'I want the fascist Koran banned' — Geert Wilders' most controversial quotes

Dutch election 2017: What you need to knowWochit

Voters in the Netherlands are going to the polls for the first of three key elections in Eurozone countries this year.

The campaign has been dominated by Prime Minister Mark Rutte's centre-right party and anti-immigration, anti-Islam, anti-EU candidate Geert Wilders, leader of the populist Party for Freedom.

Wilders, who lives under 24-hour police protection, is a deeply divisive figure. The prominent Dutch politician was originally a member of the ruling People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, before founding the Party for Freedom in 2006 – a party defined by its opposition to Islam and immigration. In December, Wilders was convicted of inciting discrimination against Dutch Moroccans.

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As the Dutch cast their votes, here are some of the most controversial quotes by Wilders.

Geert Wilders of the Freedom Party (PVV)Phil Nijhuis/AFP

"I rather would have not Koran at all as we in Holland at least have outlawed Mein Kampf as well." Interview with Euronews, 2017.

"Islam is something we can't afford any more in the Netherlands. I want the fascist Koran banned. We need to stop the Islamisation of the Netherlands. That means no more mosques, no more Islamic schools, no more imams... Not all Muslims are terrorists, but almost all terrorists are Muslims." Interview with the Guardian, 2008.

Wilders leaves a polling station after casting his ballot in The HagueEmmanuel Dunand/AFP

"My allies are not [France's Jean-Marie] Le Pen or [Austria's Jorg] Haider ... We'll never join up with the fascists and Mussolinis of Italy. I'm very afraid of being linked with the wrong rightist fascist groups." Interview with the Guardian, 2008.

"I have a panic room in my house, where I am supposed to take refuge if one of the adherents of the "religion of peace" makes it past my permanent security detail and into my home. In fact, it's not really my home at all—I live in a government safe house, heavily protected and bulletproof." Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me, 2012.

"There are many moderate Muslims, but that does not change the fact that the political ideology of Islam is not moderate—it is a totalitarian cult with global ambitions." Marked for Death: Islam's War Against the West and Me, 2012.

"The Koran on the table before you, is a handbook for terrorists. Blood drips from its pages. It calls for perpetual war against non-believers. That Koran before you is the hunting permit for millions of Muslims. A license to kill." Speech by Wilders during parliamentary debate in the Netherlands, 2014.

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"We have imported a monster and this monster is called Islam." Times, 2016.

Wilders and Rutte take part in a debate in Rotterdam, NetherlandsYves Herman/Reuters

"The Moroccan scum in Holland ... once again not all are scum ... but there is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe, mostly young people ... and that should change." Addressing supporters in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, 2017.

"The instability we're seeing in England at the moment is only temporary. In the long run, the British will profit, just like we'd profit from leaving the EU." Interview with Speigel Online on Brexit and a potential "Nexit", 2016.

"There is a reason for hope. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Better times will come. The wind started to shift last year. It brought us the victory of – and from here, congratulations to – Donald Trump, the president of the United States." Speech by Geert Wilders at the 'Europe of Nations and Freedom' Conference, 2017.

"Almost the entire Establishment, the elite universities, the churches, the media, politicians, put our hard-earned liberties at risk. Day after day, for years, we are experiencing the decay of our cherished values. The equality of men and women, freedom of opinion and speech, tolerance of homosexuality—all this is in retreat." Speech by Geert Wilders at the "Europe of Nations and Freedom" Conference, 2017.

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