While ignored by all but a handful of major media, the decision to ban Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller from Britain received considerable coverage at the relatively small number of websites (this one, it seems, more than any) where it was recognized as an outrage. One detail that has perhaps been given insufficient attention, however, is the fact that this disgraceful betrayal of the traditions of British democracy came in response to a complaint by an organization called Hope Not Hate. (Or, as the group writes its name, "HOPE not hate.")
What is Hope Not Hate? Founded in 2004 as a "positive antidote" to the British National Party, it "has the support of the Daily Mirror, trade unions, celebrities and community groups across the country." I wrote about it here last year, after it issued a particularly odious piece of propaganda and character assassination entitled Counter-Jihad Report. The "report's" release was timed to coincide with the trial of Anders Behring Breivik, for its whole point was to link the Norwegian mass murderer with the several dozen people around the world (myself included) who were included in the report's list of critics of Islam – the idea being that those critics were purveyors of hate, pure and simple, and that Breivik's killing spree was a natural consequence of their vile rhetoric. About jihad itself – about 9/11, 7/7, and every other jihadist atrocity of recent decades – the "report" had absolutely nothing to say; on the contrary, the picture it painted was of a bunch of out-and-out hatemongers all of whom, in recent years, had resolved, for perverse reasons of their own (or, perhaps, without any reason at all), to despise and denounce a quarter of the earth's population. An uninformed reader of the report might easily have concluded that these hatemongers' common preoccupation – this thing they called jihad – was nothing more than a product of their twisted, feverish minds.