Why the Wilders ban was right

“I was disappointed by your one-sided coverage of the Geert Wilders controversy. Neither your editorial (‘Ban on Wilders was folly‘) nor your columnist Catherine Bennett (‘Geert Wilders has just made our leaders look truly idiotic‘, Comment) appeared able to distinguish between causing offence and inciting racial hatred. It is on the latter charge that Wilders faces prosecution in the Netherlands. While the principle of free speech covers the right to offend people, it certainly does not allow racists the right to whip up hatred against minority communities. For this reason, I and many others fully supported Jacqui Smith’s decision to ban Wilders from entering Britain.”

Letter from London Assembly member Murad Qureshi in theObserver, 22 February 2009