PVV leader Geert Wilders is boycotting a televised election debate because the Vara public broadcasting company will not remove an offensive cartoon about him from one of its websites.
The cartoon, on the Joop.nl website, is a play on Wilders’ plan to set up special villages for people who cause a persistant public nuisance, which he called Tuigdorpen, or scum villages.
It features a queue of people, obviously immigrants, wearing the letter T on their clothes and being directed towards the showers by Wilders – drawing a comparison between the villages and the Nazi death camps.
The broadcaster has refused to remove the cartoon. A spokesman pointed out that the makers of the tv talk show have nothing to do with the cartoon or the decision to publish it.
In a statement on Monday, Wilders told the Telegraaf: ‘The VARA’s statement that it does not want to liken us to Nazis because it is the opinion of the cartoonist is nonsense and does not matter. If your neighbour invites you to visit and you know there is a painting in his living room which compares you to a Nazi you don’t go either.’
In the past, Wilders has defended both the Danish artists who published cartoons satirising Islam and Dutch cartoonist Gregorius Nekshot who was arrested and later released following the publication of drawings said to be offensive to immigrants.
At the time, Wilders accused the public prosecution department of have dictatorial tendencies. He also accused the Telegraaf of censorship for refusing to publish the work in an election special put together by the PVV leader himself.
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