Defending freedom of speech - Round 2
Sometimes the news can be good.
Last year, Lord Pearson and Baroness Cox invited Geert Wilders, of the Dutch Freedom Party, to show his film Fitna in Parliament. When he arrived in London, he was detained at Heathrow and forced to return to Holland.
However, the decision by Jacqui Smith, the then-home secretary, to ban him from the United Kingdom was overturned by the United Kingdom's Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, which noted the vital importance of free speech to society.
Lord Pearson and Baroness Cox are cheerful and persistent defenders of freedom of speech. They again invited Wilders to the House of Lords. On Friday, Wilders showed his film, which compares the teachings of the Koran with Islamist violence.
In a report filed by the BBC, "Lady Cox said the visit was a victory for free speech, saying, 'You don't have to agree but it is important to debate sensibly in a responsible and very democratic way'".
Wilders, who may be the next Dutch Prime Minister, spoke about the attacks on European and British democracy by violent Islamists and the incompatibility of totalitarianism and democracy.
Who am I if I cannot freely say what I think?