Twitter Reportedly Restricts Dutch Politician Geert Wilders for Calling Islam ‘Intolerant Ideology’

© AP Photo / Phil Nijhuis / Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom
Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Party for Freedom - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
Twitter has temporarily restricted the account of Geert Wilders, a right-wing politician who leads the country’s Partij voor de Vrijheid (Party for Freedom), after posting a tweet violating its rules against Islamophobia.
Wilders apparently drew the wrath of Twitter moderators after responding to a tweet by Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who leads the center-right Pakistani Muslim League.
“You know what hurts Prime Minister @CMShehbaz, is the violence of the intolerant ideology called Islam, the fatwa's and death threats by people from [Pakistan], who are inspired by the fake prophet [Mohammad]. We always choose freedom over Mohammedanism. And you'll never win,” the tweet read, Wilders told Dutch news site RTL Nieuws.
Wilders said that he got a notification from Twitter saying if he deleted the offending tweet, he would get access to his account within 12 hours. However, the PVV leader has appealed Twitter's decision, with his account remaining suspended until the company rules on his appeal, he said.
The offending tweet is no longer visible. Wilders’ account hasn’t tweeted anything since April 20, when he retweeted an op-ed by him in which he lamented the years he has lived under police guard due to the many death threats made against him by Muslims offended by his anti-Islam positions. Wilders has called for banning the Quran, mosques, and Muslim immigration to the Netherlands, and compared the Islamic holy book to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler’s antisemitic treatise Mein Kampf.
Twitter has not publicly commented on the reported suspension.
In 2020, Twitter outlined a new policy of “Countering anti-Muslim hatred” on the platform and has temporarily suspended several prominent accounts since then, including a cartoon posted by India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that showed Muslim men being hanged, and a tweet by Spain’s right-wing Vox Party falsely claiming that Muslim men from North Africa are responsible for virtually all calls to police in Spain.
The sequence of events with Wilders has taken place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, as well as rising violence between Jews and Muslims in Israel, centering on Israeli police raiding al-Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem.
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