Dutch MP to screen anti- Koran movie in the Lords

Dutch MP Geert Wilders is due to screen his controversial anti-Koran movie in the House of Lords next month.

Mr Wilders has accepted an invitation from Lord Pearson of Rannoch to screen his film Fitna on 5 March.

Fitna is a 17-minute anti-Koran movie which features quotations from the Koran interspersed with footage of terrorist atrocities and speeches by Muslim preachers.

This is the second time that the politician has been invited to the House of Lords to show the film.

Mr Wilders was invited to screen Fitna in the House of Lords last February, but found himself at the centre of an international free speech row when he was held at London’s Heathrow airport before being sent back to Holland.

The then Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, was accused of undermining free speech and of ‘appeasing’ religious extremists by blocking the Dutch politician’s visit.

But the ban on Mr Wilders entering the UK was overturned on appeal last October by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

A British official said: “He’s free to travel and the Border Agency will not be alerted”.

The official added: “The ruling is pretty crucial here – if he did try to travel it would be very difficult for the Government to stop him entering as the tribunal made it very clear they do not support the Government’s position”.

The controversial MP has also been criticised for writing anti-Islamic articles and letters which were later published in a mainstream Dutch newspaper.

But Mr Wilders has always maintained that he is targeting Islam not individual Muslims.

Mr Wilders is currently on trial for hate crimes in the Netherlands and could face up to two years in prison if he is found guilty.

Despite the controversy Mr Wilders, the leader of the Freedom Party, is one of Holland’s most popular politicians.

However, his visit is expected to be greeted by protests from Muslims. The Muslim Council of Great Britain has described Mr Wilders as a “relentless preacher of hate”.

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