Burt Prelutsky

Two news items caught my attention this past month, and although they occurred 3,000 miles apart, they are definitely connected.

In New York, Muzzammil Hassan, who started a cable TV network after 9/11 to prove to America that American Muslims are a moderate, peace-loving people, beheaded his wife, Aasiya, because she was planning to divorce him. In moderate Muslim circles, that happens to be grounds for a so-called honor killing. I believe other grounds include daring to touch the TV remote and over-seasoning the hummus.

At nearly the same time, a Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, was invited by a member of the House of Lords to come to England and screen his 17-minute film. The documentary, “Fitna,” links text from the Koran with footage of Islamic terrorism around the world.

Well, a funny thing happened on his way to Parliament. It seems that England’s Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, uninvited Mr. Wilders. On the grounds that the Dutchman would incite civil unrest if allowed entry to the country, Wilders was met at Heathrow and sent packing back to the Netherlands.

Although his own government has raised an official objection, England hasn’t budged. They feel that Wilders and his little movie would be the equivalent of someone’s yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. The question that’s always plagued me is what is a decent person supposed to do if he smells smoke and sees flames in a theater? Grab his coat and sneak out?

The English politicians are defending their craven act on the grounds of cultural sensitivity. Which is of course a highfalutin’ euphemism for censorship. But, then, you can always count on bureaucrats to pass off cowardice as principle.

When I see the way that Muslims have bullied one country after another into kowtowing to their demands, one can’t help thinking that Hitler’s biggest mistake was being born 70 years too soon.

That whirring sound you hear is Winston Churchill spinning in his grave.