Anti-Islam MP to visit Australia
January 16, 2013
Controversial anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders will visit Australia next month.
The right-wing Dutch MP was due to visit in October last year but was forced to postpone because the federal government took its time deciding whether to approve his visa.
Tour organisers Q Society - a group concerned about the so-called ''Islamisation of Australia'' - have now announced Mr Wilders will speak in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in February.
''The Australian experiment of multiculturalism is failing in relation to Islam, just as it has failed everywhere else,'' the group says on the event website.
''Australians are being misled to believe Islam is 'just another religion' - when it is in fact much more.''
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen has condemned the MP's extremist views but ultimately decided not to use his ministerial discretion to block his visa.
''I've taken the view, in the end, that I didn't want to make him a cause celebre,'' he said in October. ''I think probably what he would like me to do is refuse his visa so he can make a hero of himself and get his cause more attention.''
Mr Wilders, founder of the fourth-largest political party in the Netherlands, told a UK newspaper in 2009: ''I don't hate Muslims. I hate their book and their ideology.''
Australia's Muslim population is about half a million people, out of a total population of 22 million.