Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who was barred from entering the United Kingdom a month ago, has become the subject of a political row in Denmark. The Danish People’s Party and the Conservative Party both want to invite Mr Wilders to a conference in Copenhagen in June on the theme of freedom of speech and radicalisation.
The two parties argue that Mr Wilders is an obvious choice to take part in the conference, following Britain’s refusal to let him enter the country, and the fact that his life has been threatened by Muslim fundamentalists.
Another point of view
However, the Liberal Alliance Party, the smallest in the Danish parliament, which is co-organising the conference with the Danish Peoples’ Party, strongly disagrees and is planning to block the invitation. The party’s chairman, Anders Samuelson, told the Politiken newspaper that
“We don’t want to make this conference into some sort of freak show, to which we simply call in those who can create most trouble on the streets, simply to show how brave we are.”
Mr Samuelson added that
“I can’t see that Wilders can offer anything constructive in relation to the situation we currently have here in Denmark. We don’t need to debate whether we support the freedom of speech. We do. And that’s it. All of us.”
But Naser Khader of the Conservative Party disagrees, saying
“If we all agreed on freedom of speech, there would be no reason to hold the conference. The point is that we have a problem in that some people want to limit freedom of speech globally. If it is not a problem for freedom of speech that England has refused entry to a member of parliament of another EU country, then I don’t understand anything.”Denmark’s Integration Minister Birth Rønn Hornbech has so far declined to comment on the matter.
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