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Geert Wilders Barred from Entering Britain

The Dutch lawmaker is banned from entering the country to show his controversial film Fitna.

by
Andrew Ian Dodge

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February 10, 2009 - 4:12 pm
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Whether or not you have heard of Fitna or the man who made it, Geert Wilders, you will probably be shocked about the latest developments in efforts to muzzle the man and his film.

The Dutch filmmaker faces constant death threats in his native land for daring to examine the contents of the Koran and point out that it’s not always the caring document it is made out to be. His film has been banned and wildly condemned by Muslims all over the world for its portrayal of the words in the Koran.

Much like the murders of Pim Fortuin and Theo van Gogh, Wilders’ case has been a cause célèbre for those who wish to preserve freedom of speech for all. Wilders is on the very front line in the battle for free expression all over Europe.

In his home country he is being prosecuted (many say persecuted) by the authorities for expressing his views on Islam and its rise in Europe.

In Britain he was asked to speak by a member of the House of Lords, Lord Pearson, only to have Lord Ahmed threaten the body with civil unrest if Wilders did indeed speak. As part of this speaking engagement, there was also going to be a viewing of an English version of Fitna. Melanie Phillips reports what happened next:

But various representatives of the British Muslim community protested; and Lord Ahmed issued a threat that he would personally mobilize 10,000 Muslims to prevent Wilders from entering the Upper House and would take the peer organizing the event to court. In the face of such threats, the meeting was canceled.

Wilders has been banned from Britain and threatened with arrest if he tries to come into the country. So much for free travel thanks to EU membership, right? MEP (Member of the European Parliament) Dan Hannan had this to say on the matter:

But what I think of him is neither here nor there. Freedom means the freedom to express any opinion, however eccentric, however offensive. The Dutch foreign minister, a political opponent of Mr. Wilders, has complained to David Miliband. Good for him. Whether our government is actuated by cowardice or authoritarianism, it’s equally ugly. We are a meaner country than we were this morning.

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