American hate preacher denied entry to the Netherlands
Steven Anderson has been denied entry to the Netherlands. Anderson, who was planning on speaking in Amsterdam on May 23, is known for his extremist views concerning homosexuals and Jews, including denying the Holocaust and stating that homosexuals should be stoned to death.
Dutch parties and organisations rally to keep Anderson out
LGBT rights organisation COC Netherlands, CIDI - an organisation which monitors anti-Semitism and MPs from all across the board - called on the government to keep Anderson from entering the country. And the government has done just that: Mark Harbers, State Secretary of Justice and Security, has denied Anderson access not only to the Netherlands, but the whole Schengen Area - comprising some 26 European countries.
The COC, CIDI and Dutch political parties who had hoped for this outcome are relieved. The ruling parties VVD and D66 are extremely pleased with Harbers’ decision, “Today love won the battle with hate. Freedom of speech is great, but for D66 the line is drawn at inciting hate. The Netherlands had no other option but to refuse him entry”, said D66 MP Vera Bergkamp.
In Harbers’ letter to the Dutch House of Representatives explaining this decision, he says, “In the Dutch society there is room for a great diversity of views, ideas, values and lifestyles. There is no place for discrimination, the inciting of hate or intolerance and violence”.
The mayor of Amsterdam, Femke Halsema, is also happy that Anderson will not be coming to Amsterdam, stating, “It is a good and firm decision by the State Secretary. […] I know that many Amsterdammers will be relieved now that his arrival is being prevented.”
Not only banned from the Netherlands
The Netherlands is not the only country from which Anderson has been banned. He has previously been removed or refused entry to the UK, South Africa, Botswana and Jamaica. In earlier statements, he has purported that slavery is not a bad idea. He also glorified the attack on a nightclub in Florida, which caused 49 deaths, as many of the casualties were LGBTers. In his opinion, LGBT stands for “Let God Burn Them”.