Last year, Network Solutions (a hosting company that caused Chet trouble on an unrelated problem) yanked the website of Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, who produced a movie entitled “Fitnah” to protest the murder of the director of the movie “Submission” Both “Fitna” and “Submission” focus on perceived mistreatment of women in Islam.
Britain yesterday decided that avoiding another terrorist strike was more important that free speech or even Continental Unity (as Mr. Wilders is a Parliamentarian in a fellow EU member state). Wilders’ response is typical of his bravery and showmanship:
“I’ll see what happens at the border,” Geert Wilders told Radio Netherlands on Wednesday. “Let them put me in handcuffs.”
The right-wing lawmaker was invited by a member of Parliament to show his anti-Islam movie “Fitna,” which calls the Koran a “fascist” book and accuses Islam of being a violent religion. He was told by the British Embassy in a letter Tuesday that he could not set foot in the country.
Previous attempts to show the film, in the real world and online, have been met with death threats and self-censorship. In the U.K., making the film is cause for expulsion from the country.
My hat off to Mr. Wilders, and other defenders of intellectual freedom everywhere.
Update 2: More on the retreat of free-speech in Europe, from The Economist.