Thursday, February 12, 2009

'Islamophobic' politician refused UK entry

The title screen to the controversial film

It was perhaps an standard procedure enacted out by UK authorities, but the blocking of Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders from entering Britain only fuelled publicity for the film he had come to promote. Fitner explores Koranic alleged motivations for terrorism, Islamic universalism, and Islam in the Netherlands. Its title comes from the Arabic word fitna, which describes "disagreement and division among people" or a "test of faith in times of trial".
Many critics have described the film as offensive. But arriving on flight 104 to Heathrow on Thursday, Geert Wilders said, “Even if you don’t like my thoughts at least defend the right to freedom of speech”. On arrival authorities were not quite so open minded. He was taken off for a “discussion” after which he was escorted to another plane to be immediately deported and told he would be banned for three years from returning. Lord Pearson described the decision as ludicrous. But Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrats’ Home Affairs spokesperson thought it was the right decision. “Would he be inciting violence and hatred? I believe he would” he told Channel Four News. However other thought the ban would only serve to give oxygen to Geert Wilders and stifle debate. Maajid Nawaz of the Quilliam Foundation described the decision as a knee-jerk reaction by the British government. While saying he thought the film was offensive he insisted it did not incite violence [BBC / Sky News / CNN / Press TV / al Jazeera /]


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