Geert Wilders: Gordon Brown is the “biggest coward in Europe”
Geert Wilders was humiliatingly detained by plain clothes border guards on arrival at Heathrow airport. They held his arms as he was escorted past passport control to a secure immigration holding area where he was subject to interrogation. He was then deported.
"Is this how Great Britain treats a democrat?" asked Mr Wilders, as he was unceremoniously led away. He accused the Government of ‘weakness and cowardice’, calling them ‘the biggest bunch of cowards in Europe’, observing that Britain's freedom of speech had been ‘set back centuries’. He exhorted the British: “Be brave. Be a defender of free speech. If you don't you are weak. You are cowards. Your country has already taken a big step in the direction of Islamicisation."
It is noteworthy that Mr Wilders has already shown his film to Denmark's parliament and is due to attend a screening in Italy and the US House of Representatives in the coming weeks.
Will he be admitted to the Land of the Free?
The Home Office refused him entry on the grounds he ‘would threaten community security and therefore public security’. Their statement said: "The Government opposes extremism in all its forms. It will stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country, and that was the driving force behind tighter rules on exclusions for unacceptable behaviour that the Home Secretary announced in October last year."
Unacceptable behaviour? What is Mr Wilder’s unacceptable behaviour? He has beliefs and opinions; he expresses thoughts and ideas. But has not engaged in violence, incitement, or been found guilty of any illegal behaviour.
The Government’s decision is a spectacular own goal. Geert Wilders would have continued in relative obscurity if he had been admitted. The ban has raised the profile of him and his film, resulted in hundreds of thousands more viewings as people’s curiosity is aroused, and is an absolute gift for the extreme-left BNP.
We appear to live under a regime in which those who actually behave illegally may excuse their behaviour by apportioning blame to the one who expressed the opiniojn which provoked them. Mr Wilders criticises Islam; Muslims march, threaten and attack Parliament; Mr Wilders is arrested. Israel attacks Gaza; Muslims march, threaten and attack the police; Israel supporters are ordered to take down their Star of David flags. It is difficult to fathom why the police have not arrested Salman Rushdie for his book 'The Satanic Verses', or Tony Blair for bestowing upon him a knighthood. The former is manifestly critical of Islam, and therefore may be deemed guilty of incitement; and the latter was a provocative recognition which certainly led to protests.
But it is a curious state of affairs that the EU’s ‘free movement of people’ means that the British Government can do nothing to prevent Dutch thieves, fraudsters, murderers, rapists and paedophiles from entering the UK. But they set such legislation aside when it comes to barring a democratically-elected Dutch politician who talks about the sources of terrorism.
Mr Wilders has been accused of hypocrisy and double standards over his demand for freedom of speech alongside his calls for the Qur’an to be banned. The banning of books is indeed something with Cranmer does not agree, but one must understand that Mr Wilders is articulating a view within the context of the Netherlands, which has banned ‘Mein Kampf’. It is his assertion that both books are concerned with totalitarian ideology and that both may incite violence which leads to his call for consistency. One may not agree with an awful lot of what Mr Wilders says, but barring entry to the country, censorship and silencing are no substitute for debate and discussion.
But Muslims are divided on the Government’s handling of this issue.
A spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain said: "Geert Wilders has been an open and relentless preacher of hate - there is little difference between his views and those of the far right. Mr Wilders' xenophobic views have been identified as repugnant by a Dutch court, and is now confirmed by his official exclusion from the United Kingdom."
Mohammed Shafiq, the chief executive of the Muslim youth organisation the Ramadhan Foundation, supported the government's ban: "His hatred of Islam is based on fiction and his presence in the UK may lead to community tensions. Mr Wilders and his fascist views are not welcomed to our country where we pride ourselves as a multi-faith society."
Lord Ahmed said other Muslim peers shared his concerns, and stressed that Mr Wilders' views would certainly present a threat to public order.
But the eminently sensible, manifestly enlightened and utterly reasonable Anjem Chaudary insists that Mr Wilders should not have been barred. The ‘former lieutenant’ to Omar Bakri said: “Rather than banning him, it would be wiser to take part in open and public debate on Islam and whether it offers a better solution than capitalism.”
He appears to have forgotten that he recently avocated death to those who insult Islam. Perhaps he wishes to be incited to attack a few passing Jews?