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Britain Refuses to Allow Dutch MP Geert Wilders To Enter:

Brussels Journal quotes this letter to Wilders stating that he is excluded from Britain:

Dear Mr Wilders

The purpose of this letter is to inform you that the Secretary of State is of the view that your presence in the UK would pose a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society. The Secretary of State is satisfied that your statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the UK.

You are advised that should you travel to the UK and seek admission an Immigration Officer will take into account the Secretary of State's view. If, in accordance with regulation 21 of the immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, the Immigration Officer is statisfied that your exclusion is justified on grounds of public policy and/or public security, you will be refused admission to the UK under regulation 19. You would have a right of appeal against any refusal of admission, exercisable from outside the UK.

Yours sincerely,

Irving N. Jones

On behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department

There's more at Brussels Journal about the story, which has an internal British Parliamentary political dimension.

I definitely do not support the British decision, and I would oppose any such decision by the U.S. government (not that I know of any in the wind). But I should note, for those who are interested in comparing European law and American law on free speech (as I sometimes do), that the American precedent on this question, Kleindienst v. Mandel (1972), generally allows the U.S. government to exclude speakers based on their political views.

(Thanks to John Derbyshire (NRO's The Corner) InstaPundit for the pointer; for my views about the Dutch prosecution of Wilders, see here.)

martinned (mail) (www):

There's more at Brussels Journal about the story, which has an internal British Parliamentary political dimension.

Yup, he was going to come based on an invitation by a member of the House of Lords to come and show his "movie".

Otherwise, legally this isn't very interesting, unless one might be interested in exploring the EC law angle. (And that would be a long shot.) More of a policy issue...
2.10.2009 11:34pm
AB (mail):
Well, we did the same thing to Kurt Waldheim when he was president of Austria ... despite the fact that he was a head of state and had been Secretary-General of the UN (and was defended by Simon Wiesenthal!).
2.10.2009 11:49pm
RBG (mail):
The United States refused to issue a visa to Ian Paisley in the early 1980s, despite the fact that he was, if I recall correctly, an MP at the time.
2.10.2009 11:53pm
Arnostocles:
The previous Home Secretary, David Blunkett, screened musician's lyrics before they were allowed to enter the UK. If he disagreed with the lyrical content, he would ban entry.


Blunkett believes there should be no freedom of speech - at all.

Not surprisingly, Blunkett was corrupt and criminal.
2.11.2009 12:18am
cvt:
Mandel was a Belgian Marxist, associated with Troskyist organizations that existed at that time in the US and European countries. According to the opinion, he was invited to participate in a conference at Stanford on Technology and the Third World where John Kenneth Galbraith would give the keynote address and Mandel would join a panel discussion and later give a major address. Stanford's office of the president "endorsed" the invitation, and Mandel also was invited to give talks at or visit several other US colleges and universities on the trip.

The first amendment right considered in the opinion was not Mandel's, because he had none, but the right of American "scholars and students" to "receive information and ideas." The court suggested that there was such a First Amendment right. Nevertheless, it held that the government's right "to exclude aliens" was not limited by the First Amendment rights of the US citizens.

It seems to me that the exclusion of Mandel very likely did affect the ability of US citizens to receive information and ideas and that was precisely the purpose of the exclusion. If it were up to me, the government should not be able to do that.
2.11.2009 12:38am
subpatre (mail):
Given that 40% (four out of ten according to this article in the Telegraph) of the major CIA operations against Al Queada are occurring in Britain, the denial might contain (mask) a security concern for Wilder's safety.

Or a partial concern. That it avoids the trouble raised by non-PC speech issues aids the bureaucratic side too.
2.11.2009 12:54am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
While I'll defend Wilder's right to speak his mind, however obnoxious that is, I also have no problem with the Brits barring him from entry.

Today, more than during the period of Mandel, anyone interested has access to Wilder's thinking--and film for that matter. Some quanta of information might be overlooked were he not able to deliver his speech in person, but not very much, I think. I'm pretty sure the House of Lords can swing a video link-up if it desires, too.

If nothing else, Wilder's presence will require the expenditure of funds to protect him, above and beyond that of most visitor or speakers to the UK. As health care can be rationed in the UK, I suspect security details can be as well. Rushie's protection amounted to millions over the years. He, however, was a Brit, unlike Wilders, and so had some reasonable claim to that protection.
2.11.2009 1:05am
Gene Hoffman (mail) (www):
Glad to know that folks support the violence veto to speech. Remind me to credibly threaten people when I'd like them to be quiet.

-Gene
2.11.2009 1:17am
ReaderY:
Only the people have the right to assemble and peaceably petition their government. The First Amendment, like the Second Amendment's right to keep and bear arms, simply does not apply to those who aren't members of the people.
2.11.2009 1:22am
Cornellian (mail):
I think this is really a fact specific situation. A foreigner outside the country ought not to be considered as similarly situated to a citizen inside the country in terms of exercising rights such as freedom of speech against government intrusion. Hence the permissible grounds for barring a foreigner from entering the country are not at all analogous to the permissible grounds for prohibiting a citizen inside the country from stating views on a subject. If I were the British PM I would have let him in and obviously I wouldn't support banning British citizens from expressing the same views on the subject but I'm not inclined to give a foreigner outside the country much leeway in challenging this kind of decision, even when it's a bad decision.
2.11.2009 2:04am
Cornellian (mail):

Yours sincerely,

Irving N. Jones

On behalf of the Secretary of State for the Home Department



It would have been hilarious if he had appended "P.S. Definitely no relation to David Irving"
2.11.2009 2:06am
Bruce_M (mail) (www):
I'd like to think that, much like defamation, truth should always be a defense to claims of politically incorrect speech. Everything Wilders has said about Islam is 100% true, and verifiably so. Why should anyone be punished for speaking nothing more than the truth?

The notion that religion is above truth is not new, but it's perenially disgusting, shallow, and morally vacuous.
2.11.2009 2:54am
Ricardo (mail):
Hence the permissible grounds for barring a foreigner from entering the country are not at all analogous to the permissible grounds for prohibiting a citizen inside the country from stating views on a subject.

Right, this is why immigration law can be crazy sometimes. I think the U.K. is similar but in the U.S. for instance, if a Japanese woman travels to the U.S., applies for entry under the visa waiver program as a tourist and it turns out she has a fiance she intends to marry while in the U.S., she can be denied entry and sent back to Japan. However, once admitted to the U.S., she would be breaking no law by marrying her fiance and then modifying her visa status. In fact, marrying her fiance may be a constitutional right.

The moral of the story is that there are plenty of arbitrary visa regulations and that immigration officers are traditionally given near dictatorial powers in deciding who to admit and who not to. Once someone is admitted, though, the state is much more constrained in regulating the behavior of foreigners.
2.11.2009 2:59am
LouMan:
The Audacity of Diversity.
2.11.2009 3:45am
donaldk2 (mail):
The one word description is intimidation. A member of the House of Lords threatened to bring 10,000 Muslims into the streets, if Wilders were to enter the House for a private meeting.

The Brits, knowing that they (and the rest of the Western world) no longer has the will to confront rioters, took a prudent course.

Just another way station on the route to Decline and Fall.
2.11.2009 4:20am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Make no mistake about it. The UK and the EU are appeasing Islamic terrorism. Watch carefully because our Marxist president will try the same thing here before long. Listen for "hate speech is not free speech." What's "hate speech?" Anything the government says is hate speech. During the campaign I heard an American journalist say Romney was unfit to be president because of his Morman religion. He was highly and openly critical of Mormonism. When asked if he would voice criticisms about Islam he said "no," and freely admitted that he was afraid. So afraid he censored himself. So the message is clear: use violence and you get what you want.
2.11.2009 4:31am
triertord (mail) (www):
MESSAGE
2.11.2009 4:35am
James Gibson (mail):
Zarkov hit the nail on the head. Those who we fear we allow to say what ever they want. Those that are viewed as powerless, are slapped down hard if what they say isn't in-line with those in power.

They bared a MP from Belgium for his movie on Islam, and in other EU nations you can be fined for hate speech: the case in Holland and Brigette Bardot in France. Say anything against Gay rights, Sharia law, Global warming, etc., and you can be attacked with impunity (particularly if you are viewed as part of the majority population).

To me the best example of this double standard is the Bishop and the president of Iran. The president of Iran can go to any university anywhere in the world and threaten israel, attack gays, and claim the Holocaust never happened. But when a Bishop of the Catholic church does this, the response is immediate and not limited to him. For the Pope is also accused of sanctioning these claims, and the catholic church at large simply because they gave the bishop a chance to recant (which is what the church does).
2.11.2009 5:29am
progressoverpeace (mail):

A. Zarkov:

Make no mistake about it. The UK and the EU are appeasing Islamic terrorism. Watch carefully because our Marxist president will try the same thing here before long.

He already started. In his first interview, granted with Al Arabiya, he said, "And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives." His job?

But, no one seemed to care about this too much ... which explains the decline among our population, obviously ignorant of the gems of wisdom that BHO is tasked with conveying.
So afraid he [an American journalist] censored himself. So the message is clear: use violence and you get what you want.

And the violent ones will find many "useful idiots" who are so enamored of some idea of "universal law", that applies without any consideration of the culture or tradition of the nation that created it (or those individuals and groups wishing to abuse it) or any of our history, that they let our enemies abuse our naivete and generosity to destroy us. In fact, they even come down on US to protect their own feelings of moral/legal superiority, as they aid our enemies.

The fact that Britain buckled to a specific threat of 10,000 in the street, by a Lord(!), only shows that the West has finally been reduced to ochlocracy. It just gets uglier from here.

The muslim veto over speech in the West, which started with the fatwa on Rushdie and the general silence of Western useful idiots, has now extended all the way to the House of Lords. Sheer insanity.
2.11.2009 5:51am
David Warner:
Of course it is legal. It is also nearly obscene in its cowardice.
2.11.2009 6:14am
A. Zarkov (mail):
progressoverpeace:

You taught me a new word-- "ochlocracy." Very fitting. Western nations seem to worry a lot about the "Arab Street." They worry so much the media censor themselves. Only one major newspaper in the US published the Danish cartoons after they became a topic of news leaving their readers to wonder just how insulting they were. Then they issued disingenuous excuses saying they didn't want to be insulting. This conveniently confuses an editorial comment with actual news coverage.
2.11.2009 6:32am
A. Zarkov (mail):
progressoverpeace:

Obama's statement "... my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives."

Does he mean that people who want to live better lives are extraordinary? Or does he mean the Muslim world has extraordinary people, AND has people who want to live better lives. In either case his statement makes little sense.
2.11.2009 6:40am
mls (www):
Note that the Secretary of State did not say that Wilders' statements about Muslims and their faith were wrong. Indeed, one could infer that the reason those statements pose a threat to "public security" is that they are correct.
2.11.2009 6:53am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
This was not a matter of barring somebody for his political views.
The letter said so.
The letter said the Brits are afraid of Muslims.

You'd have thought the Brits would have tried to dress it up, somehow.
Maybe admitting fear was considered necessary. Pretending meant you still had some pride left. A little, but some. That would not be acceptable.
2.11.2009 7:33am
progressoverpeace (mail):
A. Zarkov,

I picked the word up from a response at HotAir. Kind of neat word. Pretty ugly system. Welcome to the new world. This is what happens when a society drifts to emotionalism. The left is emotionally driven, not rationally, as BHO so perfectly expressed when he described his criteria for selecting judicial nominees (I'm sure you've seen this, already):


"[W]e need somebody who's got the heart, the empathy, to recognize what it's like to be a young teenage mom. The empathy to understand what it's like to be poor, or African-American, or gay, or disabled, or old. And that's the criteria by which I'm going to be selecting my judges."


Crazy.

Personally, on top of that idiocy, I think that we are seeing a huge increase in global tribalism, and those who built the individualistic states of the West refuse to acknowledge it, officially, though they appease it through our own individualistic mechanisms. The useful idiots found that it is easy to pervert general law with specific anecdotes, citing "Equal Protection", or some other appeal to a sense of individualistic "fairness", which is a death sentence for our legal structure - for any legal structure.

As to the Precedent's Al Arabiya quote, I don't know what his intention was (though it sounds to me as if he's talking for the other side) but I'm fairly sure that he would NEVER say that to an American interviewer - even an American muslim interviewer on American media. I couldn't see it. Any mention of islam, or Indonesia, during the campaign was hate speech, or something.

Down we go.
2.11.2009 7:34am
1Ler:
Every time we hit a topic like this one, I wonder how many Americans actually care about core constitutional principles--i.e., federalism and free speech--as independent values and not just convenient ones to prop up political opinions. I can't help but feel like it's less than 10% of the voting populace. In fact, I don't think there are hardly any principled federalists left, and very few free-speech absolutists.

Conspirators &friends excepted, of course.
2.11.2009 8:27am
Happyshooter:
Death to those who say Islam is violent.
2.11.2009 8:33am
11-B/2O.B4:
Of course it is legal. It is also nearly obscene in its cowardice.


Ahh, if only Churchill could have been alive to see this. Though the empire last a thousand years, they will say that this, this was the moment when the world realized that Britain was run by week-kneed preteen girls.

I support freedom of speech. I support a government's sovereign right to exclude entry to anyone. And I am cognizant enough of world affairs to know that muslim politics are nothing more than mass thuggery writ large. This is the key, because terrorism works against opponents who lack the moral fiber to take a principled stand. The government of Britain has lost its stiff upper lip, so to speak. They've been losing it for a while, and now it's completely gone.
2.11.2009 8:57am
John Burgess (mail) (www):
Thanks for the overdose of Islamophobia. Could hardly start my day without it.

Category error, folks: You're extrapolating from the behavior of a few to the entire group.
2.11.2009 8:58am
Houston Lawyer:
The Brits just need to change their national flag to the white flag of surrender. This man is surely not a threat to British citizens nor does he espouse some noxious policies. His only problem is that he has more stones than the British government.
2.11.2009 9:14am
BGates:
Category error, folks:
Dogs bark.

There are probably some that don't; there is probably someone dying to tell me that 700 years ago dogs had a thriving civilization which had much less barking than Europe did at the time. Right now, though, if you hear a bark, you'll expect it came from a dog, and if you see a dog, you'll expect that it barks.
2.11.2009 9:14am
Sarcastro (www):
It's all over! Britain is now going to have everyone wear chadri (even men!) and they'll become those Dhimmi people.

And then every Muslim in the world is gonna reveal their true terrorist ties, but America won't let us know because they're afraid of them.

Also the UN will take our Guns.
2.11.2009 9:21am
progressoverpeace (mail):

John Burgess:

Category error, folks: You're extrapolating from the behavior of a few to the entire group.


Thank you for illustrating my point so perfectly. This was the thinking that led the British to declare:

Government renames Islamic terrorism as 'anti-Islamic activity' to woo Muslims


Ministers have adopted a new language for declarations on Islamic terrorism.

In future, fanatics will be referred to as pursuing "anti-Islamic activity".

Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said that extremists were behaving contrary to their faith, rather than acting in the name of Islam.


Pure insanity.
2.11.2009 9:41am
Sarcastro (www):
It sure is crazytown to avoid pissing off the billions of Muslims who don't bomb stuff!
2.11.2009 9:59am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Sarc.
If they don't bomb stuff, they probably don't mistreat women, either. In fact, they'd be in the streets protesting both. Like after Beslan. You know.
2.11.2009 10:09am
martinned (mail) (www):
UPDATE: He's going anyway. (It sorta says so in this BBC article. Otherwise, my sources are in Dutch.)
2.11.2009 10:17am
A.C.:
What 1Ler said. It's a consequence of the "by any means necessary" way of thinking that seems to have gotten started in the 60s. Whole generations have come up with this way of thinking ingrained in them. Worse, they think everyone else is operating that way too, which means they would be fools to do anything else. If everything is power and nothing is higher than that... well, everything is power and nothing is higher than that.

Some of us don't actually believe that is the case. I personally think free speech should rank higher than any particular result, because free speech is an important way of arriving at the right result and then defending it. And I tend to assume that the people who would cut off free speech are trying to push a solution that would be the wrong result, or (if in power) defend a result that is manifestly horrible.

I mean, these procedural rules evolved for a reason. Hundreds, if not thousands, of years of reasons. No "issue of the moment" justifies chucking them out.
2.11.2009 10:19am
Sarcastro (www):
Yeah, Muslims never protest against terrorism. This means they all love it! All billion of them. Whenever I meet a Muslim I know at their heart they want to saw my head off.

And I never hear anyone saying terrorism is "unislamic." And if I did, It'd just be that Taqiyya stuff, which applies to lying about terrorism. See, there's no way Muslims can convince me they are not terrorists!

Taqiyya
More Taqiyya
Even more Taqiyya
Can't stop the Taqiyya
2.11.2009 10:24am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Sarc.
Well, they get out in the streets over the Motoons, fake Koran desecrating stories, and Arab babies' blood in sacramental bread. It's just stuff like Beslan that they never hear about. Or something.
Sure, if you go to the designated moderate cleric--because he's always been good for a moderate quote before--and ask him if he rejects stuff like Beslan, he'll get the hint and say he rejects stuff like Beslan. Then you leave out the part where he gets going on the sins of the world against Islam and the building justified anger amongst so-far quiet Muslims. Voila.
As somebody asked once before, probably more than once until he got tired of no response, where is the Not In Our Name stuff on That Side?
2.11.2009 10:29am
Sarcastro (www):
Wow, it's super clear now! Some muslims have lied befroe, so all billion are liars!

And don't believe the moderates are really moderate. They're lying. I know because all Muslims are liars, as proven above.
2.11.2009 10:35am
Houston Lawyer:
Sarcastro

I'm sure its all those peaceful moderate Muslims who have the Brits cowering in their slippers. I guess the moderate ones just have firecracker vests.
2.11.2009 10:40am
Blue:
I think it is kinda insane tbat the Government of the day uses its immigration powers to prevent Lords from hearing from a witness they have called.
2.11.2009 10:48am
A. Zarkov (mail):
"It sure is crazytown to avoid pissing off the billions of Muslims who don't bomb stuff!"

The only good Muslim is a pissed Muslim.
2.11.2009 10:52am
Sarcastro (www):
Houston Lawyer, weren't you reading? Richard Aubrey proved that there are no peaceful moderate Muslims. So I expect the Brits are surrendering to all of them.
2.11.2009 10:52am
progressoverpeace (mail):

Sarcastro:
Yeah, Muslims never protest against terrorism. This means they all love it!


(Thanks for the childish "all" quantifier. Right to the point of what I said about those abusing individualistic thinking when applied to tribalism.)

And, no. The "Death to America" parades are to show you that. The terrorism, and its great support in the islamic world, among muslim governments and muslim populations the world over, is what tells you where the general feeling of the group is, your worthless 'all' notwithstanding.

And why would you be worried about "pissing off billions [sic] of Muslims who don't bomb us"? What are they going to do, bomb us? Because they are pissed off? Yeah, that's a rational group.

I've noticed how the islamic world, and muslim populations, are so sensitive of others. They wouldn't do anything to piss off nearly a billion Hindus, or a couple of billion Christians (who could annihilate them, if they so chose). No, the muslims are so sensitive to others ... Sheesh.

Now, let me hear you give a "not stoop to their level" argument ... That's always a good one for laughs.
2.11.2009 10:58am
A. Zarkov (mail):
Islam to the West: Go ahead, piss me off-- make my day.
2.11.2009 11:01am
Ass R. Bye-Johnnie:

Richard Aubrey proved that there are no peaceful moderate Muslims.


There are those who maintain that BO (Plenty) is a peaceful moderate Muslim.
2.11.2009 11:06am
martinned (mail) (www):
@Blue: He was invited by a Peer, but this was no official parliamentary hearing. Otherwise, presumably the matter would have been different.
2.11.2009 11:07am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Hardly worth being a peer anymore.
2.11.2009 11:22am
ArthurKirkland:
It is becoming more and more difficult to remember that religion has positive aspects.
2.11.2009 11:28am
Arnostocles:

Western nations seem to worry a lot about the "Arab Street."


A Zarkov...

Do yo know that the majority of Arabs in America are not Muslim?

And that the vast majority of Muslims in the world are not Arab?

And of course conditions in the Arab world are important. Because poor conditions leads to extremism. Everywhere.
2.11.2009 11:31am
Arnostocles:

If they don't bomb stuff, they probably don't mistreat women, either.


Lol. Lol! Muahahahah

Of course. Only madcap suicide bombers mistreat women. lol
2.11.2009 11:34am
progressoverpeace (mail):

ArthurKirkland:
It is becoming more and more difficult to remember that religion has positive aspects.


Islam is a political ideology with an attendant mythology. Do not confuse it with Western religions. Turkey understands this, which is why their constitution provides the secular military with the ultimate power and charges the military with disbanding and taking over the government any time the islamists take too much control. It has already happened 4 times since the founding of the modern state.

Ataturk understood islam a lot better than any Western nations, today, and knew that the islamic ideology demands the power of state (and Ataturk loved islam, as a religion). Unfortunately, Turkey is the best example of governance in an islamic country that there is, though it is the sort of governmental structure that would make any Westerner cringe.

Of course, Sarcastro would have to think that the Turkish constitution is pissing off muslims ...
2.11.2009 11:39am
Arnostocles:

Islam is a political ideology with an attendant mythology. Do not confuse it with Western religions.


Lol.

Wow.

Wait, you're serious?
2.11.2009 11:43am
David Newton:
This is the law in question:

"Decisions taken on public policy, public security and public health grounds
21. — (1) In this regulation a "relevant decision" means an EEA decision taken on the grounds of public policy, public security or public health.
(2) A relevant decision may not be taken to serve economic ends.
(3) A relevant decision may not be taken in respect of a person with a permanent right of residence under regulation 15 except on serious grounds of public policy or public security.
(4) A relevant decision may not be taken except on imperative grounds of public security in respect of an EEA national who—
(a)
has resided in the United Kingdom for a continuous period of at least ten years prior to the relevant decision; or
(b)
is under the age of 18, unless the relevant decision is necessary in his best interests, as provided for in the Convention on the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations on 20th November 1989.
(5) Where a relevant decision is taken on grounds of public policy or public security it shall, in addition to complying with the preceding paragraphs of this regulation, be taken in accordance with the following principles—
(a)
the decision must comply with the principle of proportionality;
(b)
the decision must be based exclusively on the personal conduct of the person concerned;
(c)
the personal conduct of the person concerned must represent a genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat affecting one of the fundamental interests of society;
(d)
matters isolated from the particulars of the case or which relate to considerations of general prevention do not justify the decision;
(e)
a person's previous criminal convictions do not in themselves justify the decision.
(6) Before taking a relevant decision on the grounds of public policy or public security in relation to a person who is resident in the United Kingdom the decision maker must take account of considerations such as the age, state of health, family and economic situation of the person, the person's length of residence in the United Kingdom, the person's social and cultural integration into the United Kingdom and the extent of the person's links with his country of origin.
(7) In the case of a relevant decision taken on grounds of public health—
(a)
a disease that does not have epidemic potential as defined by the relevant instruments of the World Health Organisation or is not a disease to which section 38 of the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 applies (detention in hospital of a person with a notifiable disease) shall not constitute grounds for the decision; and
(b)
if the person concerned is in the United Kingdom, diseases occurring after the three month period beginning on the date on which he arrived in the United Kingdom shall not constitute grounds for the decision."

Wonderful isn't it. They are exercising the public safety clause in the legislation. Perhaps we could exclude some Labour cabinet members from returning to the UK after a trip abroad on the same grounds. After all their comments have provoked riots and a bank run, amongst other things. There is a legitimate place for such legislation, since protecting public safety is one of the primary functions of a government. However in this case they are simply kowtowing to violent elements of the Muslims in the UK.

It is also a futile gesture. What is to stop the film being shown and Geert Wilders from appearing by video link for example?
2.11.2009 11:57am
martinned (mail) (www):
@progressoverpeace: Please point out where in the Turkish Constitution it says that the military can overthrow the government.
2.11.2009 11:57am
martinned (mail) (www):
@David Newton: That's why I referred to EU law in the very first comment in this thread. Would the ECJ review the British decision here? And if so, in what manner? I would imagine they might very well conclude that the UK have abused the national security exception to free movement here. If Wilders really comes to Britain tomorrow, I suppose we might very well find out.
2.11.2009 11:59am
progressoverpeace (mail):
@martinned

In the construction of the National Security Council (MGK), though the military was informally charged with this duty from the formation of the state.

But, 4 military takeovers (1960, 1971, 1980, 1997) in less than 100 years ought to be enough proof of what the structure really is, over there. Turkey had to make some changes to the MGK to try and satisfy the EU requirements for civil control of government, but the governmental culture is still what it has always been.
2.11.2009 12:07pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@progressoverpeace: O, I have no doubt that you're accurately describing how things work in Turkey. I would just like to point out that it doesn't say so in the constitution. Not even in the article that governs the National Security Council. (i.e. art. 118)
2.11.2009 12:13pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):
Sarcastro2:

Islam is a religion of peace. Anyone who is not a peaceful is not a follower of Islam. Anyone who says otherwise is a fascist running dog and Islamophobic. Everyone ... everyone...you are all Islamophobes.
2.11.2009 12:15pm
DangerMouse:
@progressoverpeace: O, I have no doubt that you're accurately describing how things work in Turkey. I would just like to point out that it doesn't say so in the constitution. Not even in the article that governs the National Security Council. (i.e. art. 118)

Glad to hear your support for the idea that if something isn't written in the Constitution, it's not part of the Constitution. I wonder if that has any application to any of our current laws. Who knew that you were such an originalist!
2.11.2009 12:20pm
progressoverpeace (mail):
@martinned

I believe that that version (As amended on October 17, 2001) was to satisfy EU requirements for civil control. I don't have the wording of the previous versions, but this aspect of Turkish governance has long been known to the West and is still expected by most in and out of Turkey.

I do stand corrected, though, that it has recently been amended in the written law. I'll have to keep that in mind.
2.11.2009 12:20pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@DangerMouse: In some countries, like my own, the UK and the US, there is extensive constitutional law over and above what is written. In most other countries, the constitution at least attempts to be complete. My point is (was) that Turkish military coups are not done because the army think this is legal, but because they think it is necessary.

This runs in the same vein as many criticisms of the Bush administration legal tactics: instead of fighting tooth and nail to hide things from the courts, many critics advocated the FDR/Lincoln approach of doing what is necessary, lawful or not, accepting the verdict of society and history.
2.11.2009 12:26pm
cognitis:
Islam is a political ideology with an attendant mythology. Do not confuse it with Western religions.


Replace "Islam" with "Israel" for a more apt quote. Progress was describing "Israel" not "Islam".
2.11.2009 12:41pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):
The evil that Islamophobes commit is beyond imagination. An example of the peace lovers being abused, sexually, by the forces of repression.

But not to worry, justice will prevail.

Female FBI officer 'tortured Mumbai terror attacks suspect with sex'

Fahim Ansari is accused of helping to plan the attacks in which 173 people were killed in November.

In the papers, he claims that three foreigners, including the woman, sexually abused him, causing him "severe itching and wounds" on his body, including his genitals.

Fahim Ansari is accused of helping to plan the attacks in which 173 people were killed in November.

His lawyer, Ejaz Naqvi, has filed legal papers with Mumbai magistrate's court, claiming the "white woman" removed all his clothes and showed him pornographic films.

Mr Ansari, a devout Muslim, claims this amounts to torture because it is against his religion, The Sun newspaper has reported.
2.11.2009 12:43pm
Sarcastro (www):
The key to these arguments seems to be taking an anecdote and realizing it's true always and for everyone.

One Muslim lies mean they all lie!
One Muslim wasn't tortured means none are!
One Muslim didn't protest means none do!
One Muslim danced in the streets at American deaths mean they all do!

This sure is easier than taking studies. The hate keeps you warm.
2.11.2009 1:02pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):
Sarcastro,

You're right. After we defeated the Germans, we learned that everyone there was always opposed to Hitler. After we liberated France we learned that everyone there had been a member of the resistance.

Forgive me for thinking when I see chanting mobs shouting Death to America I see more than an anecdote. To suggest that a multiplicity of individual facts must be dismissed because of your prejudices is simply bizarre. The singular of data is anecdote: every individual datapoint in a scientific study constitutes an anecdote.

When the ideology of a belief system can be examined and the leaders of that ideology support the violent imposition of their belief system, to claim that all we have observed of the intersection of Islam and the rest of the world is not true is denial of reality.
2.11.2009 1:18pm
Sarcastro (www):
I keep calling all the Germans over 50 I see Nazis, but all I get is yelled at!

Glad we've narrowed it down to two choices: all Muslims are moderate or none of them are. That makes things nice and easy!
2.11.2009 1:26pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Sarc.
Not that this will penetrate:

A moderate Muslim is a Muslim who is moderately Muslim. That means he's in the two-thirds to half which are further from the fanatic whackjob end to the left of the distribution and from the Muslim equivalent of the Christmas-Easter Christian on the other. That's it. Moderately Muslim.
If there is a connection between that and being "moderate" as we call it, it's coincidental. Which is to say, there is no connection.
Last Easter, the Pope baptized a convert from Islam. The guy was what we would call a moderate Muslim living in Italy and promoting moderate Islam. However, he said he could find nothing in Islam to support what we could call "moderate". In fact, to be our version of moderate would be apostasy. Which you don't want to be. Not without security and a name change.
Whether a "moderate Muslim" is a good thing in your view ought to be a matter of where the Muslim "moderate" mean, median and mode are wrt your idea of "moderate".
Now, I know you're cranking up your misrepresentations, including "all" and "none".
But, whatever you do, this all started when neither all nor none but sufficient buffaloed HMG, without even raising an eyebrow. On account of lessons already learned.
2.11.2009 1:39pm
cognitis:
Aubrey is clearly wrong. Some Christians are rational while some or totally delusional and stupid (Baptists, Fundamentalists). Christians differ not only in degree.
2.11.2009 1:45pm
Sarcastro (www):
[Richard Aubrey if you define Islam as "the Muslim terrorists" then you're right. People who say they are Muslim and yet aren't fired up to blow themselves up and kill the infidel are not Islam. It's like the whole "All Jews are Zionists except those who aren't, but they aren't really Jewish."

But that is not how most Islamic people define Islam. So why go out on your own and define it that way? The only purpose your semantic choice serves is to set up hatred of the religion, including the moderate practitioners.]
2.11.2009 1:47pm
David Warner:
Sarcastro,

What's the end game? Do you think that liberalism was so successful in emasculating Christianity by betraying its own principles and cowering before threats at every turn? Your smug condescension I'm sure must also be a comfort to you, but I have difficulty seeing much difference between it and the hateful bigotry you imagine must animate Wilder's (heck, even the principle of free speech's) defenders on this thread.

I think you misread what is being said and why.
2.11.2009 1:51pm
Douglas2 (mail):
To bar him is a violation of the right of free movement for citizens of the European Economic Area, which is (in a very complex way) set up in both EU and UK law.
It is also quite similar to the White-house refusing entry to someone who was invited to testify before a committee of Congress -- an affront to one branch of the government by another.
And has been mentioned above, it shows that the Government will itself enforce a "Heckler's Veto" if you criticize the beliefs of one particular religion. So it is a defacto violation of freedom-of-religion.
If you are not free to discuss why your religion (or lack of one) is better than another, then you don't have freedom of religion.
2.11.2009 1:53pm
Sarcastro (www):
[David Warner I have never in this thread argued that Britain's "lets keep quiet and hope radical Islam goes away" plan is a good one. Indeed, I think it is a bad policy, both practically and it's philosophy on freedom of speech.

But I don't think it's the end of England, and neither do I think it is a good idea to lump radical Islamists with Muslims in general.]
2.11.2009 1:55pm
martinned (mail) (www):
@Douglas2: This may be a violation of EC law, depending on how willing the ECJ is to second-guess the British decision. (Remember, they invoked national security, and courts are generally unwilling to get involved in that. Remember also that it would be a prejudicial question procedure, which requires even more restraint from the ECJ.)

Also, I repeat that his purpose in travelling tomorrow will not be to appear in any kind of official session of any parliamentary committee. It was a personal invitation made by a member of the House of Lords to come and show his "movie" to whomever is interested.
2.11.2009 2:05pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Arnostocles sez: 'Because poor conditions leads to extremism. Everywhere.'

I grew up in the Jim Crow South, where conditions were as poor as you could want for illustrative purposes, and it did lead to extremism -- by white racists. Not, to any meaningful degree, among the poor black people, though.

So you're wrong. I could give many similar examples, like the Quechua of Bolivia. Muslims are not like us.

* * *

Sarcastro is having an off day, but on the other hand, progess sez: 'Of course, Sarcastro would have to think that the Turkish constitution is pissing off muslims ...'

Well, it sure is. They want to ditch it, and only the guns of the army are stopping them.

But it's pleasant to find another person who understands that Turkey isn't a democracy. Two down, 6 billion to go.

* * *

Britain has always appeased Islam, in Imperial times because it was afraid of violence in India. Memories go back to 1857.

The United States wouldn't give a visa to Ewan McColl, with not even as much justification as the Home Secretary has invented in the Wilders case.
2.11.2009 2:07pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Well, crap.
Try again.
Sarc.
Your argument is with, among others, the aforementioned convert who went even further by saying everything he could find in Islamic scholarship endorsed or required jihad. If that's their idea, they didn't get it from me. Take it up with them.
The problem is not lumping all Muslims with the bombers. The problem is wondering where the bombers come from, why, and why their moderate corelgionists aren't dropping the dime more often.
Some years ago, the brit cops said they were reopening the cases of about a hundred girls missing from the local Pakistani community. They'd dropped the cases to avoid offending the community. That's horrifying, but at least they changed their minds. At which point they discovered they were annoying the Pakistani community and finding resistance to the investigation.
Muslim girls escaping from potential honor killings live in safe houses. Muslim cops, putting one duty before the other, let the addresses out.
You don't need to continue to be deliberately obtuse. It convinces nobody.

To reiterate:
{But, whatever you do, this all started when neither all nor none but sufficient buffaloed HMG, without even raising an eyebrow. On account of lessons already learned.}
2.11.2009 2:07pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Ewen McColl. Wasn't he one of the original Clancy Brothers?
2.11.2009 2:09pm
Ariel:
Cognitis,

Islam is a political ideology with an attendant mythology. Do not confuse it with Western religions.


Replace "Islam" with "Israel" for a more apt quote. Progress was describing "Israel" not "Islam".


Israel is a *country*. Countries are *political entities*. So of course Israel is has a political ideology. I can't think of a country that doesn't. Saying that about Israel is a meaningless statement, unless you want to get some Kick the Jews points.

Given the imperial expansion of Islam - the colonization of North Africa, South Asia, the Iberian peninsula, and southeastern Europe - as well as the modern version, where Islam is used to change political outcomes (e.g., what is being discussed here), there's at least some basis for calling this religion a political ideology. Some prominent Muslim leaders have said that it is incompatible with democracy, which most would not associate with a religion. So yes, there is some basis for asserting that Islam is a political ideology, beyond the throwaway point that any country is.
2.11.2009 2:14pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):
Sarcastro,

I keep calling all the Germans over 50 I see Nazis


I actually believe you. That's the kind of person you are.



Glad we've narrowed it down to two choices: all Muslims are moderate or none of them are. That makes things nice and easy!



Well, it seems to be your version of the discussion, not mine. You see, I'm part of the reality based community.

Have a great day.
2.11.2009 2:16pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):
Richard Aubrey

You don't need to continue to be deliberately obtuse. It convinces nobody.

When you said that I was reminded of George's Hamilton's famous line about his life as a gigolo "It's what I do."
2.11.2009 2:29pm
cognitis:
Ariel:

Your description of Israel detects your fallacious argument. You describe Israel as follows:
Israel is a *country*. Countries are *political entities*. So of course Israel is has a political ideology.
Liberal democracies today permit most ideologies political representation not just one; Israel, in contrast, permits little political representation to diverse ideologies. Thanks for consenting to my citing of Israel as "a political ideology with an attendant mythology."
2.11.2009 2:39pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
He wishes. Or was that in a movie.
Somebody once said, it is reported, to Cary Grant, that they wished they lived the kind of life he did. "So do I," said Grant, the point being all anybody knew was him in light roles, dressed well and usually cheerful. Oh, and all the houses he was in were grand.
Maybe Hamilton spent all his time at home reading...something and conspiring with Lloyd Bridges to bilk the elderly of their savings.
2.11.2009 2:40pm
SFBurke (mail):
It is odd the way that those who accuse others of being "Islamaphobes" have to distort other arguments in order to make their case. Obviously, in some case (e.g. Sarcasto), this is just their MO. Sarcasto can't actually make a real argument so he just sarcastically restates a straw man view of what he disagress with.

Of course, these anti-islamphobes are not willing to deal with the real arguments, which are: 1) Al-Queda and other terrorist groups are motivated by an extreme islamic philosophy; 2) while not all muslims accept this philosophy, mulsim public figures around the world are surprisingly unwilling to criticize it and, in the arab world, it is widely popular among the masses; 3) Geert Wilder's makes points 1 and 2 and also demonstrates that there many aspects of fundamentalist islam (e.g. the treatment of women) that are at odds with western values; 4) groups of muslims in Britain have threatened violence if Wilder is allowed to speak; 5) rather than defending free speech the British government has caved into threats (even if it is acting legally).

For those who value free speech, the foregoing is very disturbing. And one can believe all of those things without being anti-muslim or being guilty of a category error or being an "islamaphobe".
2.11.2009 2:41pm
Arnostocles:

Arnostocles sez: 'Because poor conditions leads to extremism. Everywhere.'

I grew up in the Jim Crow South, where conditions were as poor as you could want for illustrative purposes, and it did lead to extremism -- by white racists.

So you're wrong.


Huh? I said that poor conditions lead to extremism. And then you gave an example of exactly just that.

So how was I wrong? The poor conditions in the South "did lead to extremism." Yes. Ok, so how does that make me wrong?
2.11.2009 2:44pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):
RA

George Hamilton used that line, several times as I recall, in a movie. I can't remember which one.
2.11.2009 2:50pm
Fub:
Richard Aubrey wrote at 2.11.2009 2:07pm:
Well, crap.
Try again.
I think that's all too complicated. British free speech and the heckler's veto is readily understood by a simple two-part balancing test:

If the heckler's terroristic threats outweigh the Home Secretary's cowardice and political correctness, the heckler wins.

If the Home Secretary's cowardice and political correctness outweigh the heckler's terroristic threats, the heckler wins.

It's really very simple.
2.11.2009 2:54pm
Kirk:
Sarcastro,
neither do I think it is a good idea to lump radical Islamists with Muslims in general.
Neither do I, but I sure wish we'd see a lot more differentiation being made by "Muslims in general".
2.11.2009 3:02pm
Visitor Again:
A story from today's The Independent titled "BREAKING NEWS: Indians held for reprinting Independent article that 'offends Islam.'"
2.11.2009 3:02pm
Ariel:
cognitis,

There's as much dissent in Israel as there is in the US, if not more. E.g., there's a viable, if tiny, communist party represented in their parliament, but no such thing in ours. Israel permits political representation to diverse ideologies, just many of them don't *win*. The only exception is the banned Kahanists, but I doubt you think much of them. That said, the Arab parties have said *diverse* things when they've spoken, e.g., about destroying Israel in Syria, things that are more *diverse* than any Congressperson I know of.

Every state has its own political ideology. For example, the US is (generally speaking) a republic, with some democratic aspects, and a semi-capitalist economic system. France is (generally speaking) a republic, with democratic aspects, and a more socialist economic structure. The Saudi entity is a totalitarian monarchy, with a loosely capitalist economic structure. Russia is a totalitarian state, with a fascist economic structure. People within the state may disagree, to varying degrees, and may try to change the political ideology, but it's not controversial that states have political ideologies. When the ruling party / clique / tyrant changes, the political ideology may change (at least some of the time). (Supposedly, that's what the last election was about!) That's not controversial. Nor is Israel exceptional in having a political ideology.

Israel is not exceptional for having a mythology either. Heard of the first Thanksgiving and peaceful Indian-colonist relations? How Abe Lincoln fought to free the slaves (he didn't - he fought to preserve the union)? Every country has that.

I do find it interesting that you immediately equate Islam with Israel - one a religion and one a country. The discussion is about whether Islam is a religion or a political ideology, and you think it is somehow germane to say that Israel is one or the other. Israel is *not a religion*. I suspect it's b/c you know that there's quite a reasonable case for Islam being a political ideology, so you'd rather tu quoque to distract from it.
2.11.2009 3:07pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Get the first comment to the article. Talk about missing the entire point....
2.11.2009 3:12pm
Bishop Hill (mail) (www):
A British legal blogger says that the Wilders decision is likely to be unlawful.
2.11.2009 3:48pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Bishop Hill.
I hope so. But the point is already made and is not likely to be unmade.
Unless, of course, Wilders is allowed in, a riot ensues and is dealt with briskly. Which is to say the cops don't run away, nor ticket somebody with an Israeli flag. And the government does not apologize.
Not worth holding my breath.
2.11.2009 3:53pm
Michelle Dulak Thomson (mail):
I can't help but admire the careful phrasing here:

The Secretary of State is satisfied that your statements about Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film Fitna and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the UK.

There's no way to tell from the statement whether the Sec'y purports to think that the "statements" will cause attacks on Muslims by non-Muslims, or the reverse. It's all "What you say will disrupt our harmonious polity," no "If you say that, --- will do ---, and ---- will suffer." Clever.
2.11.2009 4:32pm
Moneyrunner43 (www):
This has been another interesting thread. On the comment side we appear to have the Left side of the spectrum giving a big yawn to this development, and the Right side in favor of free speech.
I am not an absolutist in either direction, but it's interesting that those who denounce the Bush administration for having the NSA do data mining to track terrorist telephony as an infringement of free speech, now really find nothing at all worrisome that a Dutch parliamentarian is denied the right to come to Britain because of his views.

Eugene Volokh (our host) - no raving righty -- had this to say I'm Now Watching Geert Wilders' Fitna


Nor does the rhetoric strike me as excessive. This is of course a rhetorical work, not an academic inquiry, and it's trying to stir people emotionally. But I didn't see much of hyperbole or gratuitious insults. Wilders is arguing against an important and dangerous ideological movement; my sense is that his approach is well within bounds of legitimate criticism.

So I think this is a significant contribution to the ideological debate, and it seems to me that we -- and especially Wilders' fellow Dutch, to whom he is speaking most specifically -- should take it seriously, naturally together with whatever responses might come out.

Is Eugene a racist xenophobe who hates the followers of Islam?

We report, you decide.
2.11.2009 4:34pm
wfjag:

Harry Eagar :
Arnostocles sez: 'Because poor conditions leads to extremism. Everywhere.'


Harry: As a journalist, you might find this article interesting:

Suicide Bombers: Warriors of the Middle Class,
By Randall Collins (Jan. 2008)
www.foreignpolicy.com/story/cms.php?story_id=4131

It's just one (of many) articles that point out that Muslim radicals frequently come from an upper-middle-class to upper-class background. People like UBL are not unusual.

If you research the subject further, you'll find that that isn't limited to Muslim radicals. Violent political radicals very frequently (possibly more often than not) are children of privilege. Bill Ayres was not unusual in the US radical movement.

Arnostocles' assertion is a falsehood commonly believed by people who have been reared in Western European/US liberal traditions and received what is called a "liberal education." Lots of luck trying to disabuse them of such erroneous beliefs.
2.11.2009 5:10pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
Arnostocles, are you being deliberately obtuse? Poor black Southern sharecroppers = Muslim masses.

How many southern blacks made suicide attacks?

Besides the poor conditions in Muslim lands are because of Islam.

Aubrey. McColl was a Scottish laborite (or possibly communist, who knows?) and singer of rabble-rousing mining songs. I don't think he was ever with the Irish Clancy brothers. That was Tommy Makem, no?

Anyhow, nobody offered to riot if McColl gave a concert at an American college, but he was kept out all the same.

The problem with Islam is that all Muslims subscribe to the doctrine of Islamic political supremacy. This is incompatible with not only liberal democracy but with anything close to modern civilization. As some anonymous Internet sage once said, 'Muslims don't know how be a minority.'
2.11.2009 5:20pm
Arnostocles:

If you research the subject further, you'll find that that isn't limited to Muslim radicals. Violent political radicals very frequently (possibly more often than not) are children of privilege.


Very true. Fidel Castro is a perfect example. His father was an extremely wealthy landowner. George Washington was born into a landed family. Ruholla Khomeini also came from a respectable family. Same with Lenin.

But in all their cases, poor conditions made violent politics and revolutionary warfare viable. These leaders, like UBL, don't fight their fights by themselves. They needed people, masses of people, who were fed up with their conditions, and willing to fight and die to change them.

Arabs and Persians and Jews and Indians are the 4 wealthiest ethnic groups in the United States. Altogether they commit a very low level of violent crime. Now, take a look at Iraq, Iran, Israel, and Sri Lanka...

Poor living conditions lead to violence. Compare the South Bronx to South Hampton, only a few miles apart as the crow flies.
2.11.2009 5:34pm
Arnostocles:

The problem with Islam is that all Muslims subscribe to the doctrine of Islamic political supremacy.


Harry, have you ever met or interacted with a Muslim? Do you have any Muslim friends? I doubt it. You do know that there are a billion Muslims? Some Muslims I know subscribe to the doctrine of drinking beer on Friday night.


Besides the poor conditions in Muslim lands are because of Islam.


What is the proof for this?
And the good conditions in some Muslims lands is because of??
2.11.2009 5:42pm
Bob from Ohio (mail):
The Home Secretary allowed Ibrahim Mousawi, chief spokesman for Hizbollah, to enter Britain last May.

I would guess that the chief spokesman for Hizbollah would offend British Jews as much as Wilders offend British Muslims.

Perhaps Sarcasto can explain the difference in treatment?
2.11.2009 5:45pm
Arnostocles:

Perhaps Sarcasto can explain the difference in treatment?


What Ive seen is that the Home Secretary doesn't sua sponte investigate all incomers, but instead reacts to a public outcry before the arrival.

For example, gay rights activists petitioned HS David Blunkett to prohibit entry of musicians with homophobic lyrics. And he did so. He never would have done that had he not been informed and lobbied by the activists.

http://www.caribbeannetnews.com/2004/11/05/reggae.htm

That's what happened with Mousawi when he tried to visit Ireland. Pro-Israel groups lobbied the Justice Minister to ban him from entering, and the Minister complied. Mousawi was not allowed to enter.

Was there a similar outcry by UK Jews? I'm *SURE* there was. So why was he allowed in? Mousawi said he wanted to talk about peace, not hate, and that disallowing him would be an affront to free speech. I don't know why the Home Secretary didn't yield to the activists' demand to ban him. Perhaps he didn't find their claims credible. Perhaps he didn't see Mousawi as a threat to the peace. Or perhaps he didn't like Jews. Perhaps he was bribed. I doubt it was because he loved radical Muslims so much, or because he was afraid of radical Muslims.

These Home Ministers are big jerks.
2.11.2009 6:33pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'And the good conditions in some Muslims lands is because of??'

What Muslim majority country has good conditions?

When Islamic countries really were richer and, in many ways, better governed than, say, Italy, the Muslims were just as aggressive, violent and unwilling to live in harmony with infidels as today.

Anyhow, the condition of the Muslims wasn't improved by flying planes into the World Trade Center or by blowing up pizza parlors in Israel.

Muslims may believe their misery -- which is real enough -- was imposed from outside, but they're crazy. They achieved their bottom-of-the-barrel status all by themselves.

A fuller consideration is here
2.11.2009 7:19pm
David Warner:
Sarcastro,

When TR had Booker T. to dinner at the White House at the beginning of his Presidency and southern senators threw a fit, who took the hit, the racist senators? Nope, TR, for "agitating" the poor old South.

When the KKK burned crosses to maintain Jim Crow and the Freedom Riders attempted to protest, there were no shortage of folks who wanted to keep out the northern "agitators" in a misguided effort to keep the peace.

But honoring courageous achievement is always the right thing to do, whatever grievances may be manufactured from it, and protesting KKK cross burning is not the same as defaming the whole of Christianity. It was only when the best and the brightest of this nation decided to stop making excuses for the bad behavior of their preferred underdogs that things really started to change.

Which side are you on this time?
2.11.2009 7:21pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Wow. It seems to me it should be possible to assert all of the following:

1) The Brits caved on this one.
2) Some members of any religion may be prone to violence in the name of their religion.
3) Members of a group should not be generically tarred with a single brush. (Doing so combines hasty generalization with guilt by association.)

And, how, exactly, is the fact that E. Volokh did not find Wilders film to be too problematic evidence of anything other than the Professor's own opinion of the film?

It certainly is not evidence that Wilders' views are invulnerable to critique (that would be a kind of 'endorsement by association'). It does not evidence that anyone who disagrees with Wilders is an enemy or critic of Prof. Volokh. And it is utterly irrelevant to (a) whether the Brits caved, (b)whether Muslims are all/mostly terrible people, (c) whether the views of any poster, here, are plausible or not.
2.11.2009 8:15pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Chris.
Wrt yr last. What is utterly irrelevant to a, b, and c?

Seems to me the point here is to discuss the social and legal aspects of the Home secretary's decision and the REASON it happened. Also the likely results.
2.11.2009 8:35pm
Brian G (mail) (www):
Anyone who could defend the decision to exclude Geert Wilders entry to the U.K., especially in light of them having no problem in allowinf the leader in Hezbollah in the country, all I can say is I feel sorry for you.

And what is especially pathetic is that the people who have no problems justifying Mr. Wilders' exclusion are the same ones who will never admit Muslims are behind it all and will tar you as a bigot if you dare say that it is.

The U.K. is finished. It is only a matter of time now.
2.12.2009 12:29am
A. Zarkov (mail):
UK columnist Melanie Phillips writes:

If anyone had doubted the extent to which Britain has capitulated to Islamic terror, the banning of Geert Wilders a few hours ago should surely open their eyes.

...

So let's get this straight. The British government allows people to march through British streets screaming support for Hamas, it allows Hizb ut Tahrir to recruit on campus for the jihad against Britain and the west, it takes no action against a Muslim peer who threatens mass intimidation of Parliament, but it bans from the country a member of parliament of a European democracy who wishes to address the British Parliament on the threat to life and liberty in the west from religious fascism.
While Phillips gets the diagnosis right, she and many others critical of Islamic violence, can't go all the way to a solution: ban further immigration. Somehow many people believe that Western countries are somehow obligated to take in hordes from the Third World. In Europe it's North Africa. In the US it's Mexico. It some point the kissing has to stop. Civil War?
2.12.2009 8:19am
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Zark. You're a meanie.
2.12.2009 8:40am
wfjag:

Poor living conditions lead to violence. Compare the South Bronx to South Hampton, only a few miles apart as the crow flies.

Arnostocles:
I think you're making some fallacious assertions here.

First, it's not valid to compare political sociopaths to criminals (many of whom are sociopaths, but seldom are political sociopaths). A political sociopath has dedicated him/her self to some greater good (ideology, religion, volk, etc.) so that the death or suffering of individuals is unimportant. The end completely justifies the means. A criminal is out for him/her self. The suffering or death of others is less important that the criminal's gratification. There is no "greater good" supposedly being served or to be achieved.

Second, there is no causal relationship between poverty and violence. People in South Hampton can afford alarms, guards/patrols, and gated communities. People in the South Bronx cannot. A product of the South Bronx was Colin Powell. The statistics I've seen on violent crime in neighborhoods generally relate it to gangs, and gang membership never exceeds a few percent of the population. However, unlike most people in the neighborhood, the gangs are organized and armed. Further, the gangs tend to prey on the people in the neighborhood in which they are located. If poverty were the driving force, you'd expect them to go to where there was better loot. This is in contrast to professional criminals, who tend to go where they can make better money because the neighborhood is more affluent.
2.12.2009 12:08pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"You're a meanie."


But not a blue meanie.
2.12.2009 12:14pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
zark

Lucky for you.
2.12.2009 12:38pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"Poor living conditions lead to violence. Compare the South Bronx to South Hampton, only a few miles apart as the crow flies."

The two places have very different demographics-- the following come from Wikipedia.

Bronx:

23.0% White (13.0% non-Hispanic White alone), 34.5% Black or African American (30.6% non-Hispanic Black or African American alone)

I'm sure the South Bronx has very few whites.


Township of Southampton:

87.98% White, 6.62% Black 0.41% Native American, 0.89% Asian, 0.08%

Now go to the Bureau of Justice Statistics and look at Table 42 from any of the National Crime Victimization Surveys to see just who perpetrates crime. Blacks have about 8 times the violence rates of whites. Hispanics have about 3.

The usual refrain is to poverty. But there are some serious problems with this theory. Before 1950 The Bronx was mostly poor Jews and Italians. But very little crime compared to today. The USA as a whole did not suffer a major increase in crime during the Great Depression. If poverty were the major driver of crime, why didn't we see an upsurge during the 1930s? Of course we can never resolve the issue as to whether the primary driver behind crime is poverty because we can't do controlled experiments with humans.
2.12.2009 12:38pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
Zark.
You're getting close to blue.

What's the odds on crime being a primary driver of poverty?
2.12.2009 2:18pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
If you were to include crimes like tax evasion, stock kiting and barratry, I bet the crime statistics in the South Bronx and Southampton would look more alike.

How about this: All other things being equal, the level of violence associated with crimes for lucre rises as the opportunities for paper profits decline.
2.12.2009 4:03pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
"If you were to include crimes like tax evasion, stock kiting and barratry,..."

I think that's true, and white collar crime might prove much more destructive to American society than the blue collar variety. It all depends on whether you like your money stolen from you suddenly or over a long period. I always thought that the financial services industry has looted more money than anyone else. Violent crime is for losers.
2.12.2009 4:35pm
Carl Gardner/Head of Legal (mail) (www):
Thanks for linking to Kleindienst v Mandel - that's helpful to those of us this eastern side of the pond who know little US constitutional law.

Is the comparison a good one, though? To exclude an alien on grounds which raise free speech issues is one thing - in the UK anyway, that's fairly common. But to exclude an EU citizen, which Wilders as a Dutch citizen obviously is? There are very strict conditions for that, laid down under the key European legislation on free movement of EU citizens, Directive 2004/38.

In some ways this decision is like the exclusion of a foreigner from the US; but some would argue it's more analogous to a state excluding a US citizen from entry. I'd suggest it's in a sort of sui generis Euro-mezzanine.
2.12.2009 9:35pm
Ryan Waxx (mail):
Why are you people trying to have an intelligent debate with Sarcastro? Kind of a contradiction in terms, isn't it?

Best idea: let him flap his gums, score imaginary points in his own mind but nowhere else, and move on.
2.13.2009 9:06am
wfjag:

Why are you people trying to have an intelligent debate with Sarcastro?

Because the re-intrepretation of the time cycle ending date of the Mayan calendar (Dec. 12, 2012) has revealed that on that date the American people -- following the experience of Bush (41 &43), Clinton and Obama Presidencies, and Dem and Repub control of Congress both with or without the same party controlling the White House at the same time -- will decide that neither conservatives nor progressives are fit to govern nor can be trusted with power and neither Dem nor Rep politicans should be elected or appointed to any public office or position of trust. On that date Sarcastro will be selected to be Philosopher King.

He will model his rule on the example of Bill &Ted's Excellent Adventure.

Party on Ryan!
2.13.2009 10:07am
George Smith:
In The-Britain-Formerly-Known-As-Great, the decline continues.
2.13.2009 1:48pm
Richard Aubrey (mail):
zark, et al.
Violence is one way to take anothe's money. But, in addition, it also repels money, in the sense of productive people, businesses, and other economic activity. High-volume, low-margin stores don't operate in the inncer city because, among other things, they can't maintain that business model and afford the necessary security. If they raise that store's prices to make it profitable, including additional theft, they get hammered for discriminatory pricing. Hence, they don't start and the basics cost the locals more than the is the case in the 'burbs.
2.13.2009 2:54pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Richard Aubrey:

My comment about irrelevance was directed (I think) at 'Moneyrunner,' who noted that Prof. V was not disturbed by Wilders' film. On that basis, Moneyrunner seemed to challenge whomever he was ... addressing.. to say if Prof. V is or is not an Islamaphobe [or some such].

So, my point was 1)that Professor Volokh's not being shocked by Wilders' film and 2) that none of us, presumably, think of the Prof. as a crazed bigot are irrelevant to the questions: a) whether the Brits caved, (b)whether Muslims are all/mostly terrible people, (c) whether the views of any poster, here, are plausible or not.

I have not taught logic in ages, so I've forgotten much of the terminology. However, I took it that MR's 'argument' was roughly of this form:

1) You [someone] think I and others posting here are bigots.
2) You disagree with me and others about the Brits' decision to bar Wilders.
3) Prof Volokh was not shocked by Wilders' film.
4) [Therefore] If you either (a) think I and others are bigots or (b) agree with the Brits' decison, then you must think Prof. V. is a crazed bigot.

Absurd tactic, bad argumentation, nothing to do with anything.
2.13.2009 7:49pm
Harry Eagar (mail):
'High-volume, low-margin stores don't operate in the inner city'

That applies even in slums where violence is not especially bad. A culture of shoplifting will drive grocery stores out of peaceful impoverished neighborhoods.

I've watched it happen more than once.
2.13.2009 8:11pm

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