Scuffles at Dutch MP Wilders' event

2013-02-20 12:04
Geert Wilders (File, AFP)

Geert Wilders (File, AFP)

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Melbourne - Mounted police restored order as scuffles broke out outside an Australian venue where Dutch far-right politician Geert Wilders was speaking, but authorities said on Wednesday that no arrests were made.

Populist Wilders spoke on Tuesday night in Melbourne, receiving a standing ovation from several hundred people who had heard him warn that mass migration from Islamic nations could change Australia.

Police horses were brought to the Melbourne venue as protesters attempted to block the entrance, but there were no major incidents.

"We didn't have any arrests made," a Victoria police spokesperson said.

Wilders is also due to speak in Sydney on Friday, but an event in the western city of Perth has been cancelled after a venue could not be found to host the controversial politician.

Crazy idea


The right-wing MP said at a press conference ahead of his Melbourne engagement that while he wanted a ban on Islamic immigration, he was not trying to incite violence.

"If you think that what has happened in Europe will not happen to Australia, then you are totally wrong," he said.

While he admitted most Muslims were not extremists, he added: "Islam and freedom are incompatible."

"It's bad if you have the crazy idea that all cultures are equal," he added. "Islam really is not part of our culture."

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu has urged people to ignore the Dutchman while the Islamic Council of Victoria said it trusted the community would "see through his hateful speech and dismiss it for the empty rhetoric that it is".

- SAPA
Read more on:    geert wilders  |  the netherlands  |  australia
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