I support free-speech and I have no problem with extreme views getting airtime. Sometimes I believe it is beneficial to get even the most extreme opinions out on the table. Ultimately I expect reason to prevail and only the most closed-minded will hang onto their extreme views.
That said, I don't know how I feel about this article from Newsweek:
"A member of the Dutch Parliament who was banned last week from entering the United Kingdom because of his inflammatory anti-Islamic views is about to be welcomed to the United States by some notable conservatives."
Now, I can understand that there may be a worthy debate about some of the extremist views found in all religions. I can even understand the need for debate about concerns over certains aspects of specific religions. But how do these conservatives honestly think this would appear?
This person doesn't seem to be anything more than another extreme blowhard. My first response was to view this as necessary in the overall debate, but then I actually thought about it. Will the debate include discussions on other religions? For instance, will there be anyone there that will argue that Christianity is a violent religion? Surely there enough evidence in the Bible, just take Joshua's extermination of the men, women, and children of Jericho. You can't really have a discussion of what Islam teaches and its association with terrorism without accounting for similar teachings and stories in other religions. If this person can argue that Islam teaches terrorism, then he has to acknowledge the Bible's teachings of the Isrealites conquest of Canaan and somehow convince us that it is somehow more righteous.
I don't believe any of the major religion can be considered tolerant if one adheres to a literal translation of their teachings. It is just a shame that the Republican party may continue to support this brand of conservatism and prey on the intolerance of some in the party.