Prime minister Mark Rutte should comment on language used by anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders in the increasingly heated debate about Wilders’ influence on Norwegian shooter Anders Breivik, Alexander Pechtold, leader of the Liberal democratic party D66, says in an interview with the Volkskrant.
Wilders has publicly distanced himself from Breivik’s actions, describing the killings as the work of a lunatic, but has accused left-wing politicians of trying to implicate him. The PVV leader was mentioned at least 30 times in Breivik’s manifesto.
‘Where is the prime minister?’ Pechtold said. ‘Rutte cannot continue to say Wilders is simply an ally on some issues and the rest is nothing to do with me. I have to ask who is propping up who.’
The PVV has an alliance with the ruling minority coalition and has agreed to support it on the economy in return for tougher immigration rules.
Pechtold accused Wilders of doomsday thinking without any solutions.
‘He wants to shoot hooligans in the leg, describes his fellow MPs as a gang ready to fight for millions, talks about the multicultural elite waging total war on the people, says millions of Muslims should be deported from Europe and more,’ Pechtold told the paper.
‘Of course he does not have to take any personal responsibility for Breivik’s actions, but he does have to do so for the climate which he has helped create.’
‘He has to understand what he is achieving by focusing on doomsday scenarios and black and white images,’ the Volkskrant quoted Pechtold as saying.
‘If you continually create a feeling of the apocalypse, you are contributing to a world without a future, without perspective. He is feeding his supporters frustrations and that is his responsibility.’
Pechtold said he wanted Wilders to stop avoiding public debate and to make it clear what his vision of society is. ‘Come up with a solution once in a while,’ Pechtold said.
And the D66 leader pointed out that Wilders himself has been quick to blame all Muslims for the actions of fundamentalists such as Al Qaeda.
‘He even blames me for helping create the climate in which he is threatened,’ Pechtold said.
In 2009, Wilders said that if anything happened to him or other PVV members Pechtold and other politicians ‘have contributed to the climate in which some nutcases think it right [to use violence].’
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