By JR on Thursday, September 08, 2011
A DUTCH MP accused of racial vilification for his hostile views on Islam has been invited to visit Australia by Liberal senator Cory Bernardi.
Geert Wilders, who narrowly avoided conviction in his own country for likening the Koran to Hitler's Mein Kampf, hopes to visit here this year or next.
In an interview with the ABC's Foreign Correspondent which aired last night, the right-wing MP depicted Liberal Senator Bernardi as a kindred spirit.
"I met one of your senators, Senator Cory Bernardi, not so long ago. He invited me to help him at least when I would visit Australia, and I will certainly do that," he told the ABC.
Privately, other Liberals were fuming about the incident claiming it was another embarrassment from Senator Bernardi.
Senator Bernardi told The Advertiser he had met with around a dozen people while on a parliamentary study tour in April and had extended all a courtesy invitation, along the lines of "if you're in Australia, look me up".
But in a separate statement, he did concede that he had also offered to help with introductions and logistics.
"He (Mr Wilders) did indicate that he was considering coming to Australia and I extended an invitation to assist him with his schedule," Senator Bernardi said in a statement.
Senator Bernardi has courted controversy himself on previous occasions for campaigning against the Islamic head-dress the Burqa, and against Sharia Law and Sharia banking.
The Liberal frontbencher said he supported the right of free speech but had no involvement in planning an Australian visit for Mr Wilders.