Dutch right-wing politician under fire after Norwegian attacks

10:11, July 28, 2011      

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Norway's worst bloodshed since World War II has brought a Dutch far-right lawmaker under fire for his anti-Islam statements.

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch anti-Islam Party of Freedom PVV, has drawn widespread criticism after 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik, the self-confessed mass killer behind Friday's deadly twin attacks which claimed 76 lives, was found to have expressed his admiration of Wilders in a rambling 1,600-page manifesto posted online shortly before the attacks.

Wilders, who was acquitted last month by a Dutch court on hate speech and discrimination charges for statements made attacking Islam, had condemned the Norwegian attacks on Tuesday, saying he was "disgusted" by Breivik's reference of the PVV.

Although Wilders could be held responsible for the attacks in Norway, he did share the same ideas, according to Job Cohen, leader of Dutch Labor Party PvdA.

He called upon Wilders to moderate his tone and the choice of words in his anti-Islamic comments.

"I want Wilders to control his anger," added Tofik Dibi of the left-wing party GroenLinks.

"He must speak out more frequently and more clearly ... because the words of Geert Wilders go far beyond the borders of the Netherlands," he said.

But Wilders fought back in Twitter post on Wednesday morning.

"Lefties like Cohen and Dibi are now trying to take advantage of mass murder politically. Disgusting. The PVV remains itself, concerning content and also our tone!" he wrote.

Friday's Norway attacks, a downtown explosion in Oslo which killed eight people and a shooting rampage in the Utoeya island later the same day that claimed 68 lives, have sent shockwaves across Europe.

On Monday, the Oslo district court had order an eight-week pretrial detention for Breivik, who confessed in a court hearing to both deadly attacks, to facilitate investigation.

Police and prosecution were considering whether Breivik could be charged with crimes against humanity, the maximum sentence for which is 30-year imprisonment.

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