Banned Dutch MP flies in to Britain ... and is sent straight home again
Thick British politicians give Geert Wilders a goldmine worth of publicity. He has used it well to expose their spinelessness and duplicity
A far-right Dutch MP was turned back at Heathrow as he tried to defy a ban on entering Britain. Geert Wilders was barred earlier this week after Home Secretary Jacqui Smith learned that he was planning a trip to show his controversial film which links the Koran to terrorism. Mr Wilders, 45, was classed as someone considered likely to incite hatred and his visit a threat to 'community harmony and therefore public security'.
He was seized by border guards after his aircraft touched down, and questioned for more than an hour before flying back to the Netherlands. As he left he vowed to keep trying to come to Britain and revealed that he is going to Italy and the U.S. in the coming weeks to screen his film, which sparked violent protests around the Muslim world last year. He said: 'I am not a terrorist, but I am being treated like one. I did not come here for attention, I came to make a point about freedom of speech. 'Even if you do not like me, if you do not agree with my views, in the name of freedom of speech I should be allowed to hold a debate with others on those views. 'This just shows the Islamification of the UK.'
Mr Wilders accused the Government of cowardice and compared its decision to the policies of Neville Chamberlain, whose appeasement of Adolf Hitler in the run-up to the Second World War allowed the Nazis to invade neighbouring countries. Mr Wilders said: 'This is the beginning of the end of freedom of speech, of democracy in Britain. 'No other government has stopped me going anywhere. This is weak, it is cowardice and it is a blow for freedom of speech. 'It is sad that the ghost of Chamberlain still resides in the British Government instead of the Churchill way of acting. 'I am a democratically-elected representative of the third-biggest elected party in the Netherlands, yet I am being treated like a crazy extremist.'
Mr Wilders had been invited by UK Independence Party peer Lord Pearson to show his film entitled Fitna - Arabic for 'strife' - and hold a question and answer session in Parliament on Thursday. He has urged the Dutch government to ban the Koran and warned of a 'tsunami' of Islam swamping the Netherlands. His 17-minute documentary features verses from the Koran - which it brands a 'fascist book' - alongside images of the 9/11 and 7/7 terrorist attacks. It equates Islam's holy text with violence and ends with a call to Muslims to remove 'hate-preaching' verses.
It emerged that Mr Wilders, who is facing prosecution in the Netherlands for incitement to hatred and discrimination, visited Britain in December and met with no opposition. But on that occasion he did not show his film.
On Thursday he was allowed to board a flight to Heathrow from Amsterdam after the airline bmi admitted it had no legal powers to refuse a passenger with a ticket. Flanked by two Dutch police officers, Mr Wilders boarded the flight with a broad smile and gave an impromptu press conference to scores of British and Dutch reporters on the plane.
At Heathrow, Mr Wilders was met by a UK Border Agency representative who led him away for a ' discussion' which lasted just over an hour before he was ordered to board the next flight home.
His removal provoked an angry response from Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen, who said the Netherlands would press for a reversal of the ban. But Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the Home Secretary was following the law. He said Mr Wilders' work was a 'hate-filled film designed to stir up religious and racial hatred and is contrary to our laws'. Mr Miliband admitted, however, that he had not seen the film.
Downing Street said: 'The Prime Minister fully supports the decision taken by the Home Secretary.' Lord Pearson and crossbench peer Baroness Cox said in a joint statement that they were ' promoting freedom of speech' and accused the Government of 'appeasing' militant Islam. They added: 'Geert Wilders' Fitna film, available on the web, is not a threat to anyone. It merely suggests how the Koran has been used by militant Islamists to promote and justify their violence.'
How Britain, the cradle of liberty, is sleepwalking towards cultural suicide
If anyone had doubted the extent to which Britain has capitulated to Islamic terror, the banning of Geert Wilders should surely open their eyes. Wilders, the Dutch member of parliament who had made an uncompromising stand against the Koranic sources of Islamist extremism and violence, was due to give a screening of Fitna, his film on this subject, at the House of Lords on Thursday. This meeting had been postponed amid claims that Lord Ahmed had previously threatened the House of Lords authorities that he would bring a force of 10,000 Muslims to lay siege to the Lords if Wilders was allowed to speak. Lord Ahmed denies this report and said his lawyers are investigating those he blames for spreading it.
To their credit, the Lords authorities had stood firm and said extra police would be drafted in to meet any threat and the Wilders meeting should go ahead. But now the government has announced that it is banning Wilders from the country. A letter from the Home Secretary's office to Wilders, delivered via the British embassy in the Hague, said: '...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.'
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.
It is he, not them, who is considered a `serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society'. Why? Because the result of this stand for life and liberty against those who would destroy them might be an attack by violent thugs. The response is not to face down such a threat of violence but to capitulate to it instead. It was the same reasoning that led the police on those pro-Hamas marches to confiscate the Israeli flag, on the grounds that it would provoke violence, while those screaming support for genocide and incitement against the Jews were allowed to do so.
The reasoning was that the Israeli flag might provoke thuggery while the genocidal incitement would not. So those actually promoting aggression were allowed to do so while those who threatened no-one at all were repressed.
And now a Dutch politician who doesn't threaten anyone is banned for telling unpalatable truths about those who do; while those who threaten life and liberty find that the more they do so, the more the British government will do exactly what they want, in the interests of `community harmony'.
Wilders is a controversial politician, to be sure. But this is another fateful and defining issue for Britain's governing class as it continues to sleepwalk into cultural suicide. If British MPs do not raise hell about this banning order, if they go along with this spinelessness, if they fail to stand up for the principle that the British Parliament of all places must be free to hear what a fellow democratically elected politician has to say about one of the most difficult and urgent issues of our time, if they fail to hold the line against the threat of violence but capitulate to it instead, they will be signalling that Britain is no longer the cradle of freedom and democracy but its graveyard.
Central Michigan university is being sued by a former player, who claims her heterosexuality was a factor in losing a scholarship
Brooke Heike said she fell out of favor with Sue Guevara immediately after the coach was hired in 2007. Heike said Guevara told her she wore too much makeup and was not the coach's "type." That meant she wasn't a lesbian, according to a lawsuit filed last week in federal court in Bay City.
The former Romeo High School star lost her scholarship after the 2007-08 season. "I didn't feel that she did anything to improve herself after being told over and over what she needed to do," Guevara told an appeals committee last June.
Heike's lawsuit claims the appeals panel "simply rubber-stamped defendant Guevara's bad-faith decision to deprive plaintiff of her scholarship and dismiss her from the team" for reasons unrelated to basketball.
Central Michigan spokesman Steve Smith said the allegations have no merit, and the university will "vigorously defend its position in court."
Guevara, a former coach at Michigan, was hired by the Chippewas in 2007. Heike was recruited by the previous coach, Eileen Kleinfelter. Heike played in 11 games as a freshman but only six in her sophomore season under Guevara.
"I had faith in CMU. I liked CMU. I wanted to give it everything I could," Heike told Guevara during the meeting on her appeal. "I wasn't going to give up. You gave up on me." Heike has been attending community college since leaving campus, her lawyer, Cindy Rhodes Victor, said. "She was so traumatized by the experience," Victor said Tuesday.
The lawsuit seeks a jury trial and an unspecified cash award.
A "caring" socialist government in action during the recent huge floods in Northern Australia
During the floods, all road access to the historic inland town of Charters Towers was cut off. All road bridges were underwater. But the railway bridge was still above water and functioning. So the Queensland government sent in needed supplies by rail, right? No way! The government railroad REFUSED repeated requests to send in any supplies at all. And when pressure was brought to bear on them while food was running out in the town, what did they finally do? Instead of food they sent in beer and a lawnmower! I kid you not. I have relatives in the town who vouch for the fact. Below is the speech given in the State Parliament by Shane KNUTH (Charters Towers-LNP) on the matter. One notes with sadness how the dead hand of bureaucracy has destroyed the natural inclination of Australians to do all they can to help one-another in emergencies. Can you be a human being and a bureaucrat at the same time? It seems doubtful
I rise to bring to the attention of the House the very serious matter of the lack of cooperation from Queensland Rail during the recent flooding of the Burdekin River over the Macrossan Bridge.
I was employed by Queensland Rail for more than 20 years. I attended many washouts, many floods and a lot of maintenance and bridge and line repairs. During these events we recognised the plight of stranded travellers and those who needed to attend medical appointments and so on in the city. There was a great Aussie spirit as we transferred trapped travelers from one bridge to another. We prided ourselves on our ability to be there to help. We used section cars, rail motors and flat tops to get the job done. This was an automatic and natural response. People were in need and we had the resources to meet their needs.
During the recent floods, the Burdekin River at Macrossan rose to a staggering height of 20.75 metres-the highest reading since 1946. While the Macrossan Bridge was closed, the road between Charters Towers and Mount Garnet was closed and the road between Charters Towers and Clermont was also closed. Charters Towers was isolated except for the still-functioning railway line, which runs parallel to the Flinders Highway.
At a time when basic necessities such as medication and food to supply our three colleges, the elderly and the general public were being depleted, Queensland Rail hierarchy resisted appeals for help with freight transport. The local disaster management committee approached Queensland Rail for assistance in a crisis but, lo and behold, QR flatly refused to provide the required help. No-one could understand why QR had developed such a resistant attitude. But since QR has stopped all small freight and now concentrates on bulk haulage, it seemed determined not to help with the carting of small freight necessities, even in the time of emergency.
During the closure of the Macrossan Bridge there was great stress amongst stranded travellers and people needing to keep their medical appointments and catch flights to their destination. Some travellers were stranded for days before being forced to find accommodation and to buy what little food remained in the town. Queensland Rail, however, threatened to prosecute desperate people who attempted walking across the rail bridge to finally get to their destination. Many felt that they had no choice but to risk prosecution and took off across the rail bridge.
That was the extent of Queensland Rail's offer-- prosecution, no section cars, no rail transport, no support, no contingency plan, nothing! The attitude was, `We don't transport small freight. The town can starve.'
However, recognising the error of its ways after appeal by the mayor, the state member, the local disaster committee and the media, QR thought it could sweeten the community by providing seven pallets of grog and a lawnmower-which turned up by rail from nowhere!
Finally, after sufficient prodding, Queensland Rail finally gave in and sent the basic necessities by rail on Saturday afternoon. All of the time QR was trying to set the perception that it was being helpful, but this is a lie. Trains continued to operate throughout the crisis carrying ballast, so no-one could understand why the basic supplies could not be brought in.
But wait! It does not finish there. The Inlander [passenger train], which was held up at Hughenden, unmanned and unstaffed, passed through to Townsville by stealth in the early hours of Saturday morning hoping that stranded passengers in Charters Towers would not see it pass by. Queensland Rail knew that passengers where stranded but did not want to fly out personnel at a cost to escort stranded passengers to Townsville.
This is a shocking disgrace and a far cry from my days of service in Queensland Rail when we felt privileged to look after people. It is all right for the state government and Queensland Rail to take a special gravy train to entertain a group of party hacks and pay all expenses to tour Brisbane with drinks and snacks provided and then wind up with a lavish lunch at Roma Street Parkland, but when it comes to a crisis which affects people and their welfare, Queensland Rail is nowhere to be seen.
What has happened to the once-proud Queensland Rail that was renowned for its excellent service to Queenslanders? It has become a heartless, profit-making, cost-cutting corporation whose aim is to service the mining industry to the exclusion of the towns and the people who have made Queensland what it is today. I call on the minister to recognise that there has been a downturn in the mining industry and that now is the time to get back to the basics of providing a freight service and looking after people in times of crisis such as we have just experienced in the major floods in north Queensland.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.