Pamela Geller, the controversial anti-Islam blogger and activist infamous for her staunch criticism and denigration of Islam, has been banned from entering the United Kingdom by Home Secretary Theresa May.
In a two-page letter which Geller uploaded onto her blog, Atlas Shrugs, the Home Office informed Geller that has been “excluded from the UK” on the basis that her “presence here would not be conducive to the public good.” Her previous history indicated to the Home Secretary that Geller may attempt to “foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”
Below the letter in her blogpost, Geller reacted to the decision:
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.
Geller and her co-founder of Stop Islamisation of America (SIOA), Robert Spencer, who has also been banned from entering the UK, had been due to attend and speak at a rally in Woolwich organized by the English Defense League, the far-right movement which purports to share with Geller a mutual concern over the Islamisation of Europe, on Saturday, June 29. “Today is a sad day for freedom of speech,” EDL leader Tommy Robinson stated after Geller announced her ban.
It was in Woolwich that on May 22, the soldier Lee Rigby was murdered by two assailants armed with knives and a meat cleaver. One of the suspects, Michael Adebolajo, justified the action by stating that, “The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.” Since the attack, several mosques and Islamic community centers across Britain have been desecrated with graffiti , including swastikas and the letters EDL and NF. On June 23, a small explosive device was left outside a mosque in Walsall, near Birmingham.
In a statement, a Home Office spokesman said: ‘We condemn all those whose behaviors and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form.’
Under British legal provisions introduced in 2005 to combat terrorism and extremism, the Border Agency under the auspices of the Home Office has the power to either deport or deny entry to non-UK citizens who engage in “unacceptable behaviors.” This covers people who use the media or public speech to “foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs, seek to provoke others to terrorist acts, foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts, or foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.”
On the basis of Geller’s work with SIOA, Jihad Watch, and Atlas Shrugs, as well as her previous public statements, the Home Secretary personally deemed that if she were to “espouse such views” in the UK, Geller “would be committing unacceptable behaviors and would therefore be behaving in a way that is not conducive to the public good.”