Notepad on Life

July 2, 2013

We don’t like to talk about it – an open letter to the British Home Secretary

Dear Home Secretary,

I write to add my voice to those of the many people angered by your decision to ban American anti-jihad campaigners, Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from these shores.

That people who trade in words and ideas can be kept out of the same land that takes forever to expel Islamists who openly campaign for the destruction of our way of life would be baffling enough but on top of this, I believe the rationale behind your action is flawed.

For if expressing views that “foment…terrorist violence” or “foster hatred” is enough on its own to justify exclusion (the question of how valid such views might be does not even warrant consideration, I notice) then the gameplan is clear for anyone who objects to inconvenient truths being told or too bright a light being shone upon his ideology.

Slaughter a soldier on the streets of London. Blow up a tube train. And watch the British Government do your all your media management for you: suppressing anything likely to provoke you in future and allowing you to continue moving silently in the shadows.

If someone chooses to react violently because of discussion, you go after the violent. You don’t close down the debate.

A free society is never easy, I know. Voices get raised in the marketplace of ideas and making sure everyone stays peaceful takes time and effort. That is the price we have to pay, however, because the alternative – a land where debate is silenced – is unthinkable.

Sadly, I believe you took the ‘anything for a quiet life’ approach in making your decision. Rent-a-mob grumbled loudly in the corner and you blinked. In doing so, you revealed the most tenuous of grips on what democracy entails and made this country look gutless and shallow.


[Petition protesting the decision now 6,000-strong at time of writing]


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