As Thomas Landen asks at the Brussels Journal, “Will Geert Wilders be arrested at Heathrow?”
Earlier this morning a press release arrived in our inbox from the office of Lord Pearson of Rannoch. It announced that last month’s cancelled showing of Fitna in the House of Lords had been rescheduled for Thursday, February 12th, the day after tomorrow:
UK Parliament to show controversial film Fitna
Parliament has ordered extra security for a House of Lords event with the controversial Dutch MP Geert Wilders. The private screening of Wilders’ film Fitna was initially postponed to allow time for clarification on issues concerning freedom of speech. Despite threats of demonstration from a British Peer and Muslim community leaders, the meeting will go ahead Thursday 12th February.
The leader of the Dutch Freedom Party, Wilders has lived under 24 hour police protection since 2004. Following Fitna‘s release online in March 2008 al-Qaeda issued a fatwa calling for Wilders’ murder.
Wilders currently faces prosecution in Holland for incitement to hatred and discrimination. The charges are based on his film Fitna and comments in the Dutch press last year in which he argued that as Mein Kampf has been banned in Holland, the Quran should similarly be banned in under Dutch incitement laws.
Wilders called the Dutch Court of Appeal’s decision to prosecute an attack on freedom of expression. “Participation in the public debate has become a dangerous activity. If you give your opinion, you risk being prosecuted,” he said.
The House of Lords event, originally scheduled for January, was not postponed in response to the threats made by the British Peer, Lord Ahmed. However, Lord Ahmed told the Pakistani press that the decision to stop the screening was “a victory for the Muslim community.”
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Following the private screening there will be a press conference:
“The Quran and Freedom of Speech”
A screening of Fitna (2008 — 17 mins)
Q&A with Geert Wilders MP (Holland)
No. 1 Abbey Gardens
Thursday 12th February
6:00 — 7:00pm
It didn’t take the
Politburo of the DDR British government long to react to this announcement. According to the Brussels Journal:
This morning Lord Malcolm Pearson, a member of the British House of Lords, announced that he has invited Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch Parliament, to show the movie Fitna (see it here) in a committee room of the House of Lords next Thursday (12 February). Mr. Wilders has been asked to address a private meeting with members of the British Parliament, explaining to the Peers and MPs why he made Fitna and to engage in an open and frank discussion with them.
This afternoon Mr. Wilders received a letter from the British ambassador to the Netherlands saying that he is a “persona non grata“ in the United Kingdom. The ambassador told Mr. Wilders that he is a threat to public security and public harmony because of the controversy created by Fitna. Mr. Wilders intends to go to London anyway. “Let them arrest me in Heathrow,” he says.
If Mr. Wilders is denied entry to the United Kingdom, it will be the first time that Britain refuses entry to an elected politician from another member state of the European Union. The Dutch government has lodged formal objections with the British government over the unprecedented barring of an EU parliamentarian by another EU country.
It’s come to this. And wasn’t it a strange way down?
Is there any point in pretending any longer that we live in free countries?
Someone brilliant (I forget who; let me know and I’ll cite the source) has called the citizens of the Western democracies “free range serfs”. Provided we stay within the boundaries of the farm, we can do as we please. We can wander around at will and eat all the bugs we want, as long as we deliver our eggs — our taxes — promptly to Farmer Jones.
We have the illusion of being free — we look through the fence at those poor starving wild creatures out there in the Third World, and pity them for their lack of freedom.
But our freedom is illusory, as today’s events have made abundantly clear.
Geert Wilders has leapt the fence, and now the dogs have been unleashed after him.