Anti-Islamist bloggers banned from entering UK
Two prominent US bloggers have been banned from entering the UK, the Home Office has said.
Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer co-founded anti-Muslim group Stop Islamization of America.
They were due to speak at an English Defence League march in Woolwich, where Drummer Lee Rigby was killed.
A government spokesman said individuals whose presence “is not conducive to the public good” could be excluded by the home secretary.
He added: “We condemn all those whose behaviours and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form.”
The specific letters they sent to Geller and Spencer are most interesting. Here is Geller’s:
I am writing to inform you about the British governments measures for excluding or deporting extremists under the Unacceptable Behaviour policy. The list of unacceptable behaviours covers any non-UK national whether in the UK or abroad who uses any means or medium including:
• writing, producing, publishing or distributing material,
• public speaking including preaching,
• running a website,
• using a position of responsibility such as a teacher, community or youth leader
to express views that:
• foment or justify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs,
• seek to provoke others to terrorist acts,
• foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts,
• foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
The list is indicative and not exhaustive.
The Home Secretary has considered whether, in light of this list, you should be excluded from the UK. After careful consideration on 25 June 2013 she personally directed that you should be excluded from the United Kingdom on the grounds that your presence here is not conducive to the public good. The Home Secretary has reached this decision because you have brought yourself within the scope of the list of unacceptable behaviours by making statements that may foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.
The Home Secretary notes that you are a prolific blogger, author, political activist and commentator, You co-founded Stop Islamization of America’, an organization described as an anti-Muslim hate group. You also operate a number of websites including Jihad Watch and Atlas Shrugs.
You are reported to have stated the following:
• ‘Al-Qaeda is a manifestation of devout Islam…it is Islam.’
• ‘If the Jew dies, the Muslims will die as well: their survival depends on their constant jihad. because without it they will lose the meaning and purpose of their existence.’
The Home Secretary considers that should you be allowed to enter the UK you would continue to espouse such views. In doing so. you would be committing listed behaviours and would therefore be behaving in a way that is not conducive to the public good. You are therefore instructed not to travel to the UK as you will be refused admission on arrival. Although there is no statutory right of appeal against the Home Secretary’s decision. this decision is reviewed every 3 to 5 years.
In accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998 the Home Office treats all personal information in confidence. However, such information may be disclosed to other government departments. agencies. local authorities, the police, foreign governments and other bodies for immigration purposes or to enable them to perform their functions.
Spencer’s letter has a different example of his writing:
“…it [Islam] is a religion and a belief system that mandates warfare against unbelievers for the purpose of 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.”
Whether or not you agree with Geller’s and Spencer’s statements on Islam, there is no way that these writings reach the defined level of “unacceptable behaviours” listed in the beginning of the letter. To say that these opinions can incite people to terror acts is simply not defensible. To compare their statements with the hate speech and clear incitement that radical Islamic clerics spout in the UK against Jews, infidels and gays is a perversion.
Will Human Rights Watch and Amnesty defend Geller’s and Spencer’s right to enter Great Britain and to speak there?
Moreover, will the people who complain when Israel bans people from entering (on “flytillas”) for the express purpose of combating Israel’s existence and causing disturbances act equally outraged that England has a much looser standard for banning anyone who might act in a way that “is not conducive to the public good”?
After this disgraceful decision on the part of the UK we can expect a wave of hypocrisy from all the “liberals” who pretend that Israel is far worse.
This decision proves that a powerful nation, not under any direct threat from anyone, is far more restrictive of basic freedom of expression than Israel is. Not that anyone from the Left would ever, ever admit it.