***Wilders told Dutch television on Tuesday that the British government
had sent him a letter saying it believed his statements about
"Muslims and their beliefs, as expressed in your film
`Fitna' and elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and
therefore public security in the United Kingdom".
Anti-Islam Dutch MP turned away from UK
Friday, February 13, 2009
LONDON: Right-wing Dutch legislator Geert Wilders, who is being
prosecuted at home for anti-Islam remarks, said he was barred from
entering Britain on Thursday after he landed in defiance of a government
Wilders wanted to show his film "Fitna", which argues that the
Quran incites violence, in the British parliament. But he was told by
British authorities on Tuesday that he was being excluded. Despite that,
he took a flight to London.
Britain's Home Office said he was turned back to stop him spreading
"hatred and violent messages." "He was refused entry...
Anybody who is refused entry to the UK will be detained and returned.
They will not be allowed to enter the UK," a spokesman told AFP.
"The government opposes extremism in all its forms. It will stop
those who want to spread extremism, hatred and violent messages in our
communities from coming to our country," said the spokesman.
"I am in a detention centre at Heathrow ... I will not be allowed to
enter the country. They will send me back within a few hours,"
Wilders told Reuters from the airport. Britain's Home Office
(interior ministry) said he would not be allowed entry into Britain, but
gave no other details.
Wilders told Dutch television on Tuesday that the British government had
sent him a letter saying it believed his statements about "Muslims
and their beliefs, as expressed in your film `Fitna' and
elsewhere, would threaten community harmony and therefore public
security in the United Kingdom".
Wilders' exclusion caused a diplomatic spat between the Netherlands
and Britain. "It is highly regrettable that a Dutch MP (member of
parliament) should be denied entry to another EU country," Dutch
Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said in a statement on the Dutch
Embassy's British web site.
It said Verhagen had telephoned his British counterpart David Miliband
to "express his displeasure" that a Dutch member of parliament
had been excluded. Miliband defended the British decision. "A
hate-filled film designed to stir up religious and racial hatred in this
country is contrary to our laws," he told the BBC.
The Netherlands has condemned the film, which was aired over the
Internet last March, saying it served no other purpose than causing
offence. An Amsterdam court has ordered Wilders' prosecution for
inciting hatred and discrimination based on comments in various media on
Muslims and their beliefs.
First Muslim British Minister Shahid Malik defended ban on the entry of
anti-Islam Dutch MP and said Britain was opposed to all type of
extremism. Justice Minister Shahid Malik said that through a new law
they would be able to stop entry of such people who wanted to visit
Britain for spreading extremism and hatred, adding that Wilders'
presence in UK could provocative, which was not acceptable.