According to the Independent (U.K.), British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said of those on the list, which was begun last October and adds two to five people per month, “This is someone who has fallen into the category of fomenting hatred, of such extreme views and expressing them in such a way that it is actually likely to cause inter-community tension or even violence if that person were allowed into the country.”
On this list is U.S. shock-jock Michael Savage, who has one of the top-five largest radio audiences in the United States. Savage apparently made the list because he called the Koran “a book of hate” and has verbally assailed illegal immigration in the United States. Savage, who is on the list with murderers and people who openly provoke killing and other violence, plans to sue Smith for defamation because he opposes violence. Since Savage would essentially be suing the British government, however, his case will likely go nowhere.
Those public notables missing from the list tell as much about the reasons for its enactment as any other factor. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who sparked a mass walkout at the UN racism conference by EU delegates in April for a tirade against Israelis, including calling them “racist perpetrators of genocide,” according to the Guardian (U.K.), is missing (though he could be one of the unnamed six). Also missing are U.S. leader of the Nation of Islam Louis Farrakhan, who regularly verbally disparages whites and Jews; the leaders of MoveOn.org for publishing anti-Catholic rhetoric on their website; and the leaders of the Hispanic groups La Raza (The Race) and MEChA for promoting the killing of whites, along with a long list of brutal dictators from around the world. Nor does the list advocate evicting from Britain any of the numerous Muslims who parade around that country with signs advocating the killing of non-Muslims.
The fact is that this ban is a political showcase of support for Britain’s Islamists, homosexuals, and illegal immigrants — nothing more. The U.K. — while adding some truly violent people to the list, such as murderous Russian skinhead leaders — is picking and choosing amongst issuers of politically incorrect messages, obviously to quell speech against the favored minorities. This is the same country that last December allowed the U.K.’s Channel 4 to broadcast an alternative Christmas message by the Iranian president to the British people after the queen gave her annual Christmas address.
Of course, banning people with “unpopular” views will do nothing to quell terrorism. Nor will it eliminate unpopular views, unless the U.K. bans or strictly controls the Internet. People will just be afraid to publically say something politically incorrect, even if they are correct.
Though I’d like to say that the United States is above such attempts at the political destruction of free speech, the United States Senate will likely vote on May 7 on what is called the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act. The House has already passed a version of this legislation. This bill would lead to criminal charges being filed against anyone, including priests and ministers, for hate crimes if they speak out against any congressionally sanctified sexual aberration, such as homosexuality and pedophilia, if anyone in the speaker’s audience later hurts someone in a protected group. In the United States too, we have a federal no-fly list for government-disapproved peoples.
As it stands, the U.K.’s travel ban is mainly a bad joke to most, egregiously affecting a small number of newsworthy people in the news — and will likely remain so unless it grows exponentially or is instituted across the EU or the world — while the U.S. “hate-crime” bill upends the protections of the First Amendment and should scare all U.S. citizens to their core.
AP Images: Photo of radio talk show host Michael Savage