BBC: Geert Wilders ban
Date: 12 Feb 2009
Page last updated at 21:22 GMT, Wednesday, 11 February 2009
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Geert Wilders ban: Your comments
A Dutch MP who described the Koran as a "fascist book" has been banned by the Home Office from entering the UK amid fears his presence would endanger public security.
Freedom Party MP Geert Wilders was due to show his controversial film - which links the Islamic holy book to terrorism - in the UK's House of Lords.
BBC News website readers have been getting in touch with their views on the decision.
Below is a selection of your comments:
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It's devastating to see that even in the UK freedom of speech can be blocked by a minority which blackmails a free society by threatening with riots & chaos. Mr Geert Wilders is not anti-Islam in general, but anti-Islam extremists, the sort of people who bombed public transport and airports in the UK.
Arie, Rotterdam, Netherlands
UK is banning a member of our parliament because of fear for muslims? Wilders does criticise Islam and you can argue whether he does that tastefully (I didn't vote for him) but he never crossed the legal line. Apparently nowadays the fear in England is bigger than the will to defend the freedom of speech. I was always a big England fan (even spent my honeymoon over there) but now I think England should be ashamed! Many Dutch people, including myself, are now thinking of boycotting England!
Yes, I think he should be banned not only from entering the UK but from Dutch politics. That he is not a friend of Muslims or Islam is apparent but his approach is very wrong. I recognise a lot of his bluntness, crudeness and rudeness in many Dutch people, as I have after all lived in the Netherlands since 1974. I am not a Muslim but clearly sense a rise of racist attitude among the Dutch thanks to people like Wilders. People are entitled to their differences of opinion but there is a right and wrong approach. I think Muslims have a right to be equally critical about the West regarding the war in Iraq, to name an example.
Rajiv Mukhi, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Geert Wilders is a member of parliament in an European country. It is a sad reflection of how far the United Kingdom has sunk when a democratically elected European parliamentarian is refused entry to the UK to address the House of Lords because of fear of the reaction of a violent mob. People may agree or disagree with what Wilders has to say, but he has the right to say it. The Lords who invited him have the right to hear him and discuss what he has to say. It is a sad day for the United Kingdom for Parliament and for free speech when they are intimidated into silence by threats of mob violence.
Frank Clough, Gothenburg, Sweden
Being Dutch, I am very ashamed of Mr. Wilders. He would be much more successful if his expressions were less offending. He causes a lot of trouble, especially for the Dutch abroad and he abuses our freedom of expression.
Jozina, Tenerife, Spain
Mr Wilders does not propagate hate. He makes the case in his film that numerous terrorist acts find their justification in the Koran. It is a very strong case that Muslims must answer. Wilders does not foster violence, the threat of violence comes entirely from his opponents. The government's refusal to allow him in the country is craven. I suspect it's demoralising to ordinary Muslims who would prefer to be genuinely respected rather than being feared.
Patrick McGuire, Paris, France
It was a very wise decision to ban the MP as his views only incite Muslims to cause trouble in response to the atrocious claims by Wilders. It is cruel and unjust to link the Islamic holy book which incidentally is identical to the old testament of the Bible and the first five chapters of the Torah, to terrorist measures. You cannot link the actions of a small minority to Muslims in general and this is clearly all Wilder's film was doing. How dare the UKIP or any other party think that this is acceptable! Yes, we live in a democracy but not one that incites racial hate or discrimination. I absolutely agree with the Home Office and think they were right!
Sophia, Bradford, UK
Why are we banning this elected politician from our country, yet elevating people like Mr. Ahmed to the highest levels of our government, only to turn around and threaten our government with protests? The UK is meant to stand for freedom of speech - it's what has kept radical preachers in this country for decades with no hope of expelling them - but we aren't allowed to invite someone to TALK about it! Freedom of speech seems only to apply to Muslims these days. Everyone else is branded an 'islamophobe' for daring to exercise their fundamental rights in a 'free' society.
Chris Haynes, London, UK
Mr. Wilders clearly imagined there was freedom of speech in the UK. As an MP of another country he should be admitted here. The "hate" problem is there not because of him but because of those who threaten to demonstrate against him.
Gerry, Exeter, UK