Wilders diplomatic row rumbles on

The Netherlands does not want the diplomatic conflict with Britain over its ban on anti-Islam campaigner and MP Geert Wilders to escalate, Trouw reports on Friday.

The paper quotes a well-informed MP in The Hague who says the British government is extremely irritated by Dutch attempts to interfere in its right to ban undesirables.
And it quotes Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen as saying that ‘more pressure [on the British] would not have led to the desired result’. The Netherlands will support Wilders if he decides to appeal agains the ban, Verhagen said.
Opposition right-wing Liberal (VVD) MPs have called for Verhagen to summon the British ambassador for a dressing down.
Wilders was deported from Britain on Thursday evening after attempting to attend a screening of his 15-minute anti-Islam film Fitna.
Earlier, while being held at Heathrow airport, 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.
Last month an Amsterdam court ruled that Wilders should be prosecuted for inciting hatred.
The screening went ahead on Thursday. The Volkskrant said it was attended by around 25 people, of whom only four were members of parliament. In total, the British parliament has 1,489 members.
The Volkskrant also pointed out than none of the three main political parties in Britain has commented on the row.
Yesterday the Volkskrant reported that Dutch anti-racist organisation Nederland Bekent Kleur has accused Wilders of hypocrisy because he recently tried to have a Muslim religious leader banned from the Netherlands.

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