’s Home Office saying that his opinions “threatened community security.” The right-wing lawmaker had been invited by a member of Parliament to show his anti-Islam movie “Fitna,” which calls the Koran a “fascist” book and accuses Islam of being a violent religion. On Wednesday, Wilders dared the “weak and cowardly” British government to arrest him when he got there.He criticized the travel ban as an attempt to stifle freedom of speech and traveled to Britain on a point of principle.

Wilders was told by the British Embassy in a letter Tuesday that he could not set foot in the country.

Click here to read the letter from the British Embassy.

Britain’s Home Office would not comment specifically on the ban, but it said it “opposes extremism in all its forms” and would work to “stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country.”

The U.K.’s Lord Malcolm Pearson, who invited Wilders to Britain, told the Daily Mail newspaper that the screening of the film would go ahead Thursday “with or without Mr. Wilders.”

Click here to read more on this story from the Daily Mail.

Click here to watch ‘Fitna.’

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Anti-Islam film's maker blasts UK over ban

Anti-Islam Film’s Maker Blasts UK Over Ban

Controversial Dutch filmmaker Geert Wilders condemned as “crazy and cowardly” Britain’s refusal to let him enter the country Thursday. Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker who produced a much-criticized film about Islam last year, flew to London for a screening of the movie despite being told a day earlier he would not be admitted.

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Now the ‘musing’ . . .

“The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. . . .

. . . the opinion which it is attempted to suppress by authority may possibly be true. Those who desire to suppress it, of course deny its truth; but they are not infallible. They have no authority to decide the question for all mankind, and exclude every other person from the means of judging. To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility. Its condemnation may be allowed to rest on this common argument, not the worse for being common . . .

~John Stuart Mill, On Liberty, 1859

The Hypocrisy of Political-Correctness Run Amok . . .

If an American politician had produced a video showing UK armed forces in Iraq or Afghanistan with texts from the Bible, such as “Thou shall not kill”, or “Love thy Neighbor”, would he/she also be barred from accepting an invitation to the House of Lords?

Extremist Islamic leaders are allowed to have their hate-mongering, anti-American rhetoric broadcast across media outlets in the western world, and yet they are allowed into the United States of America to discuss their beliefs. As a ‘for instance’ – Iran’s Ahmadinejad, a leader who has publicly denied the Holocaust and called for the destruction of the state of Israel – and yet he was given the prestigious forum of the United Nations from which to espouse his beliefs.

Yet any challenge to these extremist views or anything tied to Islamic beliefs is automatically branded as ‘inciting hatred’ , at a time when dialogue on the sociological, political, and psychological impacts of the expansion of Islam is badly needed.

How is that the Iranian President is allowed to assert from the same forum that  “the rights and dignity of the American people are being sacrificed for the selfish desires of those holding power”? Talk about the proverbial ‘pot calling the kettle black’.  Yet any western politician is not allowed to voice the same assertion against leaders in Muslim countries without, again, being accused of being racist or inciting hatred.

At least the United States, unlike the UK’s action against Mr. Wilders,  did not quash Mr. Ahmadinejad’s right to express his beliefs in a free and public forum, and have them opened up to challenges and contrary beliefs and opinions.

If Mr. Wilders is guilty of anything, (and there is nothing in his film that is untrue) it is poking a metaphorical stick into the complacent sides of the same  types of political ‘lemmings’ who ignored Churchill’s warnings of Nazi Germany’s extremism, and the swelling red tide of corrupted Communism. The guilt also extends to the fact that he is publicly stating what many people are privately feeling but too afraid to speak out about lest they be condemned by the extremist elements in Islam as the next Salman Rushdie, or be accused of being racist because of wanting dialogue on encroaching cultural migrations.

And how is Mr. Wilder’s ‘artistic’ expression any different from artistic/political statements juxtaposed in similar fashion in past songs such as Simon & Garfunkel’s “Silent Night” montage, or Tom Clay’s “What The World Needs Now”? You can compare all three, but be warned, the Wilder’s film contains graphic images (many of which were not shown on western media where coverage was often ‘sanitized’).

Global emigration patterns, and transplanted ethnic rivalries have provoked cultural and religious controversies and clashes in many countries, and it’s time political leaders pulled their heads out of the sand (or darker personal places) and lead the way by example to sensible and open dialogue, as President Obama is pledging to do.

The antiquated and often barbaric beliefs and practices of Islam, whether they be, among others, the public stoning of women, the genital mutilation of young girls, and the general subjugation of women’s rights, have no place in the modern world. Those who dare to speak out on, and draw attention to, these crimes against humanity should not be muzzled or threatened. They should be allowed to act as catalysts for broader discourse in public forums. In nations such as Saudi Arabia where the hateful anti-American teachings of some Muslim schools has been well documented, students are, as the quote from John Stuart Mill implies, deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth” because there is no alternate viewpoint or opinion.

And when the original words of the Prophet Muhammad are perverted to try and justify actions such as the 9/11 attacks, then any attempt to silence freedom of speech in a public dialogue on such actions or issues is no less perverse.

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Additional commentaries:


It’s not only within Europe that there’s controversy over censorship of remarks about Islam.  The editor and publisher of one of India’s oldest english language newspapers have been arrested on charges of insulting Muslims. Ravindra Kumar and Anand Sinha of The Statesman, were arrested after republishing an article from a British paper titled “Why should I respect oppressive religions?”. Manar Joshi of The Mail newspaper in Delhi told Newsline’s Hermione Gee that the government is setting a dangerous precedent with these arrests.

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