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Dutch MP Geert Wilders on Fox TV: Europe needs a First Amendment

By Adriana Stuijt     Feb 24, 2009 in Politics
Anti-jihadist Dutch MP Geert Wilders, barred from the UK, arrived in the United States on Monday, and appeared on Fox News twice; first as a guest on the Glenn Beck show and then on The O'Reilly Factor. Wilders says Europe needs a First Amendment.
The European Parliament, which still has not adopted a constitution which has been approved by all 29 States, urgently needs a first amendment to guarantee freedom of speech, the politician from The Netherlands said. He is in the US for a speaking tour. see
Republican Whip, Senator Jon Kyl of Iowa also invited Dutch MP Geert Wilders to show his anti-jihadist film Fitna in the US Senate chambers in Washington, D.C.
Wilders is accompanied by Dutch security officers: he is under constant guard ever since a "Fatwa," -- an Islamic order that the faithful must kill him whenever they are able -- was issued against him. see
Dutch politicians are usually considered rather dull by foreign journalists, and they normally don’t get much attention outside their own country. Never has a Dutch politician received this much international attention before Wilders hit the headlines with his movie Fitna.
Two Dutch politicians under a Fatwa
A former Dutch parliamentarian, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, was also forced to flee to the United States after a Fatwa, an order to kill the anti-jihadist Somalian refugee, was issued against her. A note to this effect had been attached with a knife to the slain body of Dutch film-maker Theo Van Gogh, murdered in the streets of Amsterdam by a Moroccan-born man, Mohammed Bouyeri.
Hirsi Ali had written the script for Van Gogh’s anti-Sharia movie Submission. She now works for a think-tank in Washington, DC and undertakes speaking engagements. She, too, is under constant guard. Hirsi Ali and Wilders both were MPs for the liberal Dutch party VVD, and both clashed with its leadership over their open opposition to Islam and the Q’uran. It’s not known if Wilders and Hirsi Ali will meet during his week-long tour in the US – which is also conducted as a fund-raiser because he is facing a criminal court trial in Amsterdam for expressing his views in public.
Wilders told interviewer Glenn Beck on Fox TV on Monday that contrary to the rude way he was treated in the United Kingdom, where he was invited to speak in a chamber of the House of Lords by two Peers, he was received very courteously by US immigration officers.
Wilders was also in Rome last week, where he received the Oriana Fallaci Free Speech award. He also showed his film Fitna in front of a large audience and when he wanted to go and buy a pair of shoes, he was accompanied by a large number of photographers. see
Glen Beck pointed out that what was happening in Europe now, 'will also happen in the United States, where people will be prosecuted and even face jail time' only for expressing viewpoints on Islam.
watch the interview here
And O'Riley, who told Wilders he disagreed with the UK barring him from the country, also showed segments of Fitna during the interview. Click here to see this brief interview on the O'Reilly factor.
In an editorial today in the Washington Times newspaper, Wilders is described as 'a flying Dutchman in pursuit of speech' . They wrote: "Geert Wilders comes to town this week as Exhibit No. 1 of why the Europeans no longer matter. Even our British cousins, who not so long ago bristled at even being called Europeans, have abandoned their ancient traditions of free speech.
"Mr. Wilders did not expect to get the treatment from the Anglo-Saxons - loosely described - that he gets in his own country, where skeptics of Islam risk ambush and gruesome death, where weakness is prized and where he has been called to answer to criminal charges that he has defamed the Prophet and the followers of a religion for the eighth century (and which has not changed much since). A Dutch appeals court has ordered prosecutors to file proceedings against Mr. Wilders for “inciting hatred and discrimination” and “insulting Muslim worshippers.”
"Many Muslims in the Netherlands, like Muslims in many other places, regard any criticism of the Prophet and Islam as disrespect, blasphemy and “Islamaphobia” to be severely punished, sometimes by death. The Dutch government was pressured to proceed against Mr. Wilders by Islamic “human rights groups.” These groups do not define “human rights” as we do in the West. “Human rights” as we define them do not exist in Islamic countries, where followers of other faiths are harassed, persecuted and sometimes killed for “unbelief.”
In his anger and outrage, Mr. Wilders is sometimes unable to resist the temptation to go over the top in his contempt for Islam. He has compared the Koran to “Mein Kampf,” Hitler's dense and all but unreadable masterwork, and urges that the Koran be banned in the Netherlands for inciting violence. It's difficult to reconcile an author's demand to ban some books while invoking free speech to protect his own. When Mr. Wilders appears Friday at the National Press Club to show his film, he could be asked to explain this contradiction.
"Nevertheless, his courage is unquestioned. The attacks on him follow the slayings of Pim Fortuyn, a Dutch politician, and Theo van Gogh, a filmmaker, by Muslim vigilantes as punishment for “abusing free speech.”
"Criticism of religion, a given in the West that is often regretted but never punished, has become a cottage industry in the West. Learned professors and pundits write books mocking Christian faith; one skeptic even made a movie ridiculing religion. Nobody much went to see it but nobody tried to stop him from having a fit.
"Pim Fortuyn, Theo van Gogh and Geert Wilders are not everyone's cup of English Breakfast Tea. When speech, especially speech with the bark on, becomes an invitation to death only the rowdy, the rambunctious and sometimes the unsavory are willing to challenge thugs and tyrants. "
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