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Saturday, 14 February 2009

Freedom of expression

One of the other headline news items of this past week has been the decision of the British Home Secretary (she of the purest character – some £116,000 worth!) to ban from the country, the Dutch politician Geert Wilders. This banning order was made on the basis of his (amateur) film “Fitna” (the Arabic word for “strife”) which, according to Foreign Secretary, David Milliband, M.P., and Keith Vaz, MP, Labour Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee, promotes “racial hatred and violence” (see http://www.ccfon.org/mediacentre.php?avid=161&avap=1 )
Like Mr Vaz, I haven’t seen the whole film (actually, I have found part of it on YouTube; while Mr Vaz had to admit that he had not seen any of it!), but what I have seen was certainly not an incitement to any form of violence at all. Rather, it suggests that certain parts of the Qu’ran – the holiest book in Islam – have been, and are, used by extremist Islamists to justify their terrorist and criminal activity.

My own problem – shared by many – is that while the current British government is prepared to ban entry to this country by a man who holds views that are unacceptable to some of the Islamic community (not all, as the above video link will show), that same government allows extremist Islamic Imams, and other preachers, to live in the UK (even, in some cases, drawing state benefits) and propagate their own message of hatred and violence against all that is not of Islam! That same government welcomes, with open arms – and Gordon Brown even apologises for the snow that had fallen on the south of England and, particularly, Downing Street! – the Chinese Prime Minister, a man who represents a country with one of the worst, but best-documented, records of human rights violation to be found world-wide. It is difficult not to think that the current government is still fixated on the whole topic of trade and finance, above everything else.

It is also interesting to note that this decision was made after complaints by Muslim peer, Lord Ahmed, who claims that that Geert Wilders did not want to give him freedom of worship – something that was not obvious in what I have watched. Of course the same Lord Ahmed, in a Radio 4 interview, also claimed that Wilders was in cahoots with UKIP and the BNP – further, as far as I know, totally unsubstantiated claims.

So, it does seem, at least on the surface, that while Christianity may be the legitimate target of anyone and everyone, nothing must be said or done to upset the Islamic community. Perhaps Jennie Cain (see previous post) should have asked her friends to recite salat-l-istikhara (the Islamic prayer for guidance) instead of asking them to pray in the Name of the Lord Jesus!

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