Toronto: anti-racists mobilise opposition to Wilders

Protesters are getting ready for Geert Wilders’ first Canadian visit as the controversial anti-Islamic Dutch politician rolls into town for a private speech to local Christian groups Monday night.

The Freedom Party leader maintains that because Canada helped out Holland during the Second World War, it is only fitting to repay them by raising awareness the country is in danger of a hostile takeover and being “Islamicized”.

“Freedom is the most precious thing we have,” he said Sunday at a Toronto hotel. “(Canadian soldiers) didn’t give their lives to free Europe, (so that) not 50, 60, 70 years later we would face another totalitarianism ideology called Islam.”

Toronto’s invitation-only event is being emceed by the Sun‘s Ezra Levant, who will also interview him Monday on Sun News. London, Ottawa and Nashville are also on the schedule because Wilders said they are known as “the Bible belt” – areas with devout Christians.

“What happened in Europe will also happen here,” Wilders said. “We should wake up to the fact that Islamization means less freedom to us and our children.”

The Islamic Society of Toronto and the Canadian Islamic Congress could not be reached for comment on Sunday. However, Anti-Racist Action and the First Nations Solidarity Working Group are organizing protests in the cities Wilders is speaking in.

“As Muslims, racialized people and/or anti-racist allies, we are alarmed at this invitation extended to Wilders by the Canada Christian College and International Free Press Society Canada,” the groups said in a press release. “It is also very clear that after all the hysteria about free speech, the event has been organized so as to deter any dissenting voices or protest.”

In addition to being invitation-only, tickets cost $20 and must be purchased with a credit and proper name just to find out the location of the speeches.

Toronto Sun, 9 May 2011