Dutch anti-Islam MP sued in France for racial hatred

25th March 2009, Comments 0 comments

A French rights group is suing Dutch politician Geert Wilders for saying Paris was encircled by Muslim districts in his speech in New York.

PARIS – A French rights group said Tuesday it was suing Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders for inciting racial hatred for a speech in which he said that Paris was "encircled by Muslim districts".

The Association for the Defence of Human Rights said its lawsuit centred on a speech made in New York last year by Wilders, who is facing trial in the Netherlands for inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims.

It says Wilders also said in his address there that "numerous areas (in France) were no-go zones for women not wearing headscarves."

Wilders added that "in France, teachers are asked to avoid authors considered offensive towards Muslims, including Voltaire and Diderot".

The rights group's lawyer Yassine Bouzrou told AFP that "the remarks made by Mr. Wilders target a specific community, Muslims, and that comes within the context of inciting racial hatred."

Wilders, head of the Freedom Party which has nine seats in the Dutch parliament, has called for the banning of the Koran in the Netherlands, calling it "fascist".

His film, Fitna, which likens Islam to Nazism and juxtaposes images of the September 11 attacks with pictures of the Koran, Islam's holy book, was called "offensively anti-Islamic" by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Immigration officials in the UK sent Wilders home on his arrival in London in February. British authorities said he was turned back to stop him spreading "hatred and violent messages".

He had been invited to screen his 17-minute film in the House of Lords, Britain's unelected upper chamber of parliament. The private screening later went ahead in his absence.

AFP / Expatica

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