Geert Wilders visited Denmark yesterday and was interviewed by Danish television. He had very admiring words to say about Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, and evidently expected a reciprocal attitude from the prime minister.
But it was not to be.
It seems that Mr. Rasmussen considers Mr. Wilders too radioactive to touch, even for a Danish politician. The prime minister issued a statement: “I strongly condemn Geert Wilders’ condescending statements about Muslims.”
Steen, whose post is entitled “Geert Wilders in Denmark and Fogh in BonBon Land” discusses the events at Snaphanen. He has an embedded video of the interview (the surrounding text is in Danish, but the interview is in English).
Mr. Wilders answered questions about his movie and talked about his concerns over the growing Islamization of Europe. Concerning the Koran, he told the interviewer, “I think it is a fascist book.” Also, “We should stop at least the immigration of people from Muslim countries.”
The interview is excellent. Mr. Wilders had eminently sensible things to say about the erosion of European national identities, the encroachment of sharia, the rule of law, and other issues dear to the hearts of Gates of Vienna readers. Given the sentiments of the average Dane, Mr. Rasmussen’s reaction is mystifying.
Here’s the story from Reuters:
Danish PM condemns views of Dutch film-maker
Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday distanced himself from remarks made by an anti-Muslim populist Dutch film-maker, saying he condemned attempts to demonize religious or ethnic groups.
Geert Wilders, who is also a right-wing lawmaker, praised Rasmussen in a Danish television interview for backing freedom of speech after local newspapers reprinted satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed, and criticized Dutch Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende for bowing in the face of Muslim anger.
“I strongly condemn Geert Wilders’ condescending statements about Muslims,” Rasmussen said in a statement. “I find these expressions extremely offensive,” he added.
Wilders plans this month to show a 15-minute video which criticizes the Muslim holy book, the Koran, despite appeals from the Dutch government and mounting unrest in the Muslim world.
In the interview with Denmark’s DR TV, Wilders said he wanted to “combat the threat of the growing Islamisation of Western society.”
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Rasmussen, who angered Muslims by refusing to take action against Danish media that published the cartoons, said he wished to disassociate himself completely from Wilders’ views and rejected the Dutch lawmakers’ “attempt at associating his views to those of the Danish Government.”
Wilders said the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard had received better support in the face of Muslim wrath from Rasmussen than he himself had seen from the Dutch prime minister.
“I wish we had such a prime minister in Holland,” Wilders said. “Unfortunately we have a coward that does not hold firm on the constitution’s words about freedom of expression,” he added.
Rasmussen said Wilders’ remarks about Muslims were “so insulting” that he wished to hear no group in Danish society referred to in such a manner.
A rumor is circulating in Denmark that Anders Fogh Rasmussen has ambitions for a top post in the European Union, perhaps the presidency. That might explain his sudden conversion to politically correct Orthodox Multiculturalism.
In a related story, the Brussels Journal reports that a Moroccan youth organization in the Netherlands has called for Geert Wilders’ voters and supporters to be killed.
Hat tips: TB and Steen.