Dutch Right-wing politician and controversial anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders has been refused entry to the United Kingdom despite being invited to visit by a member of the House of Lords, the British parliament’s upper chamber.
Mr Wilders responded to the decision in fighting mood, telling Dutch media that he still intended to travel to London:“I’ll see what happens at the border. Let them put me in handcuffs.”
Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen’s response was also firm. He contacted his UK counterpart, David Miliband, by telephone and voiced his dissatisfaction that a member of the Dutch parliament – Geert Wilders is in fact also the leader of a political grouping, the Freedom Party – has been prohibited from entering a fellow European Union member state.
Geert Wilders, perhaps best known outside the Netherlands for having made the video Fitna, in which the religion Islam and its holy book the Qur’an are attacked as providing a basis for terrorist attacks and for the undermining of western democracy and values, had been invited to London for a showing of this film to members of the British parliament.
The invitation to do so was extended to the controversial Dutch politician by a member of the unelected House of Lords.
Mr Verhagen commented regarding the showing of Fitna in the British parliament that this was a matter for the House of Lords to decide on, but added: “the fact that a Dutch parliamentarian is refused entry to another EU country is highly regrettable.”
Geert Wilders was initially to have shown his video to the British parliament in January, but those plans were cancelled following fierce protests from the UK’s Muslim community.
For more information: www.radionetherlands.nl