Britain, with its rejection of the Dutch politician Geert Wilders marked another low point in the Western democracies abject genuflection to the forces acting in the name of religion replacing arguments with violence, vandalism and threats.
It is literally taking embarrassing beyond all boundaries.
Geert Wilders is a controversial politician, but it should not by itself incriminate a person in a society where people democratically elect their leaders. On the contrary, sharply worded opinions are a healthy and vibrant democratic prerequisite.
No matter how much opposition or even disgust the politically correct British establishment had to close against Geert Wilders, it can never be a valid justification for this obvious breach of diplomatic rules.
Refusal by a member of another European parliament is such a serious breach of the good international cooperative tone that it should immediately bring clear and unequivocal protests from all other member countries of the EU.
Basically, it is probably not so much political disagreement with Geert Wilders, which has led to this painful decision. Indeed, it directly the reasons that we fear noise in the street if he comes up.
So the British government admits that it prefers to break the good international tone than risk violent reactions from people who argue with violence.
Anti-Islamist politician Geert Wilders refused entry to Britain
The far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders was turned away from Heathrow today after testing the Home Secretary’s ban on him entering the country.
Immigration officials denied the Dutch MP entry to the country after the Government decided he should not be allowed to attend a screening of his controversial anti-Islamist film tonight.
Mr Wilders said: “I am in a detention centre at Heathrow … I am detained. They took my passport. I will not be allowed to enter the country. They will send me back within a few hours.”
On his flight to London, he told The Times that the British Government was “the biggest bunch of cowards in Europe”.
”It is easy to invite people you agree with, it is more difficult to invite people you disagree with and this is the proof of the pudding,” he said.
“I am going to Great Britain because I was invited by another politician (Lord Pearson of Rannoch). I am a democrat, I am serving freedom of speech. They are not only being nasty to me they are being nasty to freedom of speech.
He added: “They (the British government) are more Chamberlain than Churchill.”
At 2.20pm, Mr Wilders was escorted through UK immigration by two plain-clothed officers and into the offices of the UK border agency.
At one stage, during the long walk from the plane to immigration, one of Mr Wilders’ bodyguards asked border agency guards to relax their grip on the MP.
The guards kept a tight hold on both Mr Wilders’s arms as they walked him through the airport followed by a gaggle of journalists and cameramen.
As he approached passport control, Mr Wilders was asked if he was nervous. He replied: “I’m not nervous. I’m just anxious to find out what will happen to me. Is this how Great Britain welcomes a democrat?”
Among those waiting for Mr Wilders in arrivals was Gerard Batten, UKIP MEP for London. “I thought it would be a nice touch to turn up and welcome him here if he gets through,” he said.
Mr Wilders, 45, an MP in the Netherlands, caught a British Midlands flight from Amsterdam this afternoon brandishing his passport and boarding pass. He said he would have to be physically restrained from entering the country. “I’ll see what happens at the border. Let them put me in handcuffs,” he said.
The MP was invited to attend a showing of his 17-minute film, <i>Fitna,</i> at the House of Lords by the UKIP peer Lord Pearson.
The film features verses from the Koran with images of terrorist attacks in New York, London and Madrid and calls on Muslims to remove “hate-preaching” verses from the text. Lord Pearson said that the screening would go ahead with or without Mr Wilders.
The Home Office decision to refuse Mr Wilders entry on account of his views provoked Maxime Verhagen, the Dutch Foreign Affairs Minister, to call David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, to protest at the decision. “The fact that a Dutch parliamentarian is refused entry to another EU country is highly regrettable,” Mr Verhagen said.
In the House of Lords today, the peer who invited Mr Wilders to Britain mounted a staunch defence of the right-wing Dutch politician’s right to show a controversial film about Islam.
Lord Pearson aid he disagreed with some of Mr Wilders’ views but believed he should be allowed to express them.
He asked Home Office minister Lord West of Spithead: “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?”
“Surely the violence and the disturbance that may arise from showing this film in this country is not caused by the film which attempts to show merely how the violent Islamist uses the Koran to perpetrate his terrible acts.
“The violence is coming from the Jihadist, the violent Islamist, and surely the Government in doing what it has done is therefore guilty of appeasement.”
Lord West replied: “I certainly don’t think we are guilty of appeasement in any way whatsoever. I don’t want to go down the route of discussing a hypothetical case of what if he talked about this, what if he talked about that.”
He told peers: “Under European law a member state of the European Economic Area may refuse entry to a national of another EEA state if they constitute a threat to public policy, public security or public health.
Click over to the above link and read it. It’s quite refreshing in many ways.