September 11 2010
On the ninth anniversary of September 11 2010, dueling protests broke out over a mosque planned near Ground Zero. While initially 1,500 people gathered in favour of a Muslim organization’s right to build a community center, 2000 later demonstrated specifically against the mosque construction. This group was addressed by Dutch MP Geert Wilders whose 15 minute speech urged the crowd, “this is where we have to draw the line… so that New York… will never become New Mecca”.
Around 20% of the Dutch population approves of anti-Islam politician Geert Widers. The statistics form part of an annual survey into attitudes towards terrorism, whose findings also indicate that 40% of those interviewed say they fear the Netherlands will be be hit by a terrorist in the near future.’ Although few people in New York have heard of him, Dutch politicians awaited Wilders’ speech because of its implications for the ongoing formation talks for national parliament.=