The Home Office has issued the latest list of people it believes should not come to the country because they hold extremist opinions.
The list of people banned over the past six months includes a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, a neo-Nazi, a Hamas MP, a Baptist pastor and his daughter barred for homophobia and a Jewish extremist. Oddly, it also contains the name Michael Savage, a US "shock jock" talk-show host whose views on Islam, rape and autism have stirred controversy in America. By all accounts, his views are pretty offensive; but is that reason enough to ban someone? The test usually is whether the individual in expressing his views would threaten public order. This is the justification given for refusing entry to the American political leader Louis Farrakhan, leader of the Nation of Islam. But to ban a radio presenter from a democratic country where he is allowed to broadcast freely is a new departure, as was the decision to refuse entry to Gert Wilders, the Dutch MP, a few months back for wanting to show a film about the Koran to British parliamentarians.
The Government claims Savage engages in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence. But is not the real reason he is barred because he preaches dislike of other groups rather than violence against them?
Jacqui Smith said the people who were banned were those whose views the country 'would not tolerate'.
This is dumb. But I find it funny that most of the people upset about this were the same people who didn't think Ahmadinejad should be allowed into the US to speak at NYU a couple years ago. In fact, if I remember correctly, Michael Savage was one of the voices leading that charge.
"Have you heard Ahmadinejad's views on the Holocaust and Isreal? We shouldn't allow him into the country and give him a platform to speak."
"How dare they say I shouldn't be allowed in the country because of my views on various political issues."