Wilders: Attacks on free speech "unacceptable"; "Don't mess with Texas!"
PVV leader Geert Wilders called the attack outside the cartoonist event in Garland "an attack on freedom of expression" and that is "unacceptable". Two gunmen were shot and killed by the Garland police, after they wounded a security officer.
In a SMS to NOS Wilders said: "I had just spoken for half an hour at the event on Freedom of Speech and cartoons and the dangers of Islam and had just left when it happened. Terrible. It was very close. I hope that the wounded officer is doing well. It is an attack on freedom of expression. Unacceptable. The only appropriate answer is going on. But it is not easy."
Wilders was the keynote speaker at the event, which was a competition for the best cartoon depicting the Muslim prophet Mohammad. The PVV leader started his speech by stating that their answer to Islam and those who want to curtail free speech is clear. "Don't mess with Texas! Don't mess with the free West! Don't mess with our freedom of speech!"
"The cartoonists, the participants in this Muhammad contest all did fantastic work. All of you are not only talented but also very brave. For Islam has put a death sentence on depicting Muhammad. But this has not frightened you. And even if it did, it has not stopped you. Because you believe in freedom of speech. I applaud you for that." he said.
Wilders invited the exhibition to the Netherlands. "I will help you exhibit these cartoons in the Dutch parliament.
The PVV leader went on to say: "I am not saying that there are no moderate Muslims. Fortunately there are Muslims wo do not live according to the Islamic commands. But there is no moderate Islam! NOt all Muslims are terrorists. But most terrorists today are Muslims. That is why we say: The less Islam the better!" This comment strongly resembles Wilders' calls for "fewer Moroccans" in the Netherlands last year. He is currently being prosecuted for inciting hatred due to these comments.
Wilders' full speech can be read here.