Muslim leaders want Wilders blocked from Australia visit
Australian Muslim leaders have asked Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to withdraw PVV leader Geert Wilders' visa for his visit to Perth later this month. Wilders plans to visit Perth on October 20th to launch a new political party - the Australian Liberty Alliance - which advocates against the "Islamisation" of Australia.
This is according to Australian news wire the Sydney Morning Herald. According to the paper, seven Islamic community leaders met with the Australian Prime Minister on Friday to warn him that Wilders' visit would increase anti-Islamic sentiment at a time that the government is trying to reach out to the Muslim community.
Samier Dandan, president of the Lebanese Muslim Association pointed out that Australia recently blocked the visa for US R&B singer Chris Brown due to his history of domestic violence, and Wilders' visa can be blocked on the same principal. He called Wilders "someone we know who will stir the pot, increase anti-Islamic sentiment and feed into those who seek to divide us".
"If he will be allowed in, there should be a framework similar to what we are debating – that those who don't agree with what we call Australian values and mutual respect to maintain social harmony [should not be welcome]. If we are considering cancelling passports, surely someone who is coming through, who says something that damages the social fabric should be put back on a plane too?" Dandan said to the newspaper.
According to Dandan, the Prime Minster said that he will look into the decision to grant Wilders a visa. A spokesperson for the Prime Minister confirmed to the newspaper that the issue of Wilders and his visa has been raised, but that the Prime Minister clearly stated that he is not the one to make the decision on the matter.