Few attend UK screening of Wilders' film

13th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

Geert Wilder's anti-Islamic film Fitna was screened in British Parliament yesterday to a sparse crowd.

LONDON—The film Fitna was shown in the British upper house of parliament on Thursday despite the British authorities' refusal to allow its maker, Dutch rightwing populist MP Geert Wilders, into the United Kingdom.

Only around 30 people attended the screening, five of them members of the upper house. All 743 members of the upper house were invited, as were the 646 members of the lower house, none of whom attended.

Wilders returned from London to the Netherlands on Thursday evening. At London's Heathrow Airport he was refused entry by the British immigration authorities, who put him on a plane to Amsterdam shortly afterwards.

He said he was furious at the incident, describing it as a blow both to himself and to freedom of speech. Wilders called British PM Gordon Brown "Europe's biggest coward."

The Freedom Party leader had been invited by a member of the upper house, the House of Lords, to show his anti-Islam film Fitna, but the Foreign Office informed him on Tuesday that allowing him to enter the UK would pose a "genuine, present and sufficiently serious threat to one of the fundamental interests of society."

Wilders was accompanied on his trip by dozens of journalists, which led to chaotic situations at Heathrow Airport.

Radio Netherlands/Expatica

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