Geert Wilders landed at London’s Heathrow Airport on February 12. He was removed from a British Midlands jet from Amsterdam that afternoon, his arms gripped by two border agents. Wilders was whisked to a holding area, confined for three hours, and denied access to a British legislator waiting to welcome him. That evening, officials placed Wilders on a Netherlands-bound jet and booted him from Britain.
So, is Wilders a Guantanamo alumnus? A fugitive financier? An Ebola-virus carrier? Hardly. A democratically elected Dutch parliamentarian and chairman of Holland’s Freedom Party, Wilders became the first legislator from a European Union nation to be barred from another EU state. The outrageous mistreatment of Wilders chillingly demonstrates how appeasing militant Islam erodes free speech and western democratic norms.
Britain’s Lord Pearson had invited Wilders to Westminster Palace to show Fitna, his film on Islamic terrorism, and discuss it with members of the House of Lords. Lest Wilders’s stern denunciation of Islamic extremism rattle thin-skinned British Muslims, Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s Labour government banned the Dutchman from the U.K. As Home Secretary Jacqui Smith wrote Wilders: “Your statements about Muslims and their beliefs . . . would threaten community harmony and therefore public security in the U.K.”
Wilders enjoyed a warmer reception in New York City last Monday, courtesy of the Hudson Institute. The conservative think tank hosted Wilders at Gotham’s legendary Four Seasons restaurant.
“To the immigration authorities — thank you for letting me into this country,” said Wilders, 45. “It is always a pleasure to cross a border without being sent back on the first plane.”
The Hudson Institute screened Wilders’s film for its lunch guests. Fitna’s jarring images did not quite complement the exquisite Dover sole and snap peas.
Fitna intercuts Koranic verses with scenes of Islamist mass murder.
“Prepare for them whatever force and cavalry ye are able of gathering . . . to strike terror into the hearts of the enemies of Allah and your enemies,” Surah 8, verse 60 demands. Wilders juxtaposes this with scenes of al-Qaeda’s victims leaping from the burning Twin Towers. Madrid’s Atocha train station soon explodes into carnage, also thanks to al-Qaeda.
Elsewhere, Muslim clerics speak as if they were at a Nuremberg rally.
“The Jews are Jews,” an Islamic preacher yells. “They are the ones who must be butchered and killed.”
“If Allah permits us,” a sword-wielding imam hollers, “even the stone will say, ‘Oh Muslim, a Jew is hiding behind me. Come and cut off his head.’ And we shall cut off his head! By Allah, we shall cut it off!”