Banned Dutch MP shows anti-Islam film in London
Published 06/03/2010 | 05:00
WHEN the far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders came to Britain to promote his brand of Islamophobia last year, he made it only as far as Heathrow before being unceremoniously turned away and flown back to his native country.
Yesterday, after a wait of more than a year, he returned to screen his anti-Islamic film in the House of Lords, but unlike his earlier visit, which provoked a storm of debate about the right to free speech, this time few people seemed to notice.
Under the watchful eyes of his three earpiece-wearing bodyguards, the 46-year-old leader of the Freedom Party told a tense and sometimes heated press conference that Islam was a "fascist ideology" and that the Prophet Mohamed was "a mass murderer, a barbarian and a paedophile".
He said: "I have nothing against Muslims, but I have a problem with the Islamic ideology, which I believe is a totalitarian ideology to be compared with other totalitarian ideologies like communism or fascism. I believe Islam is a violent and dangerous religion and even a retarded culture."
Mr Wilders' film Fitna, an Arabic word meaning "strife", is an incendiary anti-Islamic piece of propaganda which the Dutch Prime Minister once said served "no purpose other than to offend".
On his way to face the media, Mr Wilders drove past protesters against British far-right groups such as the English Defence League (EDL) and the British National Party (BNP). Their placards read: "EDL + BNP = Nazi racist thugs". Jonathan Dodds, a 26-year-old student, said: "That we're giving a platform to fascists like this is scary."