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Over 100 Mosques Petition Twitter to Ban Geert Wilders

AMSTERDAM – The Turkish administration of a mosque in the Netherlands contacted Twitter on November 5 to formally request that the Far-right  politician Geert Wilders be removed from the online platform, Euro News reported.

“Wilders had violated the social platform’s rules of conduct with his postings of hate-crime expressions,” stated the official request from the Turkish Islamic Cultural Federation (TICF) which oversees 144 mosques in the Netherlands.

The letter itself points toward specific examples of far-right Wilders’ tweets, including one from March 15 that labels Islam as “terror, misogyny, homophobia, honor killing, animal suffering, injustice, slavery, deadly,” and more, in a two-minute video.

It also references a tweet from September 2017, where Wilders referred to the Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) as a “pedophile, mass murderer, terrorist, and maniac.”

The same tweet includes a depiction of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), a controversial decision as visual representations of the Prophet are forbidden in Islam.

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TICF’s Facebook page posted that it would explore legal options should Twitter refuse its request to suspend Wilders.

“He hurts 1.2 million Muslims in the Netherlands with his statements. He abuses the freedom of expression. His statements are now going so far, that it starts to become normal.”

In response to Monday’s letter, Wilders tweeted a self-portrait with tape covering his mouth, indicating he felt he could be silenced by a potential ban.

Islam is the second largest religion in the Netherlands, practiced by 4% of the population according to 2010-11 estimates. Most reside in the nation’s four major cities, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht.

The early history of Islam in the Netherlands can be traced to the 16th century when a small number of Ottoman traders began settling in the nation’s port cities. As a result, improvised mosques were first created in Amsterdam in the early 17th century.

In the ensuing centuries during the Dutch occupation of some Muslim regions in Southeast Asia like Indonesia, the Netherlands experienced Muslim immigration from the Dutch East Indies.