UK Double Standard on Free Speech

By • on February 13, 2009

web.0203islam6 The recent detention at London’s Heathrow airport of Dutch politician Geert Wilders points to an apparent double standard when it comes to the subject of free speech. Wilders, whose documentary “Fitna” portrays Islam as being a violent religion, was denied entry into the UK by the Secretary of State for the Home Department. In a letter from the UK Border Agency the Secretary of State stated that Wilders presence in the UK would (due to his statements about Muslims and their beliefs):

Pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society.

Wilders was invited to show his documentary in the UK by a member of the British Parliament. Wilder is a member of the Freedom Party which holds nine of the 120 seats in the Dutch Parliament. His documentary and statement that Islam is a violent religion has stirred much controversy around the world. Britain’s Home Office said that it “opposes extremism in all its forms” and would work to “stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming into our country.”

Wilder’s response to the ban on his traveling to the UK is:

Threat to society? I’m an elected member of Parliament; I have done nothing wrong. I’m a normal, law-abiding democrat. You might agree or disagree with my political point of view, but I’m no threat to anyone.

Wilder defends his documentary by saying that the only hate speech in the movie comes from the preachers and texts it is documenting. Brooke Goldstein, a human rights attorney with the Legal Project said in Wilder’s defense:

I think it is ironic the majority of the film is composed of quotes from the Koran and scenes of radical imams preaching death to the Jews and death to infidels.

I find it ironic that while the British Home Office opposes extremism in all its forms and vows to stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages, apparently that opposition applies only non-Muslims. Radical Islam has grown in the UK at an alarming rate, infiltrating colleges and universities and society as a whole. Yet little is done to oppose that growth. Street protests are a common sight in the country, with extremists shouting death to Israel, death to the US and death to the infidels, all the while being protected by British bobbies. Apparently that speech is OK as long as it is coming from Muslims. But let a non-Muslim point out that type of behavior and suddenly the British Home Office swings into action.

I am opposed to all hate speech and it should not be allowed to go unpunished. But there is a difference between expressing your opinion that Islam is a violent religion and saying “butcher all those who mock Islam”. Saying “butcher all those who mock Islam” is not an opinion but a statement of hate and violence . If you are going to crack down on a Dutch politician for his documentary and his views on Islam, then you better crack down on the hate speech that is being uttered on the streets in your own cities. You also had better crack down of the ideas and beliefs of hatred and intolerance that are being spread among the youth of your colleges and universities. Until you do that, your condemnation of Wilder comes across as nothing more than a dangerous and unfair double standard.

Comments

By shenglong on February 1st, 2010 at 7:04 am

terrorists preach their extreme views and they get put in jail or kicked out of the country

wilders views are extreme towards muslims why isnt he put in jail or deported from everywhere he visits ?

how is wilders promoting freedom when he is denying muslims their freedom ?

how are the quotes he uses any different to another faiths/countries in times of war only ? does the dutch army hand out flowers and chocolates when it goes to war ?

“I find it ironic that while the British Home Office opposes extremism in all its forms and vows to stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages, apparently that opposition applies only non-Muslim”

then why are muslims constantly put in jail or kicked out of the UK ? need i list all the muslims who have been imprisoned/deported for using their right to “freedom of speech” with the list(!) of non muslims who have faced the same ? isnt it obvious who gets the worst treatment ?

honestly what kind of reaction did wilders expect from making this video ? he very well knew what would happen (learn from theo van gogh) and he incited hatred and discrimination ON PURPOSE.

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By shenglong on February 1st, 2010 at 7:18 am

wilders followed in the footsteps of theo van gogh so he didnt learn, but muslims have gone to the law and have learnt the correct way to go about things, which is why he is on trial now :)

im also glad the uk govt saw how wilders extremism was the same as any terrorists views and kicked him out rightfully and that even non muslims who see that video realise how much hate and discrimination it is spreading with its convenient editing and out of context quotes from the quran.

whatever ur views i think the majority of us can agree that neither wilders or his video are helping solve problems or bringing about peace

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