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UK denies entry to Dutch extremist despite official invitation by House of Lords

Hazel Heyer, eTN Staff Writer  Feb 12, 2009

Saudi newspaper Al-Sharq al-Awsat reported Wednesday, February 11, that the British government prevented a Dutch extreme right-wing figure from entering the United Kingdom country on Tuesday because of his fundamentalist stance toward Islam. The gesture was in accordance with British law that prevents advocates of extremism from entering the country.

British authorities refused to allow Geert Wilders, director of the controversial Fitnah movie, to enter Britain. Wilders was invited by Lord Pearson, a member of the right-wing UK Independence Party, to attend the British House of Lords session today to discuss the European Union and Islam. Al-Uraybi stated that it is expected that Wilders' controversial movie will be shown in the session.

Moreover, al- Uraybi reported that a spokesperson from the British Home Office told the al-Sharq al-Awsat that the British government was against all forms of extremism and that it will prevent all those who aim to spread extremism, hatred and violence from coming to Britain.

Al-Uraybi confirmed that a spokesman from the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office's statements that the British government is not linked to the House of Lords' session and refused to comment on the issue of preventing Wilders from entering British soil stating, "We do not comment on individual cases."

On the Dutch part, spokesman of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Bart Bees, stated that the British embassy declared that the decision was related to public order and security. The Al-Uraybi referred to Wilders' anti-Islamic stances and his calls to face Dutch society's Islamization.

Finally, the paper stated that the British authorities previously prevented Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi from accessing the UK for similar reasons.

The UK Home Office’s decision to refuse him entry because of his extreme views provoked Dutch Foreign Secretary Maxime Verhagen to call British Foreign Secretary David Miliband to protest the decision.

"The fact that a Dutch parliamentarian is refused entry to another EU country is highly regrettable,” Mr. Verhagen said.

In 2004, Wilders, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh and numerous public figures in Holland have received death threats and routine intimidation. Wilders even lived under constant police protection and was often forced to sleep on army bases due to his critical situation.

In 2005, the Al Ahrar wrote that Wilders previously proposed a law that would prevent Muslim women from wearing clothes that hide their identities. Further, Wilders has previously called Islam the greatest problem in The Netherlands. Not a representative of the government of The Netherlands, he has been in hiding since 2005.

UK denies entry to Dutch extremist despite official invitation by House of Lords

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