British Foreign Secretary Justifies Terrorism
by A. Millar
"But there is no freedom to cry fire in a crowded theatre," asserted Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband a few months back. That was when he was justifying the ban on Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders entering Britain – supposedly a danger to social cohesion. Wilders had done the unthinkable, of course, by acknowledging that Muslim terrorists use passages from the Koran as justification for their acts of terror
In the wake of the debacle, Douglas Murray noted that Miliband had failed to note that the old cliché, originating with Judge Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., had included the operative word, "falsely." One cannot "falsely" cry fire in a crowded theater.
"Yes, there are circumstances in which [terrorism] is justifiable, and yes, there are circumstances in which it is effective, but it is never effective on its own."Miliband is not the first British MP to justify terrorism, but he is the only one supposedly not on the far-Left (though his choice of Slovo might suggest that he actually is), and even there such justification has generally been dressed up with caveats, moral equivalents, and talk of "freedom fighters."
Unlike those on the political margins, Miliband does not have the excuse of being a crank. Indeed, he was clearly positioning himself to take over as prime minister only a few months ago, so he is presumably a man with his finger on Britain's pulse. He is surely aware that Britain has no less than 2,000 Islamist terrorists actively plotting within the borders of the United Kingdom. Just as he is surely aware that both the US and British intelligence agencies are also concerned about terrorist threats from neo-Nazis.
Miliband would no doubt say that neither Islamist nor neo-Nazi terrorism could be justified, but these groups see things rather differently, I'm afraid.
The "war on terror" is primarily a war of ideas and worldviews, and Miliband managed not only to side with terrorists – in some circumstances – but provided clear moral and intellectual justification for terrorism, regardless of what ideology the terrorists might adhere to.
His words are a gift to extremists everywhere. If Wilders does make a sequel to Fitna, perhaps he might include them to illustrate why Britain has such a problem with extremism. Or would the Foreign Secretary complain that that would be shouting "fire in a crowded theater"?
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