Twenty years ago, Andres Serrano put a plastic crucifix in a glass of urine, photographed it and called it art. Conservatives in particular weren't pleased: not with Mr. Serrano, not with his picture, and not with the National Endowment for the Arts, which had forked over $15,000 in taxpayer money to support this uretic gesture.
Also 20 years ago: On Valentine's Day, 1989, the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa against Salman Rushdie, condemning him to death for supposedly blaspheming Islam in his novel, "The Satanic Verses." Iran later upped the ante by severing diplomatic ties with Britain and putting a bounty on Mr. Rushdie's head. The fatwa remains in effect today by order of Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei.
These twin anniversaries come to mind following the British government's decision last week to ban Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders from British soil as an "undesirable person." Mr. Wilders is also being prosecuted for hate speech in his native Holland, where he faces up to 16 months in prison if convicted. His alleged crime involves making a short film called "Fitna," which draws a straight line between Quranic verses and acts of Islamist terror. Mr. Wilders has also called for banning the Quran, which he labels a "fascist book" on a par with Hitler's "Mein Kampf."