Attended by about 200 people, the speech served as the inaugural event for the David Horowitz Freedom Center–Philadelphia. Formed less than a year ago, the local center is meant to serve as the East Coast headquarters of the Los Angeles-based organization run by Horowitz, a one-time liberal turned conservative firebrand. Horowitz is the editor of the right-leaning Web sitewww.frontpagemagazine.com.
October 29, 2009
Controversial Dutch Pol Renders His Message
By Bryan Schwartzman, Staff Writer
A controversial Dutch lawmaker and fierce critic of Islam received an overwhelming positive response from a largely Jewish audience in Center City, just days after several dozen students protested outside Temple University, the parliamentarian’s first local stop. Both events took place under tight security.
Geert Wilders, the leader of the Netherlands Freedom Party, has angered Muslims by claiming that terrorism and violence are central components of Islam, as opposed to products of an extremist, fringe subset.
Wilders is facing charges of incitement to hatred in his native country for producing a short film called “Fitna.” The documentary has been widely viewed on the Internet, and essentially argues that the West is under siege from radical Islam.
Wilders, who has called for limiting Muslim immigration to Europe, has portrayed himself as an advocate of free speech. He’s even become a darling in certain conservative circles.
“I have nothing against Muslims. I do have a problem with Islam,” said Wilders to a burst of applause during an Oct. 22 speech held at the Union League of Philadelphia. “The Koran is an evil book; it calls for murder, terror and war.”