Anti-Islam campaigner and MP Geert Wilders was back in the Netherlands on Thursday evening after having been deported from Britain.
Wilders was denied entry into the UK after arriving on a British Midland flight in the afternoon. He left Schiphol without talking to reporters.
Foreign minister Maxime Verhagen told the Telegraaf he was ‘deeply disappointed’ that Wilders had been refused entry to Britain. He said the Dutch government would help Wilders if he wanted to appeal against the ban.
Earlier, while being held at Heathrow, Wilders said he had been treated disgracefully. ‘[British prime minister] Gordon Brown is the biggest coward in Europe,’ the Telegraaf reported Wilders as saying. ‘This is a very black day. They are bowing down to Islam by refusing entry to critics.’
On Monday it emerged that Britain had banned Wilders from the country because his presence could lead to public disorder and because of his extremist views.
Wilders wants an end to Muslim immigration into the Netherlands and has called for the Koran, which he likens to Mein Kampf, to be banned.
During the British Midland flight, Wilders told the Times newspaper that the British government was ‘the biggest bunch of cowards in Europe’. ‘It is easy to invite people you agree with, it is more difficult to invite people you disagree with and this is the proof of the pudding,’ the paper’s website quoted Wilders as saying.
Wilders had been invited to attend a screening of his 15-minute film compilation, which equates Islam with terrorism, at the upper house of parliament in London.
The screening went ahead on Thursday. The Telegraaf said it was attended by 30 people, of whom five were members of the upper house of parliament. In total, the upper house has 700 members.
Meanwhile, the Volkskrant reports that Dutch anti-racist organisation Nederland Bekent Kleur.
has accused Wilders of hypocrisy because he had tried to have a Muslim religious leader banned from the Netherlands.
More on this
Ambassador ready for Wilders in London
Wilders to head for London despite ban
British peer shocked by Wilders’ ban
Britain refuses entry to ‘extremist’ Wilders
Is Wilders a hypocrite on free speech? Take part in our poll
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