U.S. Islamophobes stand by Wilders as his own party members defect

gwilders

U.S. Islamophobes stand by Wilders as his own party members defect

(Imagine 2050)

Dutch politician Geert Wilders has once again become the subject of controversy after he led supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant during a campaign rally last month. Despite the mass condemnation he has received for the remarks, Wilders’ anti-Muslim counterparts in the United States are standing by his draconian approach to immigration.

While at the rally in The Hague, Wilders, who heads the Party for Freedom (PVV), asked the crowd: “Do you want in this city more or fewer Moroccans?” to which they chanted, “Fewer! Fewer! Fewer!”

“We’ll take care of that,” he responded with a wry smile.

Wilders later defended his comments and outlined his party’s plans to uphold his promise by “limiting immigration from Islamic countries, including Morocco” and promoting “re-emigration.” Wilders also plans on “deporting criminal Moroccans by revoking their Dutch passports” — as well as their dual-citizenship — and “sending them back to their country of their nationality.”

However, many PVV members believe Wilders has gone too far with his latest spectacle, and has led to a crisis within its ranks. Many have chosen to resign and disassociate themselves from the party, including Laurence Stassen who represents PVV in the European Parliament. “I deeply regret having to take this decision, but staying in my function was not an option after these comments,” she said in a statement.

Despite the mass exodus from his own party, anti-Muslim activists in the United States continue to uphold Wilders as a symbol of resistance against the devastation they believe will come as a result of an increased Muslim population:

  • Longtime anti-Muslim activist Daniel Pipes said although he didn’t agree with Wilders’ tactics, he sympathized with his goal of curbing immigration. “It is entirely understandable that the indigenous peoples of a country feel stress when large numbers of immigrants from an alien civilization, more than a few of them hostile, move in,” he said on his website.
  • Frank Gaffney took to his radio show to say Wilders is representing the “free world.” During the show, Gaffney described PVV’s policy as being a subscript for “describing the affliction that immigration, some of it illegal, has represented for a country like the Netherlands.”
  • Islamphobic columnist Diana West joined Gaffney on his show and took issue with the negative media coverage Wilders has received. She implied she saw nothing wrong with his comments because “Moroccans top the charts in criminality” as well as in “social dependence.” In another column at the Columbia Daily Herald, West defended Wilders anti-immigrant stance by posing the question: “Is it ‘racism’ to oppose the demographic obliteration of a nation clearly underway?”
  • David Horowitz Freedom Center fellow Bruce Bawer also defended Wilders at FrontPage Magazine. He said he doesn’t see him as a “bigot,” but instead as “the real thing: a brave, selfless man determined to steer the ship of state through turbulent waters safely into port.” He added: “The Dutch would be fools to throw him overboard.”

Wilders’ latest diatribe is rooted in an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim platform that has made him one of the most prominent figures of the global Islamophobia movement. He has previously advocated against the construction of any new mosques in the Netherlands, claiming they are a “symbol of an ideology of hatred, violence and oppression.” He has also equated the Qur’an to Mein Kampf. Wilders spent the summer forming a new political alliance with France’s far-Right National Front party leader, Marine Le Pen. Their goal is to take on the European Parliament this year. Both parties blame immigration and multiculturalism for Europe’s economic malaise and supposed loss of identity.

Even at a time when Wilders’ own party is trying to distance themselves from his extreme rhetoric, those in the broader anti-Muslim movement continue to show their unwavering support for him.

Islam a ‘dangerous and totalitarian ideology’: Wilders

Wilders Melbourne meeting-1

Islam a ‘dangerous and totalitarian ideology’: Wilders

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders has called the Prophet Muhammad a murderer and used Anzac soldiers as an example of the courage needed to speak out against Islam at a speech to Melbourne supporters.

Tight security surrounded Mr Wilders’ hour-long speech to members of the ultra-conservative local group the Q Society of Australia at La Mirage reception centre in Somerton in Melbourne’s north on Tuesday night.

Fifty police, some on horseback, separated about 100 vocal but peaceful protesters standing on the Hume Highway verge outside the venue.

Protest organiser Feiyi Zhang said: “we’re here to show we will not stand for Wilders’ racism and Islamophobia”. She said his speech could incite violence against Muslims “and general fear of Islam”.

Protester Nadia Shamsuddin, a doctor and a Muslim, said she was “repulsed” by Wilders’ visit and views. “His promotion of oppression and racism is appalling in the civilised world”.

Her husband Raj Rao said: “Wilders accuses Islam of promoting hatred and violence but I think that’s what he’s doing.” Mr Rao said the message of the Qu’ran was of “peace and submission to God”.

Inside the venue, audience member Inez, a Dutch immigrant, said she had come from Ringwood to hear Wilders, “because we have built this country into something very, very beautiful but I can slowly see it getting spoiled by people who want to impose their beliefs and laws. When I hear Muslim people wanted to introduce Sharia law here, I shudder. I thought it too horrible to contemplate.”

Mr Wilders spoke to a ballroom usually used for multicultural weddings and debutante balls. The crowd met his speech with standing ovations, laughter at his jokes and applause.

Mr Wilders said the Prophet Muhammad was a savage leader of a gang of robbers that raped and murdered and mutilated its opponents including the Jews in 7th century Medina and violence had carried on to Islam’s modern day supporters.

He said anyone who criticised Islam “is in grave personal danger” and “we cannot continue to accept this”. European countries such as the Netherlands are “in the process of losing our cultural identity and our freedom and I am warning Australia about the true nature of Islam. It’s not a religion; it’s a dangerous and totalitarian ideology.”

The Age, 20 February 2013

By contrast The Australian – which has already given Wilders a platform to incite hatred of Islam, with a much wider audience than the tiny Q Society could ever drum up – accuses protestors of provoking violent clashes outside the venue.

In addition to providing extensive, and entirely uncritical, coverage of Wilders’ Melbourne speech, the Murdoch-owned newspaper also publishes an editorial (“Geert Wilders’s right to speak”) which states:

Mr Wilders’s views on the impact of large-scale Islamic immigration in Europe and the challenge that it presents to established cultures and the obligations of citizenship in Western countries are part of an important debate that Australians should be aware of.

Mr Wilders is the founder and leader of The Netherlands Party for Freedom. His political mission is to halt what he says is the “Islamisation” of his country. He argues that Islamism is a totalitarian political ideology enforced by violence and rigid adherence to it, quite different from the faith of Islam. In his article in The Australian earlier this week, Mr Wilders outlined his views that many will find challenging, but they were respectfully put and hardly deserve the vilification he has received from extremists.

Mr Wilders is welcome here, provided that he abides by the law, as all visitors must. Our laws include prohibiting racial vilification and inciting violence, but there is no suggestion he has come close to violating them. So far, it is his opponents who have displayed the illiberalism they accuse him of.

Wilders holds that “Islamism is a totalitarian political ideology enforced by violence and rigid adherence to it, quite different from the faith of Islam”? Where did they get that from? There are of course Islamophobes who claim to make a distinction between Islamism and Islam, but Wilders is emphatically not one of them. In his article for The Australian, he made his views quite clear:

Contrary to what many Westerners think, Islam, rather than a religion, is a totalitarian political ideology. It is an ideology because it aims for an Islamic state and wants to impose sharia on all of us. It is totalitarian because it is not voluntary: once you are in, you cannot get out. Unlike genuine religions, Islam also makes demands on non-Muslims. We, too, are marked for death if we criticise it.

You can only conclude that The Australian‘s editorial writers don’t read their own newspaper.

Australia Visit Prompts Condemnation of Wilders

geertwilderschild

Geert Wilders as a child? (via. www.antibogan.wordpress.com)

Australia visit prompts condemnation of Wilders

Far-right Dutch MP Geert Wilders could learn a lot about the strengths of multiculturalism during his Australian visit, community and religious leaders say.

Mr Wilders will give speeches in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth this month about what he calls the “Islamisation of Australia”.

A coalition of 24 groups – including the AFL and the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne – issued a joint statement in Melbourne on Monday, reinforcing their support for Victoria’s “multicultural and multifaith community”.

“We have a collective responsibility to respect our fellow citizens and preserve the social cohesion and harmony that characterise Victoria and makes our society great,” the statement says. “We welcome challenging ideas and debate, however, inciting hatred and animosity towards specific cultural or faith-based communities has no place in Victoria.”

State Multicultural Affairs Minister Nicholas Kotsiras says Mr Wilders could learn a lot from his visit to the state. “I find it amazing that someone could travel 16,000 kilometres to tell us why he and his party have failed in his own country,” he told reporters in Melbourne. “If he wants to come to learn and to educate himself about the success of multiculturalism and diversity, Victoria is the place to be.”

AAP, 18 February 2013

See also “Cold reception for anti-Islam campaigner”, SBS, 18 February 2013

There will be protests against Wilders’ visit in MelbourneSydneyand Perth.

Racist Geert Wilders Promises to “Step Up International Anti-Islam Campaign”

geert-wilders (1)

After his party, the PVV completely failed to deliver anything to the Dutch people, Wilders is resorting to the tried and true method of attacking minorities in Holland and promising more war against Islam. He also made the hilarious comment that it is “Moroccan racism that they do not rob one another.”

Keep chugging away Geert! You will really take care of Islam this time, really!

Wilders to step up international anti-Islam campaign

(Dutch.News.nl)

PVV leader Geert Wilders is to step up his campaign against Islam in 2013, the parliamentarian told Nos television in an interview.

The fight against Islam is a mission for life, Wilders told the broadcaster.

Wilders said he would step up his fight against ‘the biggest sickness’ the Netherlands has had at home and internationally, ‘from Australia to America, from Switzerland to wherever.’

Wilders also again renewed his statement that the Netherlands has a ‘Moroccan problem’. It is Moroccan racism that they rarely rob each other, Wilders said.

Alliance with Wilders Did Hurt Netherlands’ Reputation

Wilders divisiveness and hate promotion has hurt the image of the Netherlands.

Alliance with Wilders did hurt Netherlands’ reputation

The previous coalition government, which involved Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam PVV in a supporting role, did have an image problem abroad, civil service documents supplied to website nu.nl show.

Ministers repeatedly said foreign governments understood the relationship between the minority coalition and Wilders and that he was not officially part of government.

However, official papers show “time after time” that diplomats wanted proper instructions on “how to avoid reputation damage as much as possible” – for example, when Wilders published a new book. This often did not work, the documents state.

Rob de Wijk, director of research institute HCCS and an expert on international relations, told the website this should not be a surprise. “Wilders’ position was impossible to explain abroad,” he said.

The problems have not all been solved now Wilders is no longer part of the alliance. “He was a symbol of the way the Netherlands had turned in on itself.”

Dutch News, 4 November 2012

“Exclusive”: U.S. groups helped fund Dutch anti-Islam politician Wilders

How much of this is really “exclusive?” That the Islamophobia industry has been funding Wilders and his cronies across the Atlantic has been known now for quite some time. It is a good development however that Reuters is picking up on this. (h/t: Wilfredo A. Ruiz)

Also see: NETHERLANDS/USA | Conservative US groups helped fund Dutch far right politician: Reports (h/t: Jai)

Exclusive: U.S. groups helped fund Dutch anti-Islam politician Wilders

By Anthony Deutsch and Mark Hosenball

AMSTERDAM/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Anti-Islam groups in America have provided financial support to Dutch politician Geert Wilders, an anti-immigration campaigner who is seeking re-election to the Dutch parliament this week.

While this is not illegal in the Netherlands, it sheds light on the international connections of Wilders, whose Freedom Party is the least transparent Dutch parliamentary group and a rallying point for Europe’s far right.

Wilders’ party is self-funded, unlike other Dutch parties that are subsidized by the government. It does not, therefore, have to meet the same disclosure requirements.

Groups in America seeking to counter Islamic influence in the West say they funded police protection and paid legal costs for Wilders whose party is polling in fourth place before the Sept 12 election.

Wilders’ ideas – calling for a halt to non-Western immigration and bans on Muslim headscarfs and the construction of mosques – have struck a chord in mainstream politics beyond the Netherlands. France banned clothing that covers the face in April 2011 and Belgium followed suit in July of the same year. Switzerland barred the construction of new minarets following a referendum in 2009.

The Middle East Forum, a pro-Israeli think tank based in Philadelphia, funded Wilders’ legal defense in 2010 and 2011 against Dutch charges of inciting racial hatred, its director Daniel Pipes said.

The Middle East Forum has a stated goal, according to its website, of protecting the “freedom of public speech of anti-Islamist authors, promoting American interests in the Middle East and protecting the constitutional order from Middle Eastern threats”. It sent money directly to Wilders’ lawyer via its Legal Project, Pipes said.

Represented by Dutch criminal lawyer Bram Moscowitz, Wilders successfully defended himself against the charges, which were brought by prosecutors in Amsterdam on behalf of groups representing minorities from Turkey, Morocco and other countries with Muslim populations.

The case heard in October 2010 was filed in response to Wilders’ comments in the Dutch media about Muslims and his film “Fitna”, which interlays images of terrorist attacks with quotations from the Koran and prompted protests by Muslims in Islamic countries worldwide. The court found he had stayed within the limits of free speech.

Pipes declined to say how much his group paid for Wilders’ defense.

Moscowitz declined to discuss payments for Wilders’ defense, citing client confidentiality.

Wilders said in an emailed statement that his legal expenses were paid for with the help of voluntary donations from defenders of freedom of speech.

“I do not answer questions of who they are and what they have paid. This could jeopardize their safety,” Wilders said.

VISITS TO THE UNITED STATES

Wilders, 49, first became a member of the Dutch parliament for the pro-business Liberal Party before winning nine seats for his own Freedom Party in 2006, campaigning against Islam, which he calls a threat to Dutch culture and Western values.

He called Islam a violent political ideology and vowed never to enter a mosque, “not in 100,000 years”. His party won 24 seats in the 150-seat lower house in June 2010.

He has been under 24-hour security for eight years after receiving death threats from radical Muslim groups in the Netherlands and abroad. Norwegian mass killer Anders Breivik cited anti-Islamic comments by Wilders in an online manifesto that sought to justify his crimes. Wilders has denounced Breivik and his actions.

David Horowitz, who runs a network of Los Angeles-based conservative groups and a website called FrontPage magazine, said he paid Wilders fees for making two speeches, security costs during student protests and overnight accommodation for his Dutch bodyguards during a 2009 U.S. trip.

Horowitz said he paid Wilders for one speech in Los Angeles and one at Temple University in Philadelphia. He declined to specify the amounts, but said that Wilders had received “a good fee.”

When Wilders’ Philadelphia appearance sparked student protests, Horowitz said, he paid a special security fee of about $1,500 to the Philadelphia police department. Horowitz said he also paid for overnight accommodation for four or five Dutch government bodyguards accompanying Wilders on the trip.

Wilders said in response: “I am frequently asked to speak abroad. Whenever possible I accept these invitations. I never ask for a fee. However, sometimes the travel and accommodation expenses are paid. My personal security is always paid for by the Dutch government.”

Pipes and Horowitz denied funding Wilders’ political activities in Holland. Both run non-profit, tax exempt research and policy organizations which, under U.S. tax laws, are forbidden from giving direct financial backing to any political candidate or party. U.S. law does allow such groups to support policy debates financially.

During Wilders’ visit to Los Angeles, where Horowitz runs an organization called the David Horowitz Freedom Center, Horowitz said he organized an event at which Danish cartoons lampooning the Prophet Mohammed were auctioned. He said he did not remember how much money this event raised or what happened to the proceeds.

Horowitz agreed with the Dutchman’s repeated, public comparison of the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf. Comparing the two works was a “fair analogy,” Horowitz said. He said Wilders was “fighting the good fight.”

Horowitz said U.S. backers helped Wilders raise money to pay legal fees to fight a ban from visiting Britain in 2009, where he planned to screen Fitna. The British government said at the time: “The Government opposes extremism in all its forms. The decision to refuse Wilders admission was taken on the basis that his presence could have inflamed tensions between our communities and have led to inter-faith violence.”

Wilders won an appeal in the British courts in October 2009 when the ban was overturned.

Wilders has other supporters in the United States, such as Pamela Geller, who runs Stop Islamization of America and has backed Wilders in public statements. Geller remains a supporter. She says she does not provide Wilders with financial assistance.

Wilders has not revealed how his political activities are paid for. Former Freedom Party officials have said he has no personal funds and almost entirely relies on foreign donations.

Like other Dutch political parties, members of parliament for the Freedom Party have been allocated 165,000 euros ($211,200) per year for expenses. Former Freedom Party officials speaking on condition of anonymity said the money, nearly 4 million euros per year, went to the party and has not been accounted for.

Wilders said in his emailed response that former Freedom Party officials making such allegations were bitter and spiteful. “These people have other motives than telling the truth,” he said.

“Our party has a sixty euro annual budget. The rumors about millions of euros in sponsoring are complete nonsense. A Freedom Party-related foundation receives donations from Dutch or foreign sources, but these are modest amounts of money and certainly never millions,” it continued.

The Dutch government turned down requests for additional information about Freedom Party finances.

“I do not possess relevant information or documents” about the Freedom party finances or campaign contributions because the party does not receive subsidies, Dutch Minister for Internal Affairs Liesbeth Spies said in a written response.

(Editing by Janet McBride)

Geert Wilders and Islamophobia in the US—on their way out?

We speculated that Wilders star was fading in Europe and that he will try to cash in on the anti-Islam buzz in the USA amongst the “fanatical anti-Islam movement.”

Geert Wilders and Islamophobia in the US—on their way out?

Published on : 30 April 2012 – 8:00am | By John Tyler (Photo: Freefoto.com)

Geert Wilders’ autobiographical book Marked for Death: Islam’s War against the West and Me will be presented in New York on Tuesday. Will his message against Islam and the West’s alleged “Islamification” still resonate in the United States? Here in the Netherlands this week’s political upheaval has seriously dented his influence.

Now that Wilders has disqualified himself from governing, relegating his party to opposition status, his political future here is limited. Even if his Freedom Party emerged as the largest in September’s elections, he would find it difficult, if not impossible, to find any coalition partners. No other party will be eager to work with a politician who has proved so unreliable.

So where does a savvy Islam-basher turn when he is down on his luck? To the United States, of course. Following her stint in Dutch politics, Somali-born Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali embarked on a successful career as Islam-critic in the US. There is speculation that Wilders may follow her example.

Frequent flyer

Wilders is no stranger to American shores. He has travelled there frequently, raising money and giving lectures. He most famously gave a speech in New York in the autumn of 2010 opposing the building of a Muslim Centre a few blocks from Ground Zero. The protest against the centre gave Wilders a platform for his message against Islam. He said New York “must defend itself against the powers of darkness, the force of hatred and the blight of ignorance. …This means we must not give a free hand to those who want to subjugate us.” His speech received broad coverage in the American press.

Changed attitudes 
Two years later, however, Wilders will find that attitudes in the US have changed. Anti-Muslim sentiment has been fading. A Gallup poll released in the summer of 2011 showed that Muslims, while still facing discrimination, are more confident about their future than any other group in the US. The standard of living among Muslims is improving faster than among other groups.

Gallup researcher Mohamed Younis: “The debate about Islam flares up when something happens, but the last couple of years have been pretty quiet and the public’s interest has waned. Wilders will have a hard time selling his book right now.”

There is more evidence that the attitude toward Muslims in the US is softening. The most outspoken anti-Islam candidates in the Republican presidential primaries did not do well. Mitt Romney, who is all but certain to win the Republican nomination, is known for his moderate views on American Muslims.

As for entertainment, a reality programme called “All-American Muslim” was cancelled, not because it generated a small controversy, but because it failed to attract viewers. People were bored by the premise that Muslims were everyday, normal Americans, and the show got poor ratings. And the New York Muslim Centre Wilders tried to block is going ahead, albeit in a more modest form. The protests have petered out.

Fringe element
American opinion toward Islam may be evolving, but there’s still an energetic minority of writers and bloggers who continue to warn of the imminent danger that Islam allegedly poses to the US. The small publishing house which is bringing out Wilders’ book is a driving force in such circles.

Regnery Publishing specialises in far-right conspiracy theories and scare-mongering. Books currently featured on the website include: Fast and Furious: Obama’s Bloodiest Scandal and Its Shameless Cover-Up,Secret Weapon: How Economic Terrorism Brought Down the U.S. Stock Market and Why It Can Happen Again, and After America: Get Ready for Armageddon.

The author of the last work, Mark Steyn, a fervently anti-Islam journalist from Canada, has written the introduction of Wilders’ new book. Regnery’s head, Marji Ross, says she knows Wilders’ views are seen as extreme, but “that’s what makes the book exciting and bold and newsworthy.”

Judging from the response to review copies of Marked for Death, it fails to fulfil Ms Ross’ expectations. It is reported to be a relatively dry description of how Wilders got to where he is, with hardly anything polemical about it. It also appears to lack the verve of Fitna, his short anti-Islam film of 2008.

Curiously, there is no mention of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who helped elevate Wilders to the powerful position he held for the past 18 months. On the other hand, he refers a few times to Ayaan Hirsi Ali, claiming they think along the same lines.

One reviewer said the book could be considered Wilders’ calling card to America. But in contrast to Hirsi Ali’s books Infidel and Nomad, published by mainstream houses and selling well, Marked for Death is not likely to attract a wide readership outside the fanatical anti-Islam movement.

Deafening silence
When Wilders spoke in parliament earlier this week after bringing down the government, MPs largely ignored him. With one exception, no one bothered to confront him. Apart from a few trusted Islam bashers, the broader public in the US may greet Wilders with the same deafening silence.

(cl)

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

Support for Geert Wilders’ “Freedom Party” Drops Over Crisis

Still my favorite picture of Geert Wilders

If Geert Wilders’ consistent and prolonged anti-Islam/Muslim diatribes weren’t enough of a reason to quit supporting him…

If Geert Wilders anti-freedom policies and attacks on civil liberties weren’t enough of a reason to quit supporting him…

If  Geert Wilders xenophobic fearmongering about Polish and Eastern European immigrants to the Netherlands weren’t enough of a reason to quit supporting him…

There’s another reason: The defection of a senior Freedom Party (PVV) MP Hero Brinkman, an ideological counterpart who parted ways with Wilders due to his “autocratic nature” and “unqualified stance against immigration.”

At least that is what polling data seems to be showing:

Geert Wilders support drops over party crisis

The anti-immigration party would now have 21 seats in parliament, three less than the number of seats it won at the last elections, held nearly 18 months ago. MP Hero Brinkman, seen as a key ideologue, left the party earlier this week in protest at Mr Wilders’ autocratic style and unqualified anti-immigrant stance. However, if elections were held now, Mr Brinkman would lack enough support to gain an independent seat, according to the weekly survey.

The minority government of liberal Prime Minister Mark Rutte depends on Mr Wilders’ Freedom Party for a majority in parliament. Now that Mr Brinkman has broken ranks with Mr Wilders, the conservative cabinet may have to rely on other parties as well, in particular on the tiny Christian fundamentalist SGP party.

The minority cabinet has already relied on Labour, the Democrats 66 and the Green Left parties for all those policies not supported by Mr Wilders, such as giving financial aid to Greece and bolstering the euro in general.

© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

We can’t read too much into these sorts of polls, especially when one considers the fickle nature of polling. However, it is significant, in that it exposes not only rifts and cracks in Wilders movement, but also potential fallout.

What remains to be seen is how Wilders and company will react to all this. Will they ignore this trend or just plain dismiss it? Will they become more aggressive and double down? Will they tone down their jingoistic rhetoric?

In the meantime it seems Wilders hatemongering is continuing to have repercussions:

The Polish Wilders Hates Poles

“I don’t just hate the Poles who work in the Netherlands, I hate all Poles” says Geert Wilders.

It’s not the real Wilders, it’s a satirical programme on Polish television. The Freedom Party leader himself hasn’t gone that far. However, his party does have a website where Dutch people can leave their complaints about Eastern European immigrants. It has been stirring up emotions in Poland for weeks, according to our correspondent Ekke Overbeek.

Szymon Majewski is a well-known Polish comedian with a popular show on the country’s biggest commercial station. In front of a backdrop of windmills, ‘Wilders’ begins the sketch by saying good evening in Dutch (goeie avond). The word goeie, however, means something unpleasant in Polish, so the stage is set. He then explains, in Polish, that he hates all Poles because they drink too much.

Another film, posted on YouTube, has an Asian man telling us that all foreigners, even Dutch, are welcome in Poland. Having nearly been run over by foul-mouthed Dutch people on bikes, he invites all Dutch people to come to Poland for the European football championships. “Poles are friendly and helpful. All the ugly, nasty, greedy Poles are over in the Netherlands”. He is joined by the same fake Wilders who says “Holland for the Dutch.”

Jokes about drugs, euthanasia and abortion follow. The final gag: “You may have a world famous Red Light District, but we have something better. Here you get screwed as soon as you step into a taxi at the airport.”

The Freedom Party’s complaints website has regularly made the news in Poland for over a month. The affair drags on because the Dutch government, which owes its parliamentary majority to Geert Wilders’ support, refuses to disown the website. Prime Minister Mark Rutte says it is an initiative by a political party and has nothing to do with his government. He was asked to appear before the European parliament and explain this stance but chose not to go.

The appearance of a Wilders clone on Polish TV shows that the controversy is beginning to affect the Netherlands image abroad. Until recently, most Poles thought of the Netherlands as a tolerant country, with good job prospects. The number of Polish people in the Netherlands is estimated at between 150 and 200 thousand.

(imm)

For those of you who speak Polish (there are no subtitles), here is the second clip:

Hero Brinkman: Defector From Geert Wilders anti-Islam Party Says PVV is Bankrolled by US Supporters

Geert Wilders and David Horowitz Freedom Center
Geert Wilders and David Horowitz Freedom Center

Tell us something we didn’t already know (via. Islamophobia-Watch):

Wilders’ anti-Islam party is bankrolled by US supporters, says former MP

American lobbyists make large donations to a foundation set up by the anti-immigration PVV, Hero Brinkman, the MP who left the party on Tuesday, told a television talk show on Tuesday evening.

Brinkman said he could not rule out the money being used to pay for Geert Wilders’ defence on racial hatred charges but declined to comment further on what the money had been spent on. Nor would he comment on the size of the donations.

The PVV is thought to generate significant funding from Israeli and far-right supporters in the US.

Because the PVV has no members, it does not receive government subsidies to run the campaigning side of its operations and relies instead on donations.

Dutch News, 21 March 2012

Brinkman’s allegation about the PVV’s finances confirms what had already been revealed in the Dutch press. Last year Dutch Newsreported that the two main US sources for the PVV’s funding were David Horowitz and Daniel Pipes.

See, We Told You: Geert Wilders Xenophobia is Not Limited to Muslims

Still my favorite picture of Geert Wilders

Far-right populist Geert Wilders has made a name for himself through his anti-Muslim and anti-Arab rhetoric, and for this reason he is, to quote Robert Spencer, one of the “heroes” of the anti-Muslim movement.

We have consistently pointed out however that Geert Wilders and his allies are not one stop bigots. Behind the “acceptable” attacks on Muslims is hidden a wider xenophobia against ‘the other.’ A bigotry which if not born out of any consistent ideological character is definitely a reflection of the realization that playing on the fears of the majority may lead to positive results at the ballot box.

Wilders and his party, the PVV are riding a wave of popularity through the launch of an anti-Polish/anti-Eastern European website which has been the cause of much controversy and embarrassment in the Netherlands. After launching the site it was reported that the PVV,

would gain 24 seats in parliament if elections were held today, the number of seats the party currently holds, says pollster Maurice de Hond. Geert Wilders’ populist far-right party is the third largest party in the Netherlands.

Wilders’ PVV site displays,

news clippings with bold headlines blaming foreigners for petty crime, noise nuisance – and taking jobs from the Dutch. “Are immigrants from Central and Eastern countries bothering you? We’d like to hear from you,” it says.

The Dutch government has distanced itself from the website but this hasn’t ebbed the disastrous PR that Wilders move has generated.

Besides criticism from ten European ambassadors and the European Commission, the Dutch public has also expressed concerns about possible repercussions. Poles are calling for a boycott of Dutch products.(emphasis mine)

The issue was taken to the European parliament which just yesterday announced its ‘dismay’ and formal response to Wilders most recent populist move:

EP condemns PVV website, exec puts ball in Netherlands’ court

By Gaspard Sebag in Strasbourg | Wednesday 14 March 2012 (Europolitics.info)

Representatives of the political groups in the European Parliament, on 13 March, unanimously called upon the Netherlands’ Prime Minister, Mark Rutte, to condemn a website launched by his far-right political ally, the PVV party headed by Geert Wilders. Said website, up since early February, urges Dutch citizens to report problems they experience with nationals of Central and Eastern European countries. “Unacceptable,” “a disgrace,” “scandalous” – said MEPs. The European Commission, for its part, announced it would not get involved from a legal point of view and leaves the responsibility of assessing the lawfulness of the website to the Dutch authorities. A joint parliamentary resolution will be put to the vote, on 15 March (see box).

The EPP, which counts among its ranks the junior partner in the Netherlands’ government, the centre-right CDA, was particularly vocal. “We cannot tolerate, from a party that takes part in a coalition government, a call to hatred against nationals from another member state. That is unacceptable,” said EPP leader Joseph Daul (France).

Despite the fact that Rutte is part of the Liberal political family, ALDE Chair Guy Verhofstadt (Belgium) was unequivocal about condemning the “silence” of the Dutch government and the message sent by the website. “My group has nothing but contempt for Mr Wilders’ initiative.” Recalling the need to be even-handed in criticising populist tactics, Verhofstadt lumped together French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Wilders. “I wonder who is the extreme-right wing candidate [in France], is it [Marine] Le Pen or Sarkozy?” he asked.

Reactions from other political group leaders all condemned Rutte’s passivity, whose hands are tied by his need for Wilders’ support, and who thus claims it is not a governmental issue. S&D leader Hannes Swoboda (Austria) called for the website to be closed down. Polish deputy Jacek Kurski (EFD) said Rutte’s lack of reaction is “scandalous”. “The prime minister [of the Netherlands] is not taking up his responsibility,” said Marije Cornelissen (Greens-EFA, Netherlands). “The prime minister ought to have directly condemned this website,” said Peter van Dalen (ECR, Netherlands), adding, however, that the EP holding a debate on this issue is “too much honour” for Wilders.

Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, who had already condemned the PVV website in February, welcomed the comments made in the plenary chamber. “It is unacceptable that EU citizens become target of xenophobic attitudes because they have exercised their right to move from one state to another,” she said. Reding also called upon on the Dutch authorities to “fully investigate the lawfulness of the website under Dutch law and Union law”.

According to Marie-Christine Vergiat (GUE-NGL, France), this is not enough. “You continue to refer to member states and their tribunals but I thought that the Commission was the guardian of the treaties, that freedom of circulation and non-discrimination were part of the European values,” she said. “I notice that certain values are more important than others and that in economic matters when the free circulation of goods and capital is concerned, competition barriers the Commission is prompter to condemn,” added Vergiat.