BBC Readers Comments on The Arrest And Persecution of Geert Wilders
It's devastating to see that even in the UK freedom of speech can be blocked by a minority which blackmails a free society by threatening with riots & chaos. Mr Geert Wilders is not anti-Islam in general, but anti-Islam extremists, the sort of people who bombed public transport and airports in the UK.
Arie, Rotterdam, Netherlands
UK is banning a member of our parliament because of fear for muslims? Wilders does criticise Islam and you can argue whether he does that tastefully (I didn't vote for him) but he never crossed the legal line. Apparently nowadays the fear in England is bigger than the will to defend the freedom of speech. I was always a big England fan (even spent my honeymoon over there) but now I think England should be ashamed! Many Dutch people, including myself, are now thinking of boycotting England!
Yes, I think he should be banned not only from entering the UK but from Dutch politics. That he is not a friend of Muslims or Islam is apparent but his approach is very wrong. I recognise a lot of his bluntness, crudeness and rudeness in many Dutch people, as I have after all lived in the Netherlands since 1974. I am not a Muslim but clearly sense a rise of racist attitude among the Dutch thanks to people like Wilders. People are entitled to their differences of opinion but there is a right and wrong approach. I think Muslims have a right to be equally critical about the West regarding the war in Iraq, to name an example.
Rajiv Mukhi, Eindhoven, Netherlands
Geert Wilders is a member of parliament in an European country. It is a sad reflection of how far the United Kingdom has sunk when a democratically elected European parliamentarian is refused entry to the UK to address the House of Lords because of fear of the reaction of a violent mob. People may agree or disagree with what Wilders has to say, but he has the right to say it. The Lords who invited him have the right to hear him and discuss what he has to say. It is a sad day for the United Kingdom for Parliament and for free speech when they are intimidated into silence by threats of mob violence.
Frank Clough, Gothenburg, Sweden
Being Dutch, I am very ashamed of Mr. Wilders. He would be much more successful if his expressions were less offending. He causes a lot of trouble, especially for the Dutch abroad and he abuses our freedom of expression.
Jozina, Tenerife, Spain
Mr Wilders does not propagate hate. He makes the case in his film that numerous terrorist acts find their justification in the Koran. It is a very strong case that Muslims must answer. Wilders does not foster violence, the threat of violence comes entirely from his opponents. The government's refusal to allow him in the country is craven. I suspect it's demoralising to ordinary Muslims who would prefer to be genuinely respected rather than being feared.
Patrick McGuire, Paris, France
Labels: Geert Wilders