Wilders rejects English EDL radicals' support
A demonstration to be held in Amsterdam by the ultranationalist English Defence League EDL has met with strong disapproval from Dutch anti-Islam Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders.
"I have no involvement with this demo, I've never been in touch with the EDL," the MP told daily on Tuesday. The protest is planned for Saturday 30 October, just before the verdict is due in a hate-incitement court case against Mr Wilders next week.
The EDL is a self-appointed group claiming to protect England from radical Islamists, targeting Jihadist preachers and "standing up for English culture". Their demonstrations have a tendency to spark counter-protests and violence. Referring to this, Mr Wilders said, "Should this demonstration really happen, I would like to emphasise that I abhor any form of violence. If there's the remotest chance of escalation, I'd rather they call off the protest. Perish the thought that this turns into a battle. That's the last thing I need."
On its website, EDL says it "goes European in support of Geert Wilders", without clarifying that the support was unsolicited by the Dutch MP.
Amsterdam Mayor Eberhard van der Laan said on Monday he does not want to ban any demonstrations. He also called for peaceful protests.
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