Will Geert Wilders Be Arrested at Heathrow?
From the desk of Thomas Landen on Tue, 2009-02-10 16:57
This morning Lord Malcolm Pearson, a member of the British House of Lords, announced that he has invited Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament, to show the movie Fitna (see it here) in a committee room of the House of Lords next Thursday (12 February). Mr. Wilders has been asked to address a private meeting with members of the British Parliament, explaining to the Peers and MPs why he made Fitna and to engage in an open and frank discussion with them.
This afternoon Mr. Wilders received a letter from the British Embassy in The Hague [see below] saying that he is a “persona non grata” in the United Kingdom. The ambassador told Mr. Wilders that he is a threat to public security and public harmony because of the controversy created by Fitna. Mr. Wilders intends to go to London anyway. “Let them arrest me in Heathrow,” he says.
If Mr. Wilders is denied entry to the United Kingdom, it will be the first time that Britain refuses entry to an elected politician from another member state of the European Union. The Dutch government has protested to the British government over the unprecedented barring of an EU parliamentarian by another EU country.
The meeting of Mr. Wilders and members of the British Parliament had originally been planned for 29 January, but was postponed. Lord Nazir Ahmed, a Muslim member of the House of Lords (Labour), had threatened to mobilize 10,000 Muslims to prevent Mr. Wilders from entering the British Parliament. Lord Ahmed boasted in the Pakistani press that the cancellation of Mr. Wilders’ visit was “a victory for the Muslim community.”
Lord Pearson could not bear the thought that the “mother of all parliaments” might be perceived as giving in to threats. Hence he decided to reinvite Mr. Wilders. Black Rod, the head of security at the House of Lords, has ordered extra security for the event.
The House of Lords event is hosted by Lord Malcolm Pearson of Rannoch, a UKIP Peer with a special interest in the European Union, Islamism and education. It will be chaired by Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury, a crossbench Peer and a human rights campaigner with a strong commitment to humanitarian aid and education; she is the founder of The International Islamic Christian Organisation for Reconciliation and Reconstruction.
In the press release issued this morning, Lord Pearson writes:
Depite threats of demonstration from a British Peer and Muslim community leaders, the meeting will go ahead. Wilders’ film Fitna features verses from the Quran alongside images of the terrorist attacks in the US on 11 September 2001, Madrid in March 2004 and London in July 2005. The film equates Islam’s holy text with violence and ends with a call to Muslims to remove ‘hate preaching’ verses from the Quran. It provoked protests in Muslim-majority countries including Indonesia and Pakistan.
The leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, Wilders has lived under 24 hour police protection since 2004. Following Fitna’s release online in March 2008 al-Qaeda issued a fatwa calling for Wilders’ murder.
Wilders currently faces prosecution in Holland for incitement to hatred and discrimination. The charges are based on his film Fitna and comments in the Dutch press last year in which he argued that as Mein Kampf has been banned in Holland, the Quran should similarly be banned under Dutch incitement laws.
Wilders called the Dutch Court of Appeal’s decision to prosecute an attack on freedom of expression. “Participation in the public debate has become a dangerous activity. If you give your opinion, you risk being prosecuted,” he said.
It seems that in Britain the public debate has already been smothered to the extent that a democratically elected politician from another EU country is not allowed to come to Britain to adress a private meeting with British politicians in the Palace of Westminster.
The British letter to Geert Wilders:
Dear Mr Wilders
The purpose of this letter is to inform you that 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.
You are advised that should you travel to the UK and seek admission an Immigration Officer will take into account the Secretary of State's view. If, in accordance with regulation 21 of the immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, the Immigration Officer is statisfied that your exclusion is justified on grounds of public policy and/or public security, you will be refused admission to the UK under regulation 19. You would have a right of appeal against any refusal of admission, exercisable from outside the UK.
Irving N. Jones
On behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department
"Theatre, theatre!" (2)
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Fri, 2009-02-13 13:05.
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Fri, 2009-02-13 12:55.
Further to KO's post regarding the British government's treatment of Mr Wilders, I would refer you all to Mark Steyn's "Droning cliches in a blazing building" www.steynonline.com and www.theatlantic.com/issues/89jan/dershowitz.htm
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Wed, 2009-02-11 12:56.
When a leftist is right (-ish), he's right (-ish) and there is nothing more left (-ist) to be said on the matter.
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Wed, 2009-02-11 14:12.
It resembles the Fortis Balance sheet. It has a right side and a left side. On the left side nothing is right, and on the right side nothing is left…
Wilders excluded from Britain
Submitted by KO on Fri, 2009-02-13 12:32.
On this despicable act by the British government, see View from the Right at www.amnation.com/vfr.
as a leftist
Submitted by peter vanderheyden on Wed, 2009-02-11 12:36.
As a leftist, I always wonder what goes on in the mind of people that are trying to silence extreme right. They must be living on another planet. Each time it backfires right in their faces, yet they keep on making the same mistakes. If they are genuinely concerned about community harmony, they should start to realize that this censuring thing in this age of mass communication is the biggest threat of them all. Besides, if we want to advance the integration of Muslims in our society, we better make sure they get used to free speech. The best way to do that is confront them. People who can’t live with it, and feel they have to protest in a violent way, should be punished. It’s as simple as that. A genuine leftist says: “Bring him on, we’ll tell him what we think of it. Face to face.”
Yaffle and Atlanticist 'Go Dutch' on the Wilders story
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Wed, 2009-02-11 12:08.
No probs. That 'correction' was in no way intended as a personal swipe at you.
Wilders in the UK media
Submitted by Atlanticist911 on Wed, 2009-02-11 11:45.
Re: Wilders in the UK media
Submitted by Yaffle on Wed, 2009-02-11 11:53.
Oops! I stand corrected. All I can say is, their site searches leave a bit to be desired...
deathly hush from the UK media
Submitted by Yaffle on Wed, 2009-02-11 11:21.
Well done TBJ on reporting this. As yet no mention of this major story at the Times, Telegraph or FT, never mind the Guardian or BBC.
Alterntive lifstyle, alternative government
Submitted by Raymond on Wed, 2009-02-11 05:40.
The first things that come to my mind
1. What is the danger that Wilders poses? Is he going to break windows, destroy someone's car or punch someone in the face? Or who is doing such things? Who is undesirable?
2. Maybe the British government got some basic things just upside down. Is this the thing that they call Postmodernism?
3. Only a fool looks at the finger which points at the moon.
4. Maybe the British government is a danger to public order and is undesirable?
Actually I do not know if this is good or bad thing. Only a fool cannot see how ridiculous this is. On the other hand, there are people who vote for Labour. You cannot explain the simplest thing to them.
Yes, he has.
Submitted by anglicus on Wed, 2009-02-11 03:11.
Home Office sources have confirmed Mr Wilders had been refused entry to the UK saying “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.”
Labour’s move to ban the pro-free speech Dutch MP gives the lie to Labour’s hypocritical claim that it is not possible to prevent EU citizens entering Britain. It seems that Labour cannot prevent Latvian strawberry pickers or Italian construction workers entering Britain and taking British jobs, but Labour can intervene with startling alacrity to turn away a Dutch MP at the border in order to appease Muslim extremist sentiment.
Geert Wilders may not succeed in airing his film at the House of Lords. But he has at least succeeded in nailing yet another Labour lie.
why it was postponed
Submitted by MWW on Tue, 2009-02-10 22:35.
You continue to imply that the original meeting was postponed because of Lord Ahmed's threat. Yet both Lord Pearson and Lady Cox deny this.
In his press release, Lord Pearson says
"The private screening of Wilders’ film Fitna was initially postponed to allow time for clarification on issues concerning freedom of speech."
Lady Cox has clarified this. The original postponement occurred as a result of them finding out that Wilders had previously called for the banning of the Koran, and that therefore
“it seemed then a little inconsistent to proceed by giving a platform to someone who was advocating censorship”.
It was not until after this decision was made that they learned about Lord Ahmed’s threat of disruption. So although the threat may have strengthened their resolve, Lady Cox insists that
"this threat was not the reason for the postponement of that meeting".
Submitted by numerotrentequatre on Tue, 2009-02-10 22:27.
The British Bulldog has now become a neurotic, terrified puppy, rolling over on its back, whining pitifully, and urinating on itself.
Churchill must be spinning in his grave ...