In comments to this blog post, I was asked why I would defend the right of this Imam to stay in the U.K., even though he believes suicide bombers in Iraq and Afghanistan are justified. (To be fair, the preacher also condemns the London attacks.)
The simple answer is that I believe in free speech. If vile speech isn't protected, what is? Second, and a bit less simple, is that allowing such people to openly express their views in the U.K., rather than limiting it to mosques in the Middle East, demonstrates the West's freedom better than any possible political statement. The Imam is here because he can't preach openly in his home country. The terrorists may be ignoring that fact, but many other Muslims aren't. Protecting his right to speak, rather than abandoning our principles and putting him on the next plane to the Sudan, wins us more friends than enemies.
Tags: Terrorism, London, Politics, Religion