Today, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders addressed an audience of supporters in Liverpool, a suburb of Sidney, Australia. Liverpool is one of the most multicultural areas’s in the Sidney region, with 12% of the population being Muslim. Today he told his audience that Sydney has already fallen victim to Islamisation, whilst many members of the media were blocked from entering the venue, despite being told by the organiser, the Q Society, that they would be allowed to attend.
One of Wilders ‘arguments’ is that Islam is bad for gays, but anyone supporting his Islamphobic ideas can be anti-gay as well. Unsurprisingly when you’re familiar with the rhetoric and spin, many of his supporters and promotors are staunch anti-gay rights activists, but since no one in the Netherlands knows these people, it’s not an issue. Thus, Wilders can continue to promote his message of hate under false pretenses, even with the support of politicians that furiously deny equal rights for gays and lesbians or even their right to be alive at all.
In 2009, Wilders was invited to present his home movie Fitna in the House of Lords. He had been invited by two peers. One of them is Lord Pearson, former leader of eurosceptic British party UKIP. Malcolm Pearson has a strong voting record against equal rights of gays. In the same year, Wilders had been invited by US Senator Jon Kyle (Republican) to screen Fitna behind closed doors in a small room of the Capitol. Like Pearson, Kyle has voted against any legislation that would support equal rights for gays. In the US, Wilders has teamed up with several notorious homophobes, like Tea Party pundit Michelle Bachman and murderer turned evangelist Maury Davis of the Cornerstone Church in Tennessee.
Another ally is Mario Borghezio, a MEP of Lega Nord. He is a huge fan of Anders Breivik, the Norwegian that killed 70 people in Norway in 2011, and an admirer of former Libyan dictator Gaddafi and the Serbian war criminal Mladic. He previously called for “ethnic cleansing” of gays, Roma, black-skinned and yellow-skinned people and has been convicted on a number of criminal offenses. In one case he had set fire to belongings of homeless immigrants living under a bridge. He had also called for shooting refugees off the island of Lampedusa.
In Australia, Cory Bernardi has presented himself as a vocal supporter of Mr. Wilders, who he has met in the past. According to Mr. Bernardi, allowing same sex marriages is to suspend common sense and he had said that legalising same sex marriage would lead to calls for bestiality and polygamy to be legalised.
A few days ago, Wilders had a photo shoot with Danny Nalliah of the Rise Up Australia party. In 2008 the evangelist Nalliah claimed he had a revelation telling him that bush fires, in which 173 people had died, were the consequence of Victoria’s decriminalisation of abortion. He suggested that the Queensland floods in 2010 and 2011 were the result of anti-Israel statements allegedly made by former PM Kevin Rudd.
Today Fred Nile showed up at the venue in Liverpool to demonstrate his support for Mr. Wilders. Mr. Nile considers homosexuality a “lifestyle choice” that is in his view immoral, unnatural and abnormal. In 2005, Nile tried to repeal the Homosexual Vilification Act of New South Wales, which he called “draconian” and claimed the law was being abused to gag free speech and to prevent an open non-malicious public discussion.
Should we listen to Mr. Wilders? Is he honest and fair when he talks about the dangers to gays under Islam, whilst partnering with several, sometimes prominent anti-gay rights activists with criminal ambitions? The truth is, that his political achievements demonstrate nothing that has been proven beneficial to the position of homosexuals in our societies. He is only pro-gay als long as it is instrumental to his campaign against immigrants and Muslims. Of course we don’t have to listen to Mr. Wilders. But if we don’t, he’ll claim that his right to free speech is being undermined. His homophobic supporters agree with him.