Wilders describes suspect as 'violent and sick'
DUTCH REACTION:GEERT Wilders, one of Europe’s most high-profile right-wing political leaders, attempted last night to distance himself from Anders Behring Breivik, describing the man arrested for the twin attacks in Norway as “violent and sick”.
A 1,500-page document which appears to have been written by Breivik makes several complimentary references to Mr Wilders and his Freedom Party (PVV) whose aggressive anti-Muslim stance propelled it to third-largest political party in the Netherlands after the 2010 general election.
The PVV supports Holland’s minority Liberal-Christian Democrat coalition – whose government agenda includes a ban on the burqa, expected to come into effect in 2012, a 50 per cent cut in non-western immigration, and stronger police powers.
In the document, written under the name Anders Berwick, Breivik quotes Mr Wilders several times and is particularly supportive of Wilders’s controversial 2008 film, Fitna– Arabic for “dissention” – which mixes Koranic verse with video footage of extremist attacks.
The 17-minute-long film was one of the issues at the centre of a court case earlier this month in which Mr Wilders was cleared of inciting hatred against Muslims.
Despite the growing popularity of Mr Wilders and the PVV, Breivik described the Netherlands as a country which he believed would fall victim to “Islamic colonisation”, forecasting that 55 per cent of the population would be Muslim by 2070, leading ultimately to Sharia law.
And on the conservative Norwegian website, Minerva, he wrote that while the Tories in the UK had lost their credibility, Mr Wilders and the PVV remained among the few parties that could “truly claim to be conservative parties in their whole culture”.
Despite such praise, however, Mr Wilders yesterday joined the Dutch prime minister, Mark Rutte, and Queen Beatrix who visited Norway in June, in condemning the attacks alleged to have been carried out by the 32-year-old Norwegian.
Writing on a news website, Mr Wilders said the PVV “abhors all that Breivik represents and has done”.
And on Twitter he described the attacks as “awful”, and said all of those killed or injured had been “innocent victims”, and described the perpetrator as “a violent and sick character”.
He added: “The PVV offers its condolences to all the families of the victims and to the Norwegian people.” Echoing the tone of yesterday’s newspaper editorials, Mr Rutte said the attacks had shown “a total lack of respect for human life”.
At the same time, Jan Stikvoort, the police chief for Alphen aan den Rijn near Amsterdam, where a gunman shot six shoppers and himself dead in April, said such shootings were further proof that civilians should not have access to weapons.
In his 1,500-page document, Breivik also criticises the Dutch media for portraying the late Pim Fortuyn as an extremist. He praises murdered filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, for his move Submission, which was critical of the treatment of women under Islam. And he says the writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who worked with van Gogh on the movie, should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.