England continues to use criminal laws and travel bans to punish individuals for controversial speech. One such controversial writer, Dutch politician Geert Wilders, now says that he is going to try to get into the country despite a ban to contest the use of such laws to punish free speech. He was invited to visit the country by a member of Parliament.
Wilders was invited by a member of Parliament to show his anti-Islam movie “Fitna,” which attacks Islam by calling the Koran a “fascist” book and accuses Islam of being a violent religion.
Regardless of how offensive such comments might be, this is ultimately a question of free speech. The government insists that it “opposes extremism in all its forms” and would work to “stop those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our communities from coming to our country.” Yet, that is the very justification used for centuries by government to suppress free speech “in any form.” We have learned that the greatest danger is not wingnuts like WIlders, but the suppression of free thought and free speech.
This story comes in the same week as the arrest of journalists in India for publishing an article deemed insulting to religion.
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