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Thursday, 12 February 2009

Hang your head in shame, Ms Smith

“So let’s get this straight,” muses Melanie Phillips in today’s Daily Mail. “The British government allows people to march through British streets screaming support for Hamas, it allows Hizb ut Tahrir to recruit on campus for the jihad against Britain and the west, it takes no action against a Muslim peer who threatens mass intimidation of Parliament, but it bans from the country a member of parliament of a European democracy who wishes to address the British Parliament on the threat to life and liberty in the west from religious fascism.”

Yup. That’s about it, Mel.

She’s referring, of course (in an article that first appeared online in the Spectator), to the insane ban by an insane Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, on Dutch politician Geert Wilders’s entry into the UK to show his anti-Koran film Fitna to some members of the House of Lords who had invited him to do so.

“It is he, not them [sic], who is considered a ‘serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society’,” she continues. “Why? Because the result of this stand for life and liberty against those who would destroy them might be an attack by violent thugs.”

It will be interesting to see whether he carries out his threat to come to the UK, anyway. (See yesterday's posts on this sorry state of affairs here, here and here.)

Meanwhile, our friends over at MediaWatchWatch tell us that the Quilliam Foundation has issued a statement condemning the ban.

Maajid Nawaz, director of the Foundation (which describes itself as a counterextremist think tank), says, “Banning Geert Wilders from the UK is not the solution. Just as the ideas of nonviolent Islamist groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir should be tackled through debate and argument, so should those of Wilders and others.

“Freedom of speech should be protected – so long as people do not use this freedom to call for violence against others.

“Wilders has evidently been convinced by the words and actions of Islamists and jihadists that Islam is inherently violent and intolerant. We therefore challenge him to an open debate in which we will argue that Islam is not an inherently violent religion and that, contrary to what he apparently believes, Muslims are not a threat to Europe and its values.”

Ed Husain, the co-director of the Foundation, says, “Geert Wilders is undoubtedly an ill-informed, hate-driven bigot with many unpleasant views but he is not directly inciting violence. As a result, unlike in the case of Yusuf al-Qaradawi, I do not support the decision to ban him from the UK. By threatening parliament with a mob, Lord Ahmed [the Muslim peer who objects to free speech] is contributing to the negative portrayal of Muslims and their religion.”

An “ill-informed, hate-driven bigot”? You could almost say that about the New Labour politician – Jacqui Smith – who clearly doesn’t want people to discuss Islamic extremism within the hallowed portals of our legislature. She’s quite happy, as Melanie Phillips says at the top of this post, to allow marches in our streets by Islamic thugs (and one she didn’t mention was after the Jyllands-Posten Motoons row, when Muslims were openly inciting violence with their placards), but not to let a filmmaker show his work to our peers.

The disgraceful behaviour of these politicians is nothing short of disgusting.

In a Mail news story, meanwhile, there’s talk of a diplomatic row over the ban.

So there should be. Let Smith be hounded and vilified and embarrassed until she either resigns with her head hung in shame or resigns with her head hung in shame. Either will do.

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