Geert Wilders on Capitol Hill Sparks Protest from Muslim Members
Days after a liberal congressman proposed legislation to stop the Iowa conservative from legislating, Rep. Steve King announced he would bring a controversial Dutch politician to Capitol Hill.
King (R-Iowa) and Wilders plan on holding a “Fighting Radical Islam" press conference on Thursday on the lawn outside the Capitol.
Wilders is leader of the Party for Freedom, the Dutch parliament's fourth-largest party, and argues that the Netherlands is being Islamacized. His death has been called for via fatwa by al-Qaeda, the Taliban, ISIS and others.
King's office says other members of Congress will attend, but did not name them. Wilders' visit is being co-hosted by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas).
The two Muslim members of Congress, Reps. Andre Carson (D-Ind.) and Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), had asked Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to ban Wilders' entrance into the United States "due to his participation in inciting anti-Muslim aggression and violence."
Along with Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), Ellison and Carson called on House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to denounce Wilders' visit.
“Hatred left unchecked begets further discrimination, and history has shown that when communities fail to fight back against hate, it only grows in severity and scope,” the Democrats wrote. “What begins as hatred against one group can rapidly morph into targeting of any number of minority groups.”
Wilders spoke this morning before the Conservative Opportunity Society, which was founded by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.).
"I have nothing against Muslims. Before the death threats started I have visited almost every Islamic country and I met many friendly people. I know there are many moderate Muslims who do not live according to the violent commands of the Quran. Muslims can be moderates. But there is no moderate Islam. Islam has changed Europe beyond recognition," Wilders said.
"...Our duty is clear. In order to solve the problem, we have to stop mass immigration to the West from Islamic countries. And we have to get rid of the cultural relativism."
Wilders added that it's "sheer stupidity" to stop would-be jihadis from running off to join the Islamic State: "This is wrong. Let them leave if they want to leave. But let them never return."
"In my country and the other EU member states, which signed the so-called Schengen Treaty, we have abolished all border controls between the 26 member states of the Schengen zone. This means that jihadis from one of these states can freely travel to the others and commit their crimes there. And it has already happened. Last year a jihadi from France, who had just returned from Syria, went to Belgium and murdered four people at the Jewish Museum in Brussels," he said.
'Without borders a nation-cannot guarantee the security of its citizens. Neither can it preserve its national identity and culture. I believe that one of the most vital things which we Europeans must do is to leave Schengen and reinstate national border control."