A controversial Dutch politician with anti-Islamic views will be allowed to speak at Temple University this evening despite calls by Muslims that he be prevented from giving an address on campus.
Geert Wilders, a member of the Dutch parliament, has called for a halt to the immigration of Muslims to the Netherlands and a ban on the Quran.
On Friday, he was allowed to visit Britain after a court ruled that a government prohibition against his presence was unjust. He called the court ruling "a victory for the freedom of speech."
During his British visit, according to multiple news accounts, Islamists protested outside where Wilders spoke, holding placards that read: "Islam Will Dominate the World" and "Sharia for the Netherlands." They also chanted, "Free speech go to hell."
Wilders is scheduled to speak at 7 p.m. in Anderson Hall on Temple's campus. He will also speak at Columbia University tomorrow.
"Temple University is a community of scholars in which freedom of inquiry and freedom of expression are valued," the university said in a statement yesterday. "We respect the right of our student organizations to invite people who express a wide variety of views and ideas."
The Muslim Students Association asked the university to reject his visit. "The Muslim population at Temple feels attacked, threatened, and ultimately unsafe that Mr. Wilders has been invited to voice his hate-driven opinions," the association said.
Wilders had been barred from entering Britain in February to show his short film, Fitna, which shows news and images of Muslim violence interspersed with texts from the Quran.