Thursday, February 12, 2009

"Oh, be careful little tongue what you say.": Freedom of Speech is Quickly Becoming a Distant Memory

Very few Americans, I assume, know anything about this or have ever even heard of this man. Geert Wilders, a Dutch parliamentarian (politician for you out there who don't speak European government) & film maker, has been banned from the UK.

Why? You may ask.

Well, Mr. Wilders recently made a film criticizing Islam & the Koran. He was invited to The House of Lords to present his controversial film but the British government said that they would refuse him entry on the basis that his presence "would threaten community harmony & therefore public security in the UK."

My first thought was, "Wow, the UK has reached 'community harmony?' Why wasn't this on the news?"

My second thought was "It isn't this man who would be posing a security risk, it would be the angry mob that Britain has lately shown they cannot control."

Granted, "one man" can change the world for good (Jesus) or bad (Hitler), but this man is only showing a film to a select group of people, not aired to the general population of Britain.

Well, to go on with the story, Mr. Wilders decided to test the British & fly to the unwelcoming country anyway. He was then taken into custody & questioned. The plans are to stick him on the next plan back to Holland, but I have yet to hear if that has happened yet or not.

Many see this as total disregard of "freedom of speech." I feel the same but, even while typing this entry &, I guess, allowing my mind to mull over each side's arguments, I have to say I can kind of see the British government's reasons or at least a possible reason for their fear (when I squint & cock my head to one side).

Ok, I'm going to say something here that may sound completely over the top but that is usually how many politicians look at things, they tend to have a flair for the dramatic. Maybe that is why so many in Hollywood keep trying to get into politics.

Anyway, I guess it would be best to start with a question. Where is the line that separates people from just expressing their opinion to becoming Hitler? Hitler was known to be a great public speaker. Many have commented on how well he expressed his opinions & could win over a crowd. But then, it turned in to something much bigger. You don't want to stomp on someone's right to express their opinions but at the same time you don't want it to turn into that either. Of course, I guess it would depend a lot on which side of the issue you stood on.

A nagging thought, however, that I keep having is, if this movie was criticizing Christianity & the Bible, would there be such an upheaval?


Donald H. said...

To answer your question, I don't think they would stop an anti-Christian film.

Dropping the Past said...

I agree with you, Donald. That was one of my first reactions.

I'm an American currently living in Canada and they are cracking down on "hate speech." If you start saying something that is not PC or liked by a particular group, you'll be inciting hate. You can expect possible charges.

Britain has an influx of Muslims and it seems that they (the government) do a lot stifle anything that speaks out against the religion of Islam. Yet there are many cases I hear that people are fired for wearing crosses or some other Christian insignia.

Also here in Canada, I know that anyone who can perform marriages must perform ALL marriages--whether you agree with them or not. I have heard of a Christian pastor who has had his license revoked for refusing to marry a same-sex couple. There will be a time when everything will be a crime except with is deemed acceptable.