Party for Freedom leader Wilders urged to "tone down" critique of Islam -after fatwa and threats of violence against Dutch interests
May 1, 2007
Dutch MP Geert Wilders Urged To "Tone Down" Criticism Of Islam In Wake Of Fatwa
April 30, 2007- San Francisco, CA - PipeLineNews.org - Geert Wilders the head of the "Dutch Party for Freedom," claims he was "intimidated" by Netherlands' Counter Terrorism Coordinator Tjibbe Joustra who "recommended" that he tone down his criticism of Islam.
Wilders' recent remarks that Muslims should "tear out half of the Koran, if they wanted to live in Holland" sparked an uproar in the Muslim world. According to Wilders, Tjibbe asked "can't this be done differently?"
Wilders' is under constant police protection as a result of numerous death threats issued against him by Islamists ["the Dutch MP and controversial critic of Islam, has two policemen by his side even when in his high-security parliamentary office in case someone tries to decapitate him. Each day, he does not know where he is going to sleep that night, as he is taken from safe house to safe house in a convoy of armoured cars." Anthony Browne, "Death Threats Force Controversial Dutch MP Underground", November 20, 2004, Times UK].
Responding to the MP's statements, Iranian Ayatollah Noori Hamedi has called for a boycott of Dutch products and demanded that the country's ambassador be recalled from Holland. Another cleric has called for Wilders' death, declaring a fatwa against him.
The controversy has exposed fissures within the Dutch government, with Parliament demanding an explanation from Justice Minister Hirsh Ballin, saying that it is unacceptable to deny Wilders his freedom of speech. A spokesman in the office of the Counter Terrorism Coordinator denied that they would attempt to silence and intimidate anyone.