ght-wing Dutch politician urges U.S. lawmakers not to build new mosques Sunday, 08 July 2012
Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, seen here during a Parliamentary debate in the Netherlands in April 2012, has warned American lawmakers against opening their doors to Muslim immigrants. (Reuters)
By Al Arabiya
Controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders, known for his right-wing views against Islam, was met with support at an event in Denver on Saturday when he spoke about banning new mosques in the West.
Wilders was a guest speaker at Western Conservative Summit where he warned the 1,000 attendants against the dangers of Islam: “If we do not stop the Islamization, we will lose everything: our identity, our culture, our democratic constitutional state, our freedom, and our civilization,” reported The Colorado Statesman.
Wilders is the founder of the far-right Party for Freedom in the Netherlands which is now the third largest political group in the country. He is also the author of “Marked for Death: Islam’s War against the West and Me” and has lived under security watch since 2004, after receiving threats for his criticism of Islam.
Wilders’ call for the banning on construction of new mosques across the West found some support Colorado State Senator Kevin Grantham who said it was worth paying heed to the Dutch politician’s warnings.
“You know, we’d have to hear more on that, because, as he said, mosques are not churches like we would think of churches. [Muslims] think of mosques more as a foothold into a society, as a foothold into a community, more in the cultural and in the nationalistic sense. Our churches — we don’t feel that way, they’re places of worship, and mosques are simply not that, and we need to take that into account when approving construction of those.”
Wilders also warned against opening the door to Sharia (Islamic jurisprudence) — in Western courtrooms, saying it was already “too late” to keep Islam out of the country.
“Your country is facing a stealth jihad, an Islamic attempt to introduce Sharia law bit by bit by bit,” he told the audience of 1,000 participants.
He also urged American lawmakers to ignore “derision from the liberal media … and firmly deliver strong medicine.” He also said “stop the immigration from Islamic countries.”
The Colorado Statesman reported that the response to Wilders was mixed: “he received repeated standing ovations during his 45-minute talk, but perhaps a third of the audience members remained planted in their seats throughout.”
“I do not have a problem with Muslims,” Wilders said in his speech. “There are many moderate Muslims. I always make a distinction between the people and the ideology. There are indeed many moderate Muslims. But believe me, there is no such thing as a moderate Islam — there is only one Islam, and that is a dangerous, totalitarian ideology that is intolerant, that is violent, that should not be tolerated by us but that should be contained.”
Not every participant, however, was sold on Wilders.
State Senator Kevin Lundberg was quoted by The Colorado Statesman as saying: “We’re a free society, and there are risks with freedom … In my mind, we need to give every citizen the opportunity to succeed or fail on their merits, and there are limits we have to put in place for certain public safety issues, but I am much more a stronger defender of the First Amendment than I am of immediately restricting people because of a perceived concern.”
Wilders’ film “Fitna” caused an international outcry when it was released in 2008. The movie opens with the Quran followed by images of the 9/11 attacks and Madrid and London bombings. It was condemned by the Dutch prime minister.
Wilders was denied entry to the United Kingdom in 2009 on grounds of public security after he described the Quran as a “fascist book.” He also faced trial in The Netherlands for “inciting hatred.”