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Muslim congressmen try to boot Islam critic Geert Wilders

Reps. Andre Carson, D-Ind., Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., in Washington, D.C., protesting Geert Wilders visit to the U.S. (Twitter @RepAndreCarson)

Reps. Andre Carson, D-Ind., Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., in Washington, D.C., protesting Geert Wilders visit to the U.S. (Twitter @RepAndreCarson)

As one of the world’s most prominent critics of Islam, Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders doesn’t go anywhere without his security detail of as many as six plainclothes police officers, and he rarely crosses international borders without causing political uproar, having already been banned in Britain at one time.

So it was no surprise to him that three U.S. congressmen urged Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to deny him a visa ahead of his planned visit to the U.S. this week, due to his alleged ongoing “participation in inciting anti-Muslim aggression and violence.”

Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and André Carson, D-Ind., who both are Muslim, along with Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., wrote a letter April 23 citing “the International Religious Freedom Act which allows the Department of State to deny entry to a foreign leader who is responsible for severe violations of religious freedom.”

Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders

Nevertheless, Wilders showed up on Capitol Hill Wednesday and spoke at two events at the invitation of Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and  Steve King, R-Iowa

King’s communications director, Sarah Stevens, told WND the congressman invited Gilders a month or so ago to speak at the weekly Conservative Opportunity Society breakfast he chairs. Gilders spoke Wednesday on his latest book, “Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me,” and also attended an evening reception with Congress members and staff, and representatives of foreign-policy groups on Capitol Hill.

Ellison, Carson and Crowley showed up at a news conference King and Gohmert held for Wilders Thursday in front of the U.S. Capitol and voiced their opposition to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf in a video interview.

“Personally, I find it disturbing, but mostly sad, because, you know, the people of the Netherlands are a good people, and this is absolutely true, with a great history of tolerance, great history of giving art to the world and great gifts,” Ellison said.

“And it’s unfortunate that someone such as this would come over here and sort of represent himself as a member of that society.”

Wilders, for his part, would contend that Ellison actually is drawing attention to the central issue: It’s the intolerance of Muslim immigrants and their refusal to assimilate, Wilders argues, that threatens the historic Judeo-Christian Dutch culture that forms the basis of a tolerant, pluralistic society capable of “giving art to the world and great gifts.”

As for whether or not Wilders represents his country, in 2009 he remarked: “Half of Holland loves me and half of Holland hates me. There is no in-between.”

King was unable to speak to WND due to schedule constraints, but he  was interviewed by the De Telegraaf reporter in front of the Capitol Thursday, who asked him for his view of Wilders.

“I think he’s solid and courageous. I introduced him yesterday as a man who will stand up and speak the truth – even if he’s under death threats, speak the truth,” King said in the video interview.

“He’s done that consistently for a decade.”

Wilders is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an event Sunday in the Dallas area called the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest.” Held at the venue where Muslims hosted a “Stand with the Prophet in Honor and Respect” conference one week after the Paris Charlie Hebdo massacre in January, the event’s organizers, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, see Wilders as representative of their aggressive defense of freedom of speech.

ADI is run by author and Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller, and author and Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer, who themselves have been branded by Ellison, Carson and their allies as “Islamophobes.” Geller and Spencer argue their work amounts to citing the justifications from the Quran and other Islamic texts used by Muslims who employ violent acts and other means to assert Islamic supremacy.

Comparing cultures

Summarizing their complaint, the three protesting congressmen told Kerry and Johnson that Wilders’ “policy agenda is centered on the principle that Christian culture is superior to other cultures.”

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

“He justifies his desire to ban the Quran and Islam from the Netherlands with depraved comments like, ‘Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology, the ideology of a retarded culture.’ We should not be importing hate speech,” they write.

Wilders’ defenders point out that the Dutch word he used to describe Islamic culture can be translated as “backward” rather than “retarded,” insisting that while Wilders doesn’t mince words, he is no hater of people.

“I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam,” explains Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom, the fourth-largest party in the Dutch parliament.

That sentiment is of little consolation to many of the more than 1 billion people who identify as Muslim, but Wilders contends the orthodox teaching of Islam derived from Muhammad is an existential threat to Western civilization.

While he puts the percentage of Islamic extremists at about 5 to 15 percent of Muslims, he contends “moderate Islam” doesn’t exist and notes the Quran itself states that Muslims who accept the Islam’s holy book in part are “apostates.”

As evidence of the failure to assimilate, in a speech to parliament last year he cited a study showing that nearly three-quarters of ethnic Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands regard those who leave to join jihadists in Syria as “heroes.” Wilders pointed out that the same percentage of Dutch Muslims condoned the 9/11 attacks.

Wilders has been under constant security protection since November 2004, when two North African Muslims were accused of planning to murder him and another outspoken critic of Islam in the parliament, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The attack at the Hague came shortly after the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Moroccan national.

Wilders was banned from the U.K. as an “undesirable person” under Prime Minister Gordon Brown in February 2009, two days before he was scheduled to show his short film “Fitna” at the invitation of two members of the House of Lords. Wilders appealed the ban to Britain’s Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, which overturned it in October 2009.

Wilders writings and film “Fitna” warning of the “Islamization” of the Netherlands and Europe prompted Turkish, Moroccan and Antillean organizations in the Netherlands to bring charges against him of criminally insulting religious and ethnic groups and inciting hatred and discrimination.

In June 2011, he was acquitted of all charges. Judge Marcel van Oosten called Wilders’ statements “gross and denigrating” but ruled they didn’t constitute hatred against Muslims and, therefore, were “acceptable within the context of public debate.”

Limiting free speech

In their letter, Ellison, Carson and Crowley assert Wilders’ right to speak freely in the U.S. under the First Amendment is limited because he allegedly incites violence and “prejudicial action” against protected groups.

They write:

In the U.S., freedom of speech is a bedrock principle that distinguishes free societies from ones living under oppressive regimes. Freedom of speech, however, is not absolute. It is limited by the legal and moral understanding that speech that causes the incitement of violence or prejudicial action against protected groups is wrong. As Mr. Wilders continues his pursuit of political power, granting him entry will embolden him to engage in further incitement of violence and discrimination against Muslims.

Legal analyst Eugene Volokh noted the incitement exception to free speech, according to Supreme Court precedent, is “limited to speech intended to and likely to produce imminent lawless conduct — conduct in the coming hours or maybe few days.”

Wilders’ statements, Volokh wrote in a Washington Post blogpost, “don’t urge any imminent conduct (or even any criminal conduct, as opposed to long-term changes in the law). Such statements’ are “incitement” in the Congressmen’s opinion only because the Congressmen apparently view constitutionally unprotected “incitement” (or, as they term it earlier, “hate speech”) much more broadly.”

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Muslim congressmen try to boot Islam critic Geert Wilders

Reps. Andre Carson, D-Ind., Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., in Washington, D.C., protesting Geert Wilders visit to the U.S. (Twitter @RepAndreCarson)

Reps. Andre Carson, D-Ind., Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., and Keith Ellison, D-Minn., in Washington, D.C., protesting Geert Wilders visit to the U.S. (Twitter @RepAndreCarson)

As one of the world’s most prominent critics of Islam, Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders doesn’t go anywhere without his security detail of as many as six plainclothes police officers, and he rarely crosses international borders without causing political uproar, having already been banned in Britain at one time.

So it was no surprise to him that three U.S. congressmen urged Secretary of State John Kerry and Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson to deny him a visa ahead of his planned visit to the U.S. this week, due to his alleged ongoing “participation in inciting anti-Muslim aggression and violence.”

Reps. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., and André Carson, D-Ind., who both are Muslim, along with Rep. Joe Crowley, D-N.Y., wrote a letter April 23 citing “the International Religious Freedom Act which allows the Department of State to deny entry to a foreign leader who is responsible for severe violations of religious freedom.”

Geert Wilders

Geert Wilders

Nevertheless, Wilders showed up on Capitol Hill Wednesday and spoke at two events at the invitation of Reps. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, and  Steve King, R-Iowa

King’s communications director, Sarah Stevens, told WND the congressman invited Gilders a month or so ago to speak at the weekly Conservative Opportunity Society breakfast he chairs. Gilders spoke Wednesday on his latest book, “Marked for Death: Islam’s War Against the West and Me,” and also attended an evening reception with Congress members and staff, and representatives of foreign-policy groups on Capitol Hill.

Ellison, Carson and Crowley showed up at a news conference King and Gohmert held for Wilders Thursday in front of the U.S. Capitol and voiced their opposition to the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf in a video interview.

“Personally, I find it disturbing, but mostly sad, because, you know, the people of the Netherlands are a good people, and this is absolutely true, with a great history of tolerance, great history of giving art to the world and great gifts,” Ellison said.

“And it’s unfortunate that someone such as this would come over here and sort of represent himself as a member of that society.”

Wilders, for his part, would contend that Ellison actually is drawing attention to the central issue: It’s the intolerance of Muslim immigrants and their refusal to assimilate, Wilders argues, that threatens the historic Judeo-Christian Dutch culture that forms the basis of a tolerant, pluralistic society capable of “giving art to the world and great gifts.”

As for whether or not Wilders represents his country, in 2009 he remarked: “Half of Holland loves me and half of Holland hates me. There is no in-between.”

King was unable to speak to WND due to schedule constraints, but he  was interviewed by the De Telegraaf reporter in front of the Capitol Thursday, who asked him for his view of Wilders.

“I think he’s solid and courageous. I introduced him yesterday as a man who will stand up and speak the truth – even if he’s under death threats, speak the truth,” King said in the video interview.

“He’s done that consistently for a decade.”

Wilders is scheduled to be the keynote speaker at an event Sunday in the Dallas area called the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest.” Held at the venue where Muslims hosted a “Stand with the Prophet in Honor and Respect” conference one week after the Paris Charlie Hebdo massacre in January, the event’s organizers, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, see Wilders as representative of their aggressive defense of freedom of speech.

ADI is run by author and Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller, and author and Jihad Watch Director Robert Spencer, who themselves have been branded by Ellison, Carson and their allies as “Islamophobes.” Geller and Spencer argue their work amounts to citing the justifications from the Quran and other Islamic texts used by Muslims who employ violent acts and other means to assert Islamic supremacy.

Comparing cultures

Summarizing their complaint, the three protesting congressmen told Kerry and Johnson that Wilders’ “policy agenda is centered on the principle that Christian culture is superior to other cultures.”

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn.

“He justifies his desire to ban the Quran and Islam from the Netherlands with depraved comments like, ‘Islam is not a religion, it’s an ideology, the ideology of a retarded culture.’ We should not be importing hate speech,” they write.

Wilders’ defenders point out that the Dutch word he used to describe Islamic culture can be translated as “backward” rather than “retarded,” insisting that while Wilders doesn’t mince words, he is no hater of people.

“I don’t hate Muslims, I hate Islam,” explains Wilders, the leader of the Party for Freedom, the fourth-largest party in the Dutch parliament.

That sentiment is of little consolation to many of the more than 1 billion people who identify as Muslim, but Wilders contends the orthodox teaching of Islam derived from Muhammad is an existential threat to Western civilization.

While he puts the percentage of Islamic extremists at about 5 to 15 percent of Muslims, he contends “moderate Islam” doesn’t exist and notes the Quran itself states that Muslims who accept the Islam’s holy book in part are “apostates.”

As evidence of the failure to assimilate, in a speech to parliament last year he cited a study showing that nearly three-quarters of ethnic Turks and Moroccans in the Netherlands regard those who leave to join jihadists in Syria as “heroes.” Wilders pointed out that the same percentage of Dutch Muslims condoned the 9/11 attacks.

Wilders has been under constant security protection since November 2004, when two North African Muslims were accused of planning to murder him and another outspoken critic of Islam in the parliament, Ayaan Hirsi Ali. The attack at the Hague came shortly after the murder of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Moroccan national.

Wilders was banned from the U.K. as an “undesirable person” under Prime Minister Gordon Brown in February 2009, two days before he was scheduled to show his short film “Fitna” at the invitation of two members of the House of Lords. Wilders appealed the ban to Britain’s Asylum and Immigration Tribunal, which overturned it in October 2009.

Wilders writings and film “Fitna” warning of the “Islamization” of the Netherlands and Europe prompted Turkish, Moroccan and Antillean organizations in the Netherlands to bring charges against him of criminally insulting religious and ethnic groups and inciting hatred and discrimination.

In June 2011, he was acquitted of all charges. Judge Marcel van Oosten called Wilders’ statements “gross and denigrating” but ruled they didn’t constitute hatred against Muslims and, therefore, were “acceptable within the context of public debate.”

Limiting free speech

In their letter, Ellison, Carson and Crowley assert Wilders’ right to speak freely in the U.S. under the First Amendment is limited because he allegedly incites violence and “prejudicial action” against protected groups.

They write:

In the U.S., freedom of speech is a bedrock principle that distinguishes free societies from ones living under oppressive regimes. Freedom of speech, however, is not absolute. It is limited by the legal and moral understanding that speech that causes the incitement of violence or prejudicial action against protected groups is wrong. As Mr. Wilders continues his pursuit of political power, granting him entry will embolden him to engage in further incitement of violence and discrimination against Muslims.

Legal analyst Eugene Volokh noted the incitement exception to free speech, according to Supreme Court precedent, is “limited to speech intended to and likely to produce imminent lawless conduct — conduct in the coming hours or maybe few days.”

Wilders’ statements, Volokh wrote in a Washington Post blogpost, “don’t urge any imminent conduct (or even any criminal conduct, as opposed to long-term changes in the law). Such statements’ are “incitement” in the Congressmen’s opinion only because the Congressmen apparently view constitutionally unprotected “incitement” (or, as they term it earlier, “hate speech”) much more broadly.”

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Profs dispute constitutionality of birthright citizenship

(Daily Caller) American citizenship as a birthright has recently become a prominent issue in the ongoing immigration debate, and congressional leaders sought answers during a hearing Wednesday.

The House Judiciary Committee called upon legal experts to discuss whether the U.S. Constitution actually allows children born in the United States to be citizens, even if their parents are illegal immigrants. Under the Citizenship Clause, which falls under the Fourteenth Amendment, people born within the country or its territories are automatically granted citizenship

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,” the Citizenship Clause of the Constitution states.

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Profs dispute constitutionality of birthright citizenship

(Daily Caller) American citizenship as a birthright has recently become a prominent issue in the ongoing immigration debate, and congressional leaders sought answers during a hearing Wednesday.

The House Judiciary Committee called upon legal experts to discuss whether the U.S. Constitution actually allows children born in the United States to be citizens, even if their parents are illegal immigrants. Under the Citizenship Clause, which falls under the Fourteenth Amendment, people born within the country or its territories are automatically granted citizenship

“All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside,” the Citizenship Clause of the Constitution states.

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Bernie Sanders to challenge Hillary

(POLITICO) After months of fretting about a Hillary Clinton coronation, progressives are hoping Bernie Sanders is threatening enough to the Democratic front-runner to force a real debate.

Sanders, the 73-year-old Vermont independent senator who is officially announcing on Thursday his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, is a long shot. But for now, he can command the liberal wing of the party and try to gain momentum to force Clinton onto his turf on three issues — income inequality, climate change and campaign finance reform.

“The middle class in America is at a tipping point. It will not last another generation if we don’t boldly change course now,” Sanders wrote in an email to supporters officially announcing a bid, according to excerpts provided by his campaign team.

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Bernie Sanders to challenge Hillary

(POLITICO) After months of fretting about a Hillary Clinton coronation, progressives are hoping Bernie Sanders is threatening enough to the Democratic front-runner to force a real debate.

Sanders, the 73-year-old Vermont independent senator who is officially announcing on Thursday his candidacy for the Democratic presidential nomination, is a long shot. But for now, he can command the liberal wing of the party and try to gain momentum to force Clinton onto his turf on three issues — income inequality, climate change and campaign finance reform.

“The middle class in America is at a tipping point. It will not last another generation if we don’t boldly change course now,” Sanders wrote in an email to supporters officially announcing a bid, according to excerpts provided by his campaign team.

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CNN’s black analyst: Police ‘an occupying force’

Marc Lamont Hill, a CNN contributor who’s been widely seen on other nationally televised broadcasts, took umbrage at the characterization of police who overreach authority as “bad apples,” saying law enforcement as a whole is much more pernicious.

Hill was a panelist on “CNN Tonight” when host Don Lemon played a clip of his interview with a woman who claimed to be a friend of a police officer who detained Freddie Gray, the black Baltimore man who died at hospital from injuries he suffered around the time he was arrested. Lemon asked the woman if the incident was rooted in racism and she responded: “That’s a fair question. Are there some bad apples? Yes. But you can have racism and be black.”

“Police State USA: How Orwell’s Nightmare Is Becoming Our Reality” chronicles how America has arrived at the point of being a de facto police state, and what led to an out-of-control government that increasingly ignores the Constitution. Order today!

Hill then weighed in on her comments and the Baltimore affair.

He said: “I’m saying no to the bad apple part. We can’t continue to frame law enforcement and the police forces in America as simply a bunch of good-natured people and there happen to be a few bad apples among them. That’s not the right analysis. That’s not to say that police officers at the individual level aren’t great people. I know some great people who are police officers. I play basketball with them. I might drink with them. But it’s something about the job itself and the structure of law enforcement in America that becomes an occupying force.”

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Hill then repeated: “They’re an occupying force in the hood.”

His comments come just two days after he said in a separate CNN interview with Lemon the burning of Baltimore was due to “righteous rage … because the police killed Freddie Gray,” Philly.com reported.

Hill also said then: “There shouldn’t be calm tonight. Black people are dying in the streets.”

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