Islam a 'dangerous and totalitarian ideology': Wilders
February 19, 2013
(Translation of this article appears in Arabic section)
FAR-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders has called the Prophet Mohammed a murderer and used Anzac soldiers as an example of the courage needed to speak out against Islam at a speech to Melbourne supporters.
Tight security surrounded Mr Wilders' hour-long speech to members of the ultra-conservative local group the Q Society of Australia at La Mirage reception centre in Somerton in Melbourne's north on Monday night.
Fifty police, some on horseback, separated about 100 vocal but peaceful protesters standing on the Hume Highway verge outside the venue.
Protest organiser Feiyi Zhang said: "we're here to show we will not stand for Wilders' racism and Islamophobia". She said his speech could incite violence against Muslims "and general fear of Islam".
Protester Nadia Shamsuddin, a doctor and a Muslim, said she was "repulsed" by Wilders' visit and views. "His promotion of oppression and racism is appalling in civilised world".
Her husband Raj Rao said: "Wilders accuses Islam of promoting hatred and violence but I think that's what he's doing."
Mr Rao said the message of the Qu'ran was of "peace and submission to God".
Inside the venue, audience member Inez, a Dutch immigrant, said she had come from Ringwood to hear Wilders, "because we have built this country into something very, very beautiful but I can slowly see it getting spoiled by people who want to impose their beliefs and laws.
"When I hear Muslim people wanted to introduce Sharia law here, I shudder. I thought it too horrible to contemplate."
Audience members had to go through a metal detector, bag searches and identity checks. Mr Wilders spoke to a ballroom usually used for multicultural weddings and debutante balls.
The crowd met his speech with standing ovations, laughter at his jokes and applause.
Mr Wilders said the Prophet Mohammed was a savage leader of a gang of robbers that raped and murdered and mutilated its opponents including the Jews in 7th century Medina and violence had carried on to Islam's modern day supporters.
He said anyone who criticised Islam "is in grave personal danger" and "we cannot continue to accept this".
European countries such as the Netherlands are "in the process of losing our cultural identity and our freedom and I am warning Australia about the true nature of Islam."
"It's not a religion; it's a dangerous and totalitarian ideology."