One of the speeches which Dutch anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders was hoping to give in Australia has been scrapped from the itinerary because no suitable location has been found, RTL news reports.
The broadcaster says Wilders’ speech in Perth has been dropped because no venue in the city is prepared to host the controversial Dutch parliamentarian.
Wilders has already given a news conference in Melbourne under tight security, although no protesters turned up. During the conference, Wilders reiterated his stand that Islam could not integrate into western societies. ‘Islam is totalitarianism … Islam and freedom are incompatible,’ he said.
However, according to Australian news agency AAP, around 40 people turned up to protest outside the location for Tuesday night’s speech in Melbourne and tried to stop people entering the building.
Muslim and other organisations in Australia had earlier urged people not to protest but to ignore Wilders’ presence.
Wilders was invited to speak in Australia by the Q Society, which told Australian media the aim is to educate the country about Islam, not incite hatred. Wilders’ trip was funded entirely by individual donations from society members, spokesman Andrew Horwood said.
Wilders told Dutch broadcaster Nos at the end of last year he would step up his fight against ‘the biggest sickness’ in the Netherlands and internationally, ‘from Australia to America, from Switzerland to wherever.’
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