Anti-immigration MP Geert Wilders has cancelled the first of a series of debates on the ‘islamisation of the Netherlands’ because not enough Muslims have agreed to attend, news agency ANP reports on Friday.
Wilders pledged discussions on the issue as a follow-up to his anti-Koran film Fitna, which links Islam with violence and terrorism.
Of the 175 people who signed up for the debate in Waddinxveen on May 16, only a handful are Muslims, says ANP.
‘This is not enough for a constructive and open debate on the real dangers of the islamisation of the Netherlands and the failure of immigration and integration politics of the past decade,’ says Wilders’ PVV party in a statement. The party has nine seats in the 150-seat parliament.
Six imams and a local politician turned down an invitation to appear at the debate because they were not allowed to contribute to the agenda and their call for an independent chairman was rejected, says ANP.
Imam Yassin Elforkani told ANP that Wilders was not prepared to give Muslims any influence over the meeting in line with normal procedures. ‘Wilders wants to do everything himself. He does not want a balanced debate,’ said Elforkani.
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