British Ban Dutch Lawmaker Over Anti-Islam Film

February 11, 2009

Author: Staff Writer

Source: Fox News

Wire Service: AP,2933,490849,00.html

The British government has banned Dutch right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders from visiting the country to show his anti-Islam film "Fitna" at the Houses of Parliament.

Wilders was invited by a member of British Parliament's upper house, the House of Lords, to show his 15-minute film, which criticizes the Quran as a "fascist book." But he was informed Tuesday in a letter from the British Embassy he would not be allowed into Britain.

The film sparked violent protests around the Muslim world last year for linking Quranic verses with footage of terrorist attacks.

Wilders has lived for years with round-the-clock security because of his fierce criticism of Islam. He has urged his government to ban the Quran in the same way it did Adolf Hitler's book "Mein Kampf" and warned of a "tsunami" of Islam swamping the Netherlands.

Last month, a court in Amsterdam ordered him prosecuted for hate speech, a rarely punished crime in the liberal Netherlands that carries a maximum one-year sentence. Wilders has appealed the order to the Supreme Court.

In a telephone interview Wilders called the British government's decision "cowardly" and vowed to defy it.