British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith announced in May the names of sixteen “extremists” whom she has barred from entering Britain — a smorgasbord of nasty characters including a white supremacist; a Christian fundamentalist hate preacher; two Islamic jihadists; and Samir Kantar, a Lebanese Druze terrorist who brutally murdered four Israelis, including a four-year-old child. On the list also was talk show host Michael Savage, whose only offense seems to have been to espouse views that Jacqui Smith doesn’t like.
Savage was livid, saying of Smith: “She’s linking me with mass murderers who are in prison for killing Jewish children on buses? For my speech? The country where the Magna Carta was created?”
It was a good question, and one made all the more urgent by the likelihood that Savage, as well as the others who were not Islamic terrorists or their allies, were only added to the list in order to avoid aggravating the easily-aggravated sensibilities of Muslim groups in Britain. Alan Mendoza of the London-based Henry Jackson Society dismissed many of the names on the list as being “just here for padding.” According to AP, Mendoza said that the list was devised so as to “avoid giving Britain’s Muslims the impression that it singles them out.”
Now British officials, apparently aware of how ludicrous this was, have reversed the ban on Savage. It’s a small but significant victory for free speech.
An update on this story. “Michael Savage: Pack your bags for England! Britain’s incoming home secretary says ban on radio talker’s travel to be lifted,” from WorldNetDaily, July 18 (thanks to Tundra Tabloids):
WASHINGTON — Radio talker Michael Savage told WND he was “stunned” by the quick decision by incoming United Kingdom Home Secretary Alan Johnson to scrap his predecessor’s list of people banned from Britain — a list that included Savage along with Islamic hate preachers and terrorists.
Savage had sued outgoing Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for libel for listing him, along with 15 others, as “least wanted” visitors in the country. Meanwhile, Smith’s successor, Alan Johnson, called the move a terrible blunder and told the London Daily Mail he would scrap the policy of maintaining such enemies lists.
“I am stunned by this sudden sign of sanity in the U.K. government,” Savage told WND. “But I won’t believe it until they send a letter to me confirming it.”
Savage said he also demands an apology from Smith….
Now: about Geert Wilders…