Yes, as BCL has noted on his blog, Geert Wilders is visiting Canada:
Anti-Islamic political leader Geert Wilders comes to Canada
May 5, 2011 – 6:00 AM ET | Last Updated: May 4, 2011 8:22 PM ET
By Jessica Hume
Geert Wilders has made his name as one of the world’s most outspoken opponents of Islam. The controversial Dutch parliamentarian does not hate Muslims, he’s famously said, but he does hate Islam. His colourful political career has been driven by a belief that the Koran encourages violence, that moderate Islam is an impossibility, that the Netherlands is in the process of being Islamicized, and that immigrants from Muslim countries must be stopped.
Next week, Mr. Wilders will bring his message to Canada, a country he says faces the same prospects of being Islamicized as his own. On Monday, Mr. Wilders is the marquee speaker at an invitation-only event hosted by the International Free Press Society and the Canada Christian College.
“Geert Wilders has a warning for Canada, and his warning is about a lack of free speech here and the threat of demographic jihad,” said Charles McVety, president of the Canada Christian College.
“We’re all for freedom of religion, but when its mission is a hostile takeover, well that’s a different story. Islam is not just a religion, it’s a political and cultural system as well and we know that Christians, Jews and Hindus don’t have the same mandate for a hostile takeover. Here in Canada there is a real, clear and present danger. And we’re not even allowed to say anything about it. That’s what Geert Wilders is going to talk about.”
Members of the Toronto Muslim community say they were unaware of any planned hostile takeover and dismiss Mr. Wilders as racist and ill-informed. Dr Liyakat Takim, Sharjah Chair in Global Islam at McMaster University, said if discussions over radical Islam and multiculturalism in Canada are worth having, a closed presentation by Mr. Wilders is not the way to go about that.
“I’m astonished he’s coming, to be honest,” Dr Takim said. “This is not a discussion. He is spreading hatred toward Islam and his comments are nothing short of inflammatory. The fact the event is closed indicates he wants to spread his agenda, that he doesn’t want to be confronted. The fact no Muslims were invited also suggests he thinks Muslims don’t have the right to challenge him.”
Al Gretzky, director of communications at the IFPS, questions any accusations of racism against Mr. Wilders, framing his warning to Canada in terms of a discussion about multiculturalism.
“They’re having problems in Europe because of multiculturalism and Canada is no different; we face the same problems,” he said. “People move here and they just create what they had back home. Do I think our culture here is better than it is in other places? Yes. And the people who move here think the same thing, otherwise they wouldn’t move here. The problem though, is when they move here and they don’t become a part of our culture. That’s the problem with multiculturalism that Geert Wilders is talking about.”
Farooq Khan, executive director of the North American Muslim Foundation, said Mr. Wilders and his allies only make religious and cultural tensions worse.
“This is not productive, to marginalize the minorities in Canada. I have been living here for 30 years and it is becoming less safe a place to live,” Mr. Khan said. “Since when is Geert Wilders an expert on Islam? Listen, Muslims are people, we’re human and we contribute positively to society. I’m shocked Geert Wilders is being allowed into the country; if you want to know why radicalization happens, it’s because of feeling marginalized, which is what he is doing. Frankly, Mr. Wilders should be shunned.”
Mr. Wilders worked as a speech writer for a conservative party in the Netherlands but left it to form his own party – the Party for Freedom – after what have been called irreconcilable differences over Turkey’s bid for European Union membership. Support for his new party was strong and only surged higher after the release in 2008 of his short film Fitna – in which Mr. Wilders attempted to expose direct links between the Koran and the violent capabilities of its adherents. The film led to his being banned from entering the U.K., though he was ultimately allowed in.
Despite numerous attempts within the Netherlands to charge Mr. Wilders with various charges on a theme of inciting hate, his party sits in a comfortable third place and opinions of him held by the Dutch are split, roughly 50-50.
We note that Levant is one of the folks welcoming Wilders to Canada, but so is Charles McVety who, given reported links to Prime Minister Harper, is of significant concern. Pro-censorship, anti-science and anti-gay marriage as well.
Dark Ages much?