US anti-islam groups admit to financing PVV leader Geert Wilders
Anti-islam groups in the US have financially supported anti-immigration PVV party leader Geert Wilders, according to British news agency Reuters.
Groups in the US seeking to counter Islamic influence in the West have admitted they funded police protection and paid legal costs for Wilders, says Reuters.
The Middle East Forum, a pro-Israeli think-tank based in Philadelphia, funded Wilders’ legal defence in 2010 and 2011 against Dutch charges of inciting racial hatred, director Daniel Pipes told Reuters.
The think-tank sent money directly to Wilders’ lawyer, Pipes said. He declined to say how much his group paid. Bram Moszkowicz, who represented Wilders during the trial, would not discuss payments for Wilders’ defence, citing client confidentiality, says Reuters.
Reuters also cites neo-conservative David Horowitz as having paid Wilders for two speeches. Horowitz runs a network of Los Angeles-based conservative groups and a website called FrontPage magazine.
He told Reuters he paid Wilders ‘a good fee’ for making two speeches and a special security fee of about $1,500 to the Philadelphia police department when Wilders’ appearance in the city sparked student protests.
Horowitz said US backers helped Wilders raise money to pay legal fees to fight a ban from visiting Britain in 2009, where he planned to screen his film Fitna. The ban was overturned in October 2009 following an appeal.
‘Wilders is fighting the good fight,’ Horowitz told Reuters.
Both Pipes and Horowitz denied funding Wilders’ political activities in the Netherlands.
In a response, Wilders said he is frequently asked to speak abroad but never asks for a fee. However, sometimes travel and accommodation expenses are paid. ‘My personal security is always paid for by the Dutch government,’ he told Reuters.
The PVV party organisation does not get official funding from the Dutch government because it only has one member – Wilders himself.
Legislation is currently going through parliament which will force all parties to reveal their donation sources.
Should the PVV’s funding sources be public, despite the security risks? Have your say using the comments box below.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation