From Elsewhere: Melanie Phillips on the jihad against free thought.

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Excellent article on the banning of counterjihadists from the UK whilst simultaneously turning a blind eye to Islamic hate-mongers.  I disagree that this will damage the reputations of Ms Geller and Mr Spencer as sometimes being banned from somewhere enhances a person or items reputation.  More people will seek out the words of these and other counterjihadists.  Although she does express an opinion of the EDL over the style of protest and membership, which I don’t share, these negatives should not detract from the main thrust of the piece, which is hard-hitting and incisive.  Melanie Phillips is correct when she says that ‘Britain has lost the plot’ over this issue.

“By banning from the country as extremists the American anti-jihadis Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller, the Home Secretary Teresa May has not only made herself look ridiculous but has sent the enemies of the United Kingdom the message that they have it on the run.

I do not support the approach taken by either Geller or Spencer to the problem of Islamic extremism. Both have endorsed groups such as the EDL and others which at best do not deal with the thuggish elements in their ranks and at worst are truly racist or xenophobic.

The result has been a serious blow to the credibility of these two writers, with particular damage being done to Spencer whose scholarship in itself is scrupulous. It has also split the defence against Islamic extremism, and handed a potent propaganda weapon to those who seek falsely to portray as bigoted extremists all who are engaged in the defence of the west against the Islamic jihad.

Nevertheless, the decision to ban this duo from Britain is unjustified, oppressive and comes perilously close to lining up the British government alongside those who wish to silence defenders of the west against the jihad, making a total mockery of Britain’s understanding of just who presents a danger to the state.”

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