The Dutch lawmaker, Geert Wilders, is scheduled to speak at reception on Capitol Hill this month at the invitation of Tea Party firebrand Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas). In recent years, Wilders has become internationally famous for his bombastic broadsides against Islam, which include calls to ban the Koran in the Netherlands and to arrange for the removal of Moroccan immigrants from his country. In 2010 and 2011, Wilders was formally charged with inciting hatred and discrimination and is currently facing charges for hate speech.
“We respectfully request that the U.S. government deny Mr. Wilders entry due to his participation in inciting anti-Muslim aggression and violence,” wrote Reps. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and André Carson (D-In.) in the April 23 letter. “Mr. Wilders’ policy agenda is centered on the principle that Christian culture is superior to other cultures.”
The letter, addressed to Secretary of State John Kerry and Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, calls on the officials to deny Wilders entry under the authority of the International Religious Freedom Act, which empowers the State Department to ban the entry of a foreign leader responsible for severe violations of religious freedom.