The Savage Banning of an American Talk Show Host

In previous columns I have mentioned a rally I attended in December 2005 at Canary Wharf in London that was supposed to be a "Global Peace and Unity Conference"; it turned out to be an all-day battle cry for thousands of young Muslim men and women that culminated in an incendiary speech by former cricketer Imran Khan, who had flown in unhindered from Pakistan to City Airport for the rally. The young men involved in the July 7, 2005, London transit system bombings were born in the UK but were influenced by imams who somehow managed to get in with ease, as were the many young men suspected of the recent liquid bomb threats, fertilizer plots, and mass terror attacks. Jacqui Smith's investigative team is of such crack form that Bob Quick, its head, had to resign in April after revealing the top-secret names of operatives to photographers.

Michael Savage may be hated by many in the United States and around the world, but when I appeared on Press TV last month alongside Syrian envoy Jihad Makdissi and he repeatedly called the Jewish settlers in the Holy Land a "cancer on the Middle East," he was not deported. I assume that if Michael Savage had entered the United Kingdom and then said on live television that Muslim settlers in Britain are a "cancer on Europe" he would have been expelled.

As repellent as some may find Savage's pronouncements and views, would his presence here have caused violence? When George Galloway goes into a paroxysm of rage at Zionists telephoning in to his radio show, are Jews then pouring onto the streets of London, Manchester, and Glasgow smashing the city's sights? Lest we forget that as I reported in Pajamas Media last month, angry, violent, pro-Palestinian demonstrators attacked four branches of Starbucks, but was Michael Savage anywhere to be seen? Who stirred their ire? More likely white, British, anti-Israel spokespeople accusing the tiny nation, under attack from Gazan rockets, of genocide and ethnic cleansing. When Respect Party activist Yvonne Ridley rails against "that vile little nation" Israel, that is okay, but if Savage wants to rant over here he is stopped.

This is the nation of Speakers' Corner and of a dynamic press. Notwithstanding the fact that the Guardian's Michael White has declared a "wholesome glee" over the Savage ban, I have to laugh when Jacqui Smith says coming to Britain is a "privilege" and that folks who do not aspire to our values should be excluded. Zowie! What about the thousands of radicals roaming the streets making life a misery for Jewish students across the UK and the death-worshipping extremists preaching in mosques and filling up British jails at taxpayer expense?

This is a sorry day for British democracy. Just as Geert Wilders should have been allowed in to show his film so should Michael Savage be admitted to debate with George Galloway, Peter Tatchell, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, and anyone else who would likely detest his views. Banning him is a cowardly move that is a shameful act by a country that once cherished free expression.

And as I pass the Tesco and Sainsbury supermarket shelves filled with freshly flown-over Mexican produce, I suggest we think about banning those transatlantic berries, not Michael Savage.