'Government will not gag Wilders’

‘The Dutch Government will continue to reject any call to gag a politician. The Netherlands enjoys freedom of expression and attaches great value to it.’ This was foreign minister Uri Rosenthal’s response on Wednesday to a call from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to ‘contain the campaign of hatred and incitement’ by Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders.

‘To prevent any misunderstanding,’ Mr Rosenthal said, ‘the Dutch government wants to make clear that Mr Wilders is not a part of the government. It is well known that the government takes a different view of Islam from the Freedom Party. The government considers Islam a religion and the Netherlands respects freedom of religion.’