AP Interviews Geert Wilders
News; Posted on: 2004-11-19 22:19:35
Popular Dutch lawmaker urges halt to non-Western immigrants, shutting down radical mosques.
One of the most popular politicians in the Netherlands said Friday the country's democracy is under threat and called for a five-year halt to non-Western immigration in the wake of the killing of a Dutch filmmaker by a suspected Muslim radical.
"We are a Dutch democratic society. We have our own norms and values," right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders told The Associated Press in an interview. "If you chose radical Islam you can leave, and if you don't leave voluntarily then we will send you away. This is the only message possible."
In his first interview with the foreign media since the slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh on Nov. 2, Wilders said his own life has been repeatedly threatened. He said he has begun living under state protection and has even had to stay away from his own home.
Wilders split with the free-market coalition partner Liberal Party two months ago because it backed the candidacy of predominantly Muslim Turkey for the European Union.
He formed his own conservative party, the Wilders Group, which has one seat in the 150-member parliament. But a recent poll suggested his anti-immigrant message was reverberating through the electorate, and he would win 24 seats if elections were held today -- up from 19 seats before Van Gogh's murder.
Wilders said that without swift, bold action, Islamic fundamentalism will topple the country's democratic system.
"If we don't do anything ... we will lose the country that we have known for centuries. People don't want the Netherlands to be lost, and this is something that I get angry about and I am going to fight for, to keep the country Dutch," he said.
( http://www.nationalvanguard.org/story.php?id=4227 )
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