Dutch Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders said on Friday he is to appeal against a decision by the mayor of a Belgian city banning him from visiting the locality.
The PVV leader had hoped to join his Belgian counterpart Filip Dewinter, of the Vlaams Belang party, for a so-called ‘Islam safari’ through areas of Molenbeek with a high Muslim population. Some of the terrorists who carried out attacks in Madrid in 2004 and Paris two years ago came from Molenbeek.
Wilders and Dewinter had originally planned a walkabout, but later said they would tour the district by car to avoid the visit being seen as a provocation.
But on Thursday the mayor of Sint-Jans-Molenbeek issued a municipal order banning Wilders and Dewinter from the area on Friday.
According to Belgian media reports, De Winter plans to press ahead with the visit but Wilders has cancelled his appearance, citing safety concerns.
The two politicians now plan to take their case to Belgium’s Council of State in an effort to have the ban overturned.
‘Jihadis can travel around Europe more easily than elected representatives who are threatened with arrest if they enter areas in their own country or a neighbouring land,’ Wilders told a news conference.
‘We must resist, democratically and without violence,’ he said. ‘But enough is enough. The time has come for demonstrations – as far as I am concerned mass demonstrations. The Netherlands belongs to the Dutch and Belgium to the Belgians.’
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