Geert Wilders, who was coming to Britain for a screening of his film Fitna in the House of Lords, was refused entry into the country on standing orders from the Home Secretary who thought that Wilders was a danger to peace and security or some such thing. And Foreign Secretary David Miliband says-
The home secretary made a decision on an individual case as she is required to do…
[The film - Fitna - contains] extreme anti-Muslim hate and we have very clear laws in this country…
We have profound commitment to freedom of speech but there is no freedom to cry ‘fire’ in a crowded theatre and there is no freedom to stir up hate, religious and racial hatred, according to the laws of the land.
Now Miliband is the same fellow who came to India earlier this year, and, before landing here, wrote a column ‘mentioning’ Kashmir in the Guardian (“resolution of the dispute over Kashmir would help deny extremists in the region one of their main calls to arms”), committing a diplomatic boo-boo – actually more than a boo-boo – in the process. Obviously different kinds of hate are to be treated to different standards – deport the one who speaks, agree with the one who kills.
Since crying fire in a theater has got nothing to do with free speech, and acts of speech and acts of physical violence are not the same, Britain should change its laws to reflect the “correct” position, and so should other countries. Unfortunately, freedom of speech has become a major casualty in the post-9/11 world with both political correctness and coercive government policies running riot. Actually Britain’s record on freedom of speech is pathetic – it is one of the favorite spots for “libel tourism,” and it cracks down on “hate speech” like there is no tomorrow (Now that Obama is here, expect the same in America, the First Amendment be damned).
So, the next time round, Miliband might want to take a look at the ranting and raving mullahs in his own backyard, and try to fix the laws before keeping Wilders out, or agreeing with those who want to keep him out.
Its a mad mad world.