(This story has been updated.)
On Wednesday, two American citizens were told that their opinions were a danger to the UK and as such, they were banned from visiting the country.
Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, two outspoken American bloggers and pro-Israel activists were slated to speak this week at a rally for the English Defence League in the United Kingdom (UK). But that's not happening. Both Geller and Spencer were denied entry into the UK by the Home Secretary's office. Among the reasons given, their presence is "not conducive to the public good."
According to documents sent to Geller and Spencer (both of the letters were virtually identical), their denial was based upon a perceived violation(s) of the British government's "Unacceptable Behaviour" policy. That policy states that the government can expel/deport or deny entry to any non-UK national who violates the policy by engaging in one of the "behaviours" on the list.
- Writing, producing, publishing or distributing material
- Public speaking including preaching
- running a website
- using a position of responsibility such as a teacher, community or youth leader
To express views that:
- foment or justify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs
- seek to provoke others to terrorist attacks
- foment other criminal activity or seek to promote others to commit serious criminal acts
- foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK
The backgrounds of the two banned Americans were reviewed by the Home Secretary's office and they were told in crystal clear terms, "your presence here is not conducive to the public good."
The official notice went on to clarify, "You are therefore instructed not to travel to the UK as you will be refused admission on arrival."
In a striking blow against freedom, the British government has banned us from entering the country. Muhammad al-Arifi, who has advocated Jew-hatred, wife-beating, and jihad violence, entered the U.K. recently with no difficulty. In not allowing us into the country solely because of our true and accurate statements about Islam, the British government is behaving like a de facto Islamic state. The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead.
If Geller and Spencer's names sound familiar to you, they are the driving force behind many campaigns to educate people in America and around the world to the dangers of "creeping sharia" and some of the motives behind the more militant factions of Islam. They are regularly described as "extreme" and "anti-Islam" by their opponents.
Last November, TheBlaze published a story about their mass transit campaign that irritated many pro-Muslim organizations like CAIR. The ad in question showed the World Trade Center towers in flames along with quotes from the Quran.
Overnight, Ms. Geller provided answers to TheBlaze questions about the ban as well as the stated purpose of her visit to England;
I was going to lay flowers at the site on Armed Forces day and I was banned. My crime? My principled dedication to freedom. I am a human rights activist dedicated to freedom of speech, freedom of conscience and individual rights for all before the law. I fiercely oppose violence and the persecution and oppression of minorities under supremacist law. I deplore violence and work for the preservation of freedom of speech to avoid violent conflict.
Geller pointed out that the UK banned her without her being charged or convicted of any crime, "I became a writer and activist in the wake of 911. For this I am banned. I shed no tears. I am banned from Mecca, too."
Concerning the charge by the Home Secretary's office that Geller and Spencer's presence in the UK was "not conducive to the public good", Ms Geller also states;
It is painfully apparent that the action of the British authorities will have the opposite effect of what they had intended. They have lit a fuse. And instead of allowing a respectful laying of flowers in memory of Lee Rigby on Armed Forces day, they have given rise and sanction to poison like this: "IED threat to Britain as fanatic Anjem Choudary recruits vigilante squads" (Geller was pointing to a story from the Sun about radical muslim preacher Anjem Choudary and his recent call to create a network of “task forces” in the UK with the intention of meting out their own form of justice.)
We have posted a copy of Ms. Geller's letter below. As stated above, it is identical to the one received by Mr. Spencer, only the names have been changed.
Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter -- @stuntbrain