And here is the man persona non grata with Her Majesty's Government,talking about the "monstrously outrageous" decision with British-born Canadian broadcaster Michael Coren, both men citing the double standards that permit Islamic misogynists and antisemites to enter Britain and agreeing that the ban proves how supine Britain has become in the face of "Islamic supremacism".
Coren makes the point that Britain fought a world war against fascism ...
Meanwhile, blogging on ConservativeHome, a grassroots Conservative Party website that he edits, MP Paul Goodman (incidentally a Roman Catholic of Jewish extraction) defends the government's decision, while recognising that there are gross and troubling double standards involved:
"Such is the harm that Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller are doing to the struggle against Islamist extremism that they might as well be paid by the Muslim Brotherhood. Although their views and outlook are not identical, both are either incapable or unwilling of making the vital distinction between Islam and Islamism - and thereby damage the combat with the latter....
.... Much though I detest Spencer and Geller .... Neither oppose western liberal democracy. Neither support attacks on British troops. And neither back the deliberate targetting of civilians (at least, as far as I know). Furthermore, supporters of free speech should be deeply uneasy about May's use of "may" (small m) and "might".
Incitement to violence is one thing; remarks that may lead to hatred which might lead to violence are another. And although May has cracked down on hate preachers who have made remarks that may lead to hatred that might lead to violence, it can be argued that some are still slipping through the net. I see that the Commentator has raised the case of Muhammad Al-Arifi. But what swings the balance of the argument in favour of May's decision is the intention of Spencer and Geller of speaking at an English Defence League rally in Woolwich.
The EDL is hopelessly compromised by thuggery and violence: indeed, both are intrinsic to it.... I suspect that in the Home Secretary's judgement Geller and Spencer's intention of speaking at the Woolwich event made incitement to violence probable. It will be claimed that this is an insufficient grounds for banning either or both. But neither are British citizens. May is under no obligation to admit them. She is entitled to consider the public interest in doing so - or the lack of it, as in this case.
But there is a sting in the tail. It was not in the public interest to let Abu Qatada into Britain, either - and his case is far worse than that of either Spencer or Geller, neither of whom are terrorists. And it is not in the public interest to keep him here. While there is no guarantee that withdrawal from the ECHR [European Commission on Human Rights] would provide a cure-all for his case, it's worth noting that our courts have twice gone along with efforts to deport him. If the Government is to ban the specks that are Spencer and Geller, it must expel the beam that is Qatada."The comments beneath Mr Goodman's blog indicate a large degree of dissension, disillusionment, and disgust with the decision, however.
"The problem is that nobody in parliament really speaks up for what the majority of the population think re immigration. The political class limit their discussions to a very narrow range. Where is the political representation for thinking folk who want to see immigration fixed? In the absence of proper representation for the decent views of the majority of the population, in politics or the press especially the bbc, then its kinda inevitable the pressure cooker will continue to build up pressure. So we will have more ... voters turning to ukip [UK Independence Party] in desperation, and we will have the more extreme political groups gaining support" is a fairly typical comment, one that manages to keep the I word at bay, that is (others are not so restrained).To quote some of The Commentator article, cited above:
'But let's even park the concerns of the non-Muslim population in the UK, and look at the recent entry of someone like Muhammad Al-Arifi, a Saudi scholar who has been widely criticised for his sectarian views. Al-Arifi has declared that Shia Muslims are “evil” and that they “set traps for monotheism" - a sure sign of creating division and discord, bringing an entire community into disrepute. Conducive to the public good? I think not.
But he was allowed into Britain, no problems at all. And allowed to proselytise on British airwaves. Again. No problem.
In February 2013 he also stated that “Al-Qaeda members do not tolerate accusing other Muslims of apostasy and they do not tolerate bloodshed” and that “...al-Qaeda leader Sheikh Oussama Bin Laden, may his soul rest in peace, did not adopt many of the thoughts that are attributed to him today”.
There's also Shady Al-Suleiman, the Australian cleric who has called, "for Allah to destroy the enemies of Islam” and who has endorsed the terrorist outfit Hamas (which Britain recognises as a terrorist entity). He's even endorsed the killing of British soldiers, saying, "Give victory to all the Mujahideen all over the world. Oh Allah, prepare us for the jihad”.
And yet, not a peep from Theresa May or the Home Office. Even amidst the concerns from the Muslim community.
So let's recap: Geller and Spencer banned for blogging critically about Islam. Al-Suleiman and Al-Arifi given free passage despite actively fomenting sectarian divisions and endorsing terrorism.
I'm beginning to see how this all works.'Incidentally, regarding one of Britain's home-grown extremists, Anjem Choudary, Muslim "revert" Lauren Booth (interviewed by Aled Jones and Lorraine Kelly regarding Muslim fears in the wake of the Woolwich atrocity) dismisses him as a marginal figure with a tiny following and asks why the media interviews him so often. She also takes issue with her brother-in-law Tony Blair's warning regarding the threat of Islamic extremism (video here).