When he learned that Pamela Geller and I had been banned from entering Great Britain, Roger Kimball wrote in a marvelous PJ Media piece titled “Free Speech Dies in UK” that what Geller and I do is “speak out against the intolerance of Islam,” and for that, we are not welcome in a country where recently a British soldier was “hacked to death by Muslim fanatics.” He summed up the situation in a single phrase: “the irony of the situation is rich.” And since then, it has gotten even richer than that.
Kimball succinctly summed up the Leftist mindset behind the ban:
Disagree with me and I’ll have you named an enemy of the state. Entertain views that conflict with the dominant left-wing narrative and I’ll see to it that you are branded a hate monger and are ostracized (or worse). Say or write something I don’t like and I’ll pretend you did something criminal: I’ll deliberately confuse the expression of opinion and criminal behavior so that the expression of opinion blends seamlessly into criminal behavior….Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer say and write things the timid, politically correct bureaucrats who run Britain don’t and they’re declared pariahs.
The British Home Office was kind enough to spell out which of my views and opinions were so unacceptable as to make it “not conducive to the public good” for me to enter the country. The Home Office’s letter stated that I said this:
… the Prophet Muhammad said that when the Muslims fight the Jews, each and every stone and tree will say: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him…
I have to admit that the Home Office has a point. After all, to suggest that Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, whom Islamic scholar Karen Armstrong has likened to Gandhi, called for the genocide of the Jews – clearly such a thing would be morally abhorrent. Theresa May, the British Home secretary, almost certainly has been told again and again that Islam teaches tolerance of Jews and Christians as “People of the Book.” Saying that Muhammad told Muslims to kill Jews would be hateful! Islamophobic!
And there is more. The Home Office also depicted me quoting what I brazenly misrepresented as Islamic supremacist aspirations:
We will control the land of the Vatican; we will control Rome and introduce Islam in it. Yes, the Christians, who carve crosses on the breasts of the Muslims in Kosovo — and before then in Bosnia, and before then in many places in the world — will yet pay us the Jiziya [poll tax paid by non-Muslims under Muslim rule], in humiliation, or they will convert to Islam….
Horrors. That is bad: to suggest that Islam, which every right-thinking person knows is tolerant, pluralistic, and peaceful, has imperialist ambitions to conquer and subjugate Europe – clearly such a view would incite hatred against Muslims, and I have to admit that under the circumstances I understand why the Home Office banned me.
And – I am abashed to admit – it gets even worse. The Home Office also quoted me thusly:
There is no doubt that one’s devotion to jihad for the sake of Allah and one’s will to shed blood, smash skulls, and chop off body parts for the sake of Allah and in defense of His religion constitute an honor for the believer.
Now, that’s just going too far. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) recently sponsored a huge ad campaign designed to show that jihad was walking on the beach with a loved one, or dropping off the kids at soccer practice. Everyone knows that the one thing that jihad is not is warfare against and murder of those who don’t believe in Islam. Only hate-filled Islamophobes contend otherwise, and that’s why I was banned from the United Kingdom.
I feel so ashamed.
Except that there’s one catch. In reality, I didn’t say any of those things, and none of them are in the letter to me from the Home Office. Those are all the words of Mohammed al-Arifi, a Saudi cleric who just last week was admitted into Britain without any difficulty.
So what I really said must have been even worse than those statements by al-Arifi, right? After all, he is in, and I am out. So here goes: shield your children’s eyes, and read what the Home Office actually quoted me as saying that was so heinous as to warrant my being forbidden to gaze upon the glories of The Sceptered Isle:
[Islam] is a religion and is a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose for establishing a societal model that is absolutely incompatible with Western society because media and general government unwillingness to face the sources of Islamic terrorism these things remain largely unknown.
The quote appears to be taken from a mangled machine transcription of a documentary I appeared in about ten years ago, Islam: What the West Needs to Know. Since I’ve said and written similar things many, many times over the years without automated garbling, it’s unclear why the Home Office had to step back so far to find something it considered bad enough to warrant my banning from entering the country.
You’ll notice, however, that what I said was actually milder than the statements from Mohammad al-Arifi, and simply note facts with which the Saudi cleric would wholeheartedly agree: that Islam mandates warfare against unbelievers, and that Sharia and Western democratic pluralism are incompatible.
From this we see that you can actually get into Britain if you speak honestly about Islam’s doctrine of jihad violence against unbelievers. You just have to be for that violence. If you’re against it, unpack your bags: you ain’t making the trip. And thus the irony of the situation is, as Roger Kimball noted, rich, exceedingly rich.
Sign the petition asking that we be allowed into the country here.