It just keeps coming, man. Oy.
The International Free Press Society – An Open Letter to the Government of the UK:
On Tuesday, February 10, 2009, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, leader of the Partij voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom), received a letter written on behalf of British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith. It informed Mr. Wilders that on traveling to the UK at the invitation of UK Independence Party peer Lord Pearson to screen the film Fitna and hold a Q&A in the Parliament on Thursday, February 12, 2009, Mr. Wilders should expect to be barred from entry into the UK for the following stated reason:
“The Secretary of State is of the view that your presence in the UK would pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society. The Secretary of State is satisfied that your statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the UK.”
With this edict, the government of the UK has broken faith with its own glorious tradition of enshrining freedom of speech, and embarked on an authoritarian course of setting the boundaries of political debate. With this action, the government of the UK has also broken faith with its neighbors in the European Union by taking the unprecedented measure of barring entry to a democratically elected representative, and, in Mr. Wilders’ case, party leader from another EU member state. In so doing, the government of the UK has additionally given lie to the organizing EU principle of “open borders” among member states, demonstrating a capricious will to close its borders against ideas of which it disapproves.
The British Home Office has further stated that in barring Geert Wilders from the UK it is stopping “extremism, hatred and violent messages” from coming to its country. The British Home Office is wrong. These things are already there. With this crude rebuff of Mr. Wilders, the Netherlands, and freedom of speech, the British government has all but ensured that such extremism, hatred and violent messages will continue to flourish in British soil, taking root and taking over.
And there is something else. Ideas know no boundaries, at least in what we continue to think of as the Free World. Fitna, Wilders’ writings, news of his political progress in the Dutch parliament: All remain available inside the UK via the Internet and other media. This means that the Home Office’s stated reasons for barring Wilders–to prevent the spread of what it calls “extremism” into UK communities of presumed “harmony”–is not at all what this action is about. In declaring Wilders the man persona non grata, the British government has declared his ideas and his political program to be anathema. In another alarming sign of authoritarianism, the British government has also canceled by fiat the House of Lords’ right to hear these ideas and political program. It is impossible to gauge the chilling effect that this deplorable decision will have on free speech and debate in England but it is no exaggeration to say that it will be colossal. If this decision to bar from the UK an elected representative from the Netherlands is not rescinded, it will stand in history as a shameful marker of the UK’s descent into what tragically augurs an anti-liberal, anti-Western and authoritarian spiral.
Therefore, the International Free Press Society calls on the British government to rescind immediately the Home Secretary’s decision to bar Geert Wilders of the Netherlands entry into the UK.
Lars Hedegaard, President
Diana West, Vice President
Paul Belien, Vice President
Christine Brim, Secretary
Bjorn Larsen, Treasurer
Ned May, Outreach Coordinator
Mark Steyn in NRO’s The Corner: Droning Cliches in a Burning Theater – and The Sun Sets
World Challenges in the XXIst Century – Indian Editor and Publisher Arrested for Criticism of Islam – and Geert Wilders not allowed into the UK (UPDATED)
Spanish Pundit – Última hora: se impide a Wilders entrar en Inglaterra (Act.)
Vlad Tepes – Video of Geert Wilders after his arrest in London today –
Sky News item on Geert Wilders ban:
Pickled Politics – Geert Wilder’s freedom of speech hypocrisy
Always on Watch: Semper Vigilans – Geert Wilders Arrested At Heathrow Airport
Chris Whiteside’s Blog – Voltaire and Geert Wilders
Power Line – The United Kingdom turns its back on freedom of speech and freedom of travel
Metamagician and the Hellfire Club – Geert Wilders refused entry to UK:
From the little I know of Wilders, I don’t think I’d like him. He strikes me as an arrogant bigot. He despises Islam, and likely despises Muslims (which is not the same thing, of course). If he had the power, he would very likely adopt extreme policies in the Netherlands.
But should he be prevented from entering a country such as the UK, or Australia if he ever wanted to come here, for the purpose of presenting his views? Should he be prosecuted for religious vilification or something similar as is currently happening to him in the Netherlands?
We need to look closely at the facts, more closely than I am going to attempt here, but I think that public authorities bear a very heavy burden of proof before they interfere with the liberties of individuals on the ground of things that the individuals have said. I realise that entry into a foreign country can be considered a privilege, rather than a right, but that is simplistic. Generally speaking, we all have the legitimate expectation that we will be allowed to travel to other countries for peaceful purposes such as putting our views on a range of issues, and provided we have complied with such formalities as having a valid passport.
The Guardian – Maverick who loves the limelight
Fox News – Unwelcome Mat
Hit and Run – Walesa Banned, Wilders Detained
The Sun – Geert lost
Teletext National News – Dutch MP slams ‘coward’ Brown
The Brussels Journal – The British Authorities Surrendering to Extremism:
A letter signed Irving N. Jones, on behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department, declares that the Dutch politician’s “[…] presence in the UK would pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society.” It is of course what Jones calls Wilders’ “statements about Muslims and their beliefs” in Fitna and elsewhere that has the authorities so afraid that they have barred Wilders from entering the country.
As we are no doubt aware, Wilders does not attack Muslims, but rightly attacks the ideology of jihad, that is on the rise around the world, and that fuels terrorism, so-called “honor killing” and “honor violence,” ritual beheading, and other acts of barbarity. And it is clear from Jones’ letter that the government also fears Muslims will act out in such a way as to “threaten community harmony and therefore public security” (i.e., violently), because Wilders has criticized, and, yes, condemned, some “beliefs.”
But imagine if Churchill, and all those who opposed Nazism in the 1930s, had been silenced due to threats of violence from Britain’s black shirts, and authorities that conspired against those who spoke for freedom, claiming that they were against “Germans.” Fascism, we should have no doubt, would have prevailed.
Then consider this: a few days ago, The Telegraph revealed that nearly half of all CIA operations – aimed at protecting the US from another 9/11 – are now conducted inside Britain. The CIA has informed president Obama that the most likely source of a terrorist attack on the US is “British-born Pakistani extremist[s]” traveling to the US from the UK.
So you see why the Home department is afraid that the mere presence of Wilders “pose[s] a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat” to Britain’s “public security.”
Digital Journal – Dutch MP Wilders back home after refused entry to UK
The Telegraph – Dutch anti-Muslim politician turned away from Britain at Heathrow – and Whatever happened to free speech?
ABC News – Dutch anti-Islam filmmaker sent home
Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Wilders back in the Netherlands :
Geert Wilders, the leader of the populist Freedom Party, has returned to the Netherlands after being refused entry by the British authorities. He had travelled to London despite being informed he would be would not be allowed to enter the UK.
DutchNews.nl – Wilders diplomatic row rumbles on
Bloomberg.com – Dutch Lawmaker Who Linked Koran to Violence Denied U.K. Entry
Nick Greene – British Eye on America 4
Iain Martin – Banning Dutch film-maker Geert Wilders gives him what he wants – attention
Sky News – Banned Dutch MP Thrown Out Of UK
MUSLIM MP Keith Vaz has not seen FITNA:
The Times Online – Banned Dutch MP Geert Wilders hits out at ‘cowards’ after being sent back
The Associated Press – Britain bars entry by anti-Islamic Dutch lawmaker
The Scotsman News – ‘Anti-Islamic’ film is shown in Lords after Dutch MP deported – and Islamic arrogance
The Independent – Leading article: A ban that only helps the extremists – on both sides – and A red carpet premiere missing its star [ by Ben Russell ]:
As film premieres go it was hardly the Odeon Leicester Square. Lord Pearson of Rannoch had a red carpet for his screening of the anti-Islamic film Fitna yesterday but then again, crimson is the standard colour for all the flooring in the House of Lords.
What the UK Independence Party lacked for its 4pm debate was a star, after the far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders was turned back at Heathrow.
Two doorkeepers, resplendent in tailcoats and brass heraldic badges, were stationed outside the door to Committee Room 4 in their Lordships’ house for the event deemed so controversial that Mr Wilders was banned from entry to Britain by the Home Office. Black Rod, the most senior of the “men in tights” in the Lords, even made an appearance in the corridor.
It was preceded by a decade-old Dispatches documentary chronicling the radical Islamic activities of preachers such as Abu Hamza, who proposed a flying net laced with explosives to bring down aircraft.
A small ripple of applause broke out from the front row of red leather chairs after the end of Mr Wilders’ film. A small panel discussed the images before the whole event was repeated at a press conference outside the Palace.
Fitna juxtaposes verses from the Koran with gruesome images of the 9/11 attacks on the twin towers, blood spattered corpses after the Madrid train bombings and the severed head of a victim of hooded kidnappers. To a brooding classical soundtrack, the film shows a graph of the increasing numbers of Muslims in the Netherlands and shows bloodied children and veiled women under the title “Netherlands of the Future?”
Baroness Cox, the peer who hosted the event, said she was “ashamed” Mr Wilders had been barred from Britain.
In the Lords Chamber, Lord West of Spithead, the Home Office minister, faced a stream of questions about the decision of his boss, the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, to bar Mr Wilders. Lord Pearson accused the Government of “appeasement,” challenging the minister: “Do you think this situation would occur if Mr Wilders had said ban the Bible? If it would not have occurred, why would it not have occurred?”
Lord West, the former First Sea Lord, said: “I certainly don’t think we are guilty of appeasement in any way whatsoever.”
Ceri Radford – Geert Wilders, martyr
Christopher Hope – Why is Jacqui Smith making a martyr out of Geert Wilders and the film no one wants to see?
The Independent – Ed Husain: Geert Wilders should not have been banned – and Chris Huhne: Geert Wilders should have been banned
The Independent – How the flying Dutchman was stopped in his tracks:
Three days ago, few people in Britain, other than those of the far right, knew of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders.
Yesterday though, in an own goal by the British Government, the anti-Islamist was handed a stunning PR opportunity when he was turned away from Britain.
Apart from two empty rows at the front – reserved for Mr Wilders and his two giant, shaven-headed bodyguards – there wasn’t a spare seat on flight BD104 from Amsterdam to London.
Mr Wilders, 45, had been due to show his film Fitna, which equates Islam with fascism, in the House of Lords last night. He never arrived – but did garner much helpful publicity. At the front of the plane, Mr Wilders held court. “I am no champion of anything,” he said. “I’m just trying to exercise my right to free speech.
“My message to the British Government is that I am sad that the ghost of Chamberlain still resides in Britain instead of the ghost of Churchill. I would say to [Britain], even if you don’t like me, even if you don’t like my thoughts, be brave and defend freedom of speech. If you don’t then you are weak and you are cowards.”
When the plane landed at Heathrow at 2pm, the circus continued. Two plainclothes immigration officers walked on to the plane and escorted Mr Wilders off for questioning – pursued by the media pack and bodyguards. “Is this how Great Britain meets a democrat?” the blond populist demanded.
He was sent back to Amsterdam on the next flight at 4.30pm. It is thought to be the first time Britain has refused entry to an elected European politician since the creation of the EU in 1993.
Mr Wilders seemed happy to have used the one-hour flight to rail against the British Government, which he accused of appeasing “Islamofascists” and stifling free speech. He repeated some of the criticisms of Islam that have made him so reviled.
Deutsche Welle – Dutch Anti-Islam Politician Refused Entry into UK – and Dutch politician refused entry to UK
DAWN.com – UK entry ban on producer of film against Islam
The Internationa Herald Tribune – Britain deports Dutch ‘provocateur’
BBC News – UK’s ban of Dutch MP criticised – Who does the UK want to keep out? – and Papers criticise ban on Dutch MP
Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Few attend UK screening of Wilders’ film:
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.
ITV News – ‘Ban Koran’ Dutch MP raps Brown
Andrew McCarthy in the National Review – preserving ‘harmony’ for radicals
Reuters – Geert Wilders – martyr for free speech or public safety threat?
Bruno Waterfield – Geert Wilders, freedom of speech and its enemies
Radio Netherlands Worldwide – Should Geert Wilders be free to enter Britain?
The Times Online – World Agenda: Geert Wilders allowed to escape scrutiny
The Telegraph – Geert Wilders to sue Jacqui Smith over decision to deport controversial film-maker:
The legal action would have the backing of the Dutch Government, in a move which could aggravate the diplomatic row over the ban between London and Amsterdam.
Mr Wilders said he was looking to take legal action against the Home Secretary for “blatant discrimination” in the High Court or International Court in the Hague.
The Dutch Politician and film maker was sent back to Holland on Thursday night after trying to enter Britain to show his anti Muslim film Fitna in the House of Lords.
Mr Wilders had been invited to Westminster by Ukip peer Lord Pearson to show is 17 minute film Fitna, which criticise the Koran as a “facist book”.
Mr Wilders is being encouraged to sue the Government by Maxime Verhagen, the Dutch foreign minister who is still furious with the Home Office’s decision.
He said he would back Wilders in a possible decision to bring a case against the British Government’s “disgraceful decision”.
New Statesman – Lords taking liberties?
Haaretz.com – Dutch lawmaker banned from U.K. to take anti-Koran film on ‘world tour’
Atlas Shrugs – **new video** debate for debate sake, the survival of the nation: The House of Lords – Geert Wilders: the speech he didn’t give – whining Brit cowards cave, and they’ve never even seen Fitna – and Wilders: Gordon Brown is “the biggest coward in Europe”
The Washington Post – Britain Bars Anti-Islamic Lawmaker
02/13/09 House of Lords Debate on Geert Wilders (part 1 of 2):
02/13/09 House of Lords Debate on Geert Wilders (part 2 of 2):
Jihad Watch – Debate in House of Lords on the UK government’s justification for barring Wilders from the country – Geert Wilders’ speech in the House of Lords — if he had not been barred from entering the UK – Wilders banning in Britain illustrates “the depths of capitulation to which the West has sunk in its half-hearted bid for cultural survival” – Wilders detained, barred from entering Britain: “It is a very sad day, not only for me, but for freedom of speech” – “Freedom go to hell”: Condell on the Wilders banning in Britain – and Santorum: “The gathering storm I have been warning of for years has now formed over the West”
Pat Condell: Freedom go to hell:
Citizens and Neighbors – DEFENCE OF THE REALM – FREEDOM OF SPEECH – INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS – and CHURCH AND STATE
Coffee House – Banning Wilders is bad for social cohesion
The Flaming Blog – Radical Islam Taking Over Europe and the West? – Great Speech by Geert Wilders in Copenhagen – and Crusader Tees!
Geert Wilders visits Copenhagen:
Bad News From the Netherlands – Wilders: Gordon Brown Biggest Coward in Europe – and Second Lawyer Threatened Due to Complaints against Wilders
Tundra Tabloids – Breaking: Fitna Shown in the House of Lords – and Wilders Arrested
Vlad Tepes – Mark Steyn on the UK and Geert Wilders – Danish newspaper slams England. Shame day for the UK – Canada’s ‘human rights commissions’ seek more power – and The speech Geert Wilders was intending to give in London
Gates of Vienna – Questions for the Lords – What Geert Wilders Would Have Said – An Open Letter to the Government of the UK – Lord Ahmed on Dutch TV – “Your Prime Minister Brown is Really the Biggest Coward in Europe” – Wilders Fever in Denmark – “Never to be Your Obedient Servant” – UK Sends Wilders Home – Back From Sabbatical – “Day of Shame” – and He’s Leaving on a Jet Plane…or Is He?
The Brussels Journal – The House of Lords Speech: What Wilders Would Have Said If Britain Allowed Free Speech:
Below is the text of the address that Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders was invited to deliver at the House of Lords on Thursday, February 12, 2009. Instead of making this address and showing his film Fitna, he was detained by UK immigration officials on his arrival at London Heathrow airport and sent back to the Netherlands as a risk to “public security.”
Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much.
Thank you for inviting me. Thank you Lord Pearson and Lady Cox for showing Fitna [see it here], and for your gracious invitation. While others look away, you seem to understand the true tradition of your country, and a flag that still stands for freedom.
This is no ordinary place. This is not just one of England’s tourist attractions. This is a sacred place. This is the mother of all Parliaments, and I am deeply humbled to speak before you.
The Houses of Parliament is where Winston Churchill stood firm, and warned – all throughout the 1930’s – for the dangers looming. Most of the time he stood alone.
In 1982 President Reagan came to the House of Commons, where he did a speech very few people liked. Reagan called upon the West to reject communism and defend freedom. He introduced a phrase: ‘evil empire’. Reagan’s speech stands out as a clarion call to preserve our liberties. I quote: If history teaches anything, it teaches self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly.
What Reagan meant is that you cannot run away from history, you cannot escape the dangers of ideologies that are out to destroy you. Denial is no option.
Communism was indeed left on the ash heap of history, just as Reagan predicted in his speech in the House of Commons. He lived to see the Berlin Wall coming down, just as Churchill witnessed the implosion of national-socialism.
Today, I come before you to warn of another great threat. It is called Islam. It poses as a religion, but its goals are very worldly: world domination, holy war, sharia law, the end of the separation of church and state, the end of democracy. It is not a religion, it is a political ideology. It demands your respect, but has no respect for you.
There might be moderate Muslims, but there is no moderate Islam. Islam will never change, because it is built on two rocks that are forever, two fundamental beliefs that will never change, and will never go away. First, there is Quran, Allah’s personal word, uncreated, forever, with orders that need to be fulfilled regardless of place or time. And second, there is al-insal al-kamil, the perfect man, Muhammad the role model, whose deeds are to be imitated by all Muslims. And since Muhammad was a warlord and a conqueror we know what to expect.
Islam means submission, so there cannot be any mistake about it’s goal. That’s a given. The question is whether the British people, with its glorious past, is longing for that submission.
We see Islam taking off in the West at an incredible speed. The United Kingdom has seen a rapid growth of the number of Muslims. Over the last ten years, the Muslim population has grown ten times as fast as the rest of society. This has put an enormous pressure on society. Thanks to British politicians who have forgotten about Winston Churchill, the English now have taken the path of least resistance. They give up. They give in.
Thank you very much for letting me into the country. I received a letter from the Secretary of State for the Home Department, kindly disinviting me. I would threaten community relations, and therefore public security in the UK, the letter stated.
For a moment I feared that I would be refused entrance. But I was confident the British government would never sacrifice free speech because of fear of Islam. Britannia rules the waves, and Islam will never rule Britain, so I was confident the Border Agency would let me through. And after all, you have invited stranger creatures than me. Two years ago the House of Commons welcomed Mahmoud Suliman Ahmed Abu Rideh, linked to Al Qaeda. He was invited to Westminster by Lord Ahmed, who met him at Regent’s Park mosque three weeks before. Mr. Rideh, suspected of being a money man for terror groups, was given a SECURITY sticker for his Parliamentary visit.
Well, if you let in this man, than an elected politician from a fellow EU country surely is welcome here too. By letting me speak today you show that Mr Churchill’s spirit is still very much alive. And you prove that the European Union truly is working; the free movement of persons is still one of the pillars of the European project.
But there is still much work to be done. Britain seems to have become a country ruled by fear. A country where civil servants cancel Christmas celebrations to please Muslims. A country where Sharia Courts are part of the legal system. A country where Islamic organizations asked to stop the commemoration of the Holocaust. A country where a primary school cancels a Christmas nativity play because it interfered with an Islamic festival. A country where a school removes the words Christmas and Easter from their calendar so as not to offend Muslims. A country where a teacher punishes two students for refusing to pray to Allah as part of their religious education class. A country where elected members of a town council are told not to eat during daylight hours in town hall meetings during the Ramadan. A country that excels in its hatred of Israel, still the only democracy in the Middle-East. A country whose capitol is becoming ‘Londonistan.’
I would not qualify myself as a free man. Four and a half years ago I lost my freedom. I am under guard permanently, courtesy to those who prefer violence to debate. But for the leftist fan club of Islam, that is not enough. They started a legal procedure against me. Three weeks ago the Amsterdam Court of Appeals ordered my criminal prosecution for making Fitna and for my views on Islam. I committed what George Orwell called a ‘thought crime.’
You might have seen my name on Fitna’s credit role, but I am not really responsible for that movie. It was made for me. It was actually produced by Muslim extremists, the Quran and Islam itself. If Fitna is considered ‘hate speech,’ then how would the Court qualify the Quran, with all it’s calls for violence, and hatred against women and Jews?
Mr. Churchill himself compared the Quran to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Well, I did exactly the same, and that is what they are prosecuting me for.
I wonder if the UK ever put Mr. Churchill on trail.
The Court’s decision and the letter I received form the Secretary of State for the Home Department are two major victories for all those who detest freedom of speech. They are doing Islam’s dirty work. Sharia by proxy. The differences between Saudi Arabia and Jordan on one hand, and Holland and Britain are blurring. Europe is now on the fast track of becoming Eurabia. That is apparently the price we have to pay for the project of mass immigration, and the multicultural project.
Ladies and gentlemen, the dearest of our many freedoms is under attack. In Europe, freedom of speech is no longer a given. What we once considered a natural component of our existence is now something we again have to fight for. That is what is at stake. Whether or not I end up in jail is not the most pressing issue. The question is: Will free speech be put behind bars?
We have to defend freedom of speech.
For the generation of my parents the word ‘London’ is synonymous with hope and freedom. When my country was occupied by the national-socialists the BBC offered a daily glimpse of hope, in the darkness of Nazi tyranny. Millions of my country men listened to it, illegally. The words ‘This Is London’ were a symbol for a better world coming soon. If only the British and Canadian and American soldiers were here.
What will be transmitted forty years from now? Will it still be ‘This Is London’? Or will it be ‘this is Londonistan’? Will it bring us hope, or will it signal the values of Mecca and Medina? Will Britain offer submission or perseverance? Freedom or slavery?
The choice is ours.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We will never apologize for being free. We will never give in. We will never surrender.
Freedom must prevail, and freedom will prevail.
Thank you very much.
Geert Wilders MP
Chairman, Party for Freedom (PVV)
The Lone Voice – some Geert Wilders photos – and Nazir Ahmed, Baron Ahmed/Baron Vladimir Harkonnen
Covenant Zone – Geert Wilders’ House Of Lords Speech – POLICESTATE BRITAIN – and Geert Wilders denied entry into a country of cowards and fools
Andy McCarthy in NRO’s The Corner – The speech Geert Wilders would have given
Diana West – The Speech: What Wilders Would Have Said in the House of Lords If the UK Allowed Freedom of Speech – and The Eagle Has Landed
Shouting fire in a theatre: