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Anti-jihadist Dutch MP expelled from UK

By Adriana Stuijt     Feb 12, 2009 in Politics
Anti-Jihadist Dutch MP Geert Wilders has been denied entry to the UK when he arrived at Heathrow Airport. The Freedom Party leader arrived in the UK Thursday on the invitation of an UK Independent Party peer to show his anti-Jihadist film Fitna.
The BBC News reports that he was greeted by customs officials who detained him, questioned him and then told him he was not allowed into the UK. Video of Wilders arriving at UK airport here
UK readers angry about Wilders' expulsion:
Wilders has received hundreds of messages of support from Britons who disagree with their government's decision. Polls on the Daily Mail and Guardian websites both show an overwhelming majority of voters opposing the ban.
They are being nasty to Freedom of Speech:
Wilders denounced the British Government as "the biggest bunch of cowards in Europe. They are more Chamberlain than Churchill. I was invited by another politician (Lord Pearson of Rannoch). I am a democrat, I am serving freedom of speech. They are not only being nasty to me they are being nasty to freedom of speech."
Dutch parliament in emergency session:
The Dutch parliament announced immediately after his expulsion that it was convening an urgent debate to discuss the barring of one of their elected members from a friendly EU country and to decide on steps to be undertaken against the UK government.
This is freedom of speech...
Wilders called the move "incredible." "This is freedom of speech. I mean, let's have a debate," he told the BBC. "This is how a democracy and the rule of law and a civil society should work. If you disagree, talk to one another."
The Netherlands' government has already launched a strong objection with the United Kingdom this week over their elected parliamentarian being barred from Britain - an unprecedented event in EU-history. see
EU citizens - especially politicians without any criminal records -- have free access to all EU countries without having to clear customs.
Wilders was invited to show his controversial film - which links the Islamic holy book to terrorism - in the UK's House of Lords. The MP was invited to the House of Lords by the UK Independence Party's Lord Pearson. The party plans to still screen his anti-Jihadist movie Fitna at a chamber of the House of Lords on Thursday-afternoon - although they have also been forbidden to do so.. see
A death-order, a Fatwa, was issued against Wilders by the Islamic religious community after he started warning against the Islamisation of Europe in Dutch parliament. See He and his wife now are under constant security.
The UK's National Secular Society's president told the BBC that he wrote to Home Secretary Jacqui Smith arguing she had made a mistake in denying an application by a 'democratically-elected politician from a sovereign state who wants to come and express an opinion'.
Terry Sanderson said: 'It may be a controversial opinion but he is entitled to express it.
'We think that the wrong people are being targeted here because the reason they have given for refusing him entry is that it may result in some kind of public disturbance.'We think that is not a good enough reason.
'It's very disturbing that they are prepared to do this just on the basis that somebody might object.'
Mr Sanderson said that while the organisation did not agree with a lot of what Mr Wilders said, the right way to deal with it was to 'argue with him, debate and discuss - not silence him'.
UKIP peer Lord Pearson of Rannoch and cross-bencher Baroness Cox responded with a press statement asking: "Would this have happened if Mr Wilders had said 'Ban the Bible'?"
The statement went on: "Our western society, and indeed the majority of peaceful Muslims, are being intimidated far too much by violent Islamists. On this occasion, the British government is guilty of appeasement. We do not agree with Geert Wilders that the Koran should be banned – even in Holland where Mein Kampf is banned. We don't want it banned but discussed – particularly by the majority Muslim community; and specifically as to whether it may promote or justify – or has promoted or justified – violence. We are therefore promoting freedom of speech.
"Geert Wilder's Fitna film (available on the web) is not a threat to anyone. It merely suggests how the Koran has been used by militant Islamists to promote and justify their violence. They react in fury and menace to our intention to show the film and have boasted that their threats of aggressive demonstrations prevented its previous showing in the Mother of Parliaments. This was not the case – the event was postponed to clarify issues of freedom of speech. The threat of intimidation in fact increases the justification for the film to be shown and discussed in Parliament and by the British and international press.
"Indeed, any alleged threats associated with Lord Ahmed of attempts to prevent the showing of the film would themselves be a confirmation of the film's message and the need for it to be shown. The subsequent action by the Home Office to try to deter Mr Wilders from coming to the UK has, we believe, been rightly condemned by the Dutch Foreign Minister, and is a further example of the appeasement policies of the British government in giving in to the threats of militant Islam.
"We intend to show and discuss the film with members of the British Parliament and the press as previously indicated, with or without Mr Wilders."
The press conference remains booked for Thursday 12 February (6.00-7.00 pm) at No. 1 Abbey Gardens see
More about Wilders arrives heathrow, Fitna, Ban, Dutch
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