2 U.S. anti-Islam bloggers barred from British rally

June 27, 2013 at 12:49 AM

LONDON, June 27 (UPI) -- Two U.S. bloggers known for their criticism of Islam say the British decision to bar them from entering the country is a "blow against freedom."

Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer had planned to speak at an English Defense League rally in London's Woolwich neighborhood Saturday, The Guardian reported Wednesday. Woolwich was where Lee Rigby, a British soldier, was killed outside his barracks, allegedly by two converts to Islam.

"We can confirm that Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer are subject to an exclusion decision," a Home Office spokesman said. "We condemn all those whose behaviors and views run counter to our shared values and will not stand for extremism in any form."

Geller and Spencer both campaigned against the so-called Ground Zero mosque, a proposed Islamic center near the World Trade Center in lower Manhattan. Geller writes the "Atlas Shrugs" blog, while Spencer produces "Jihad Watch."

On their blogs, both called the ban "a striking blow against freedom."

"The nation that gave the world the Magna Carta is dead," they said.

Since Rigby was killed May 22, there have been a number of attacks on mosques and on individual Muslims. Police in Redditch, Worcestershire, found swastikas and the initials EDL and KKK painted on the windows of a mosque early Wednesday.

Mark Collins, a spokesman for the group Hope Not Hate, welcomed the Home Office decision on Geller and Spencer.

"These two are among some of the most extreme anti-Muslim activists in the world," he said. "They've nothing to contribute to life in this country."

Conservatives in the United States blasted the British decision. Commentary magazine headlined an item about the ban "The UK's spiteful double standard."

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