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Anti-Islam Dutch lawmaker gains support amid migrant crisis
by Mike Corder
The Dutch debate on asylum-seekers has come to this: Firebrand lawmaker Geert Wilders handing out self-defense sprays to women fearful of what he describes as "Islamic testosterone bombs" in the wake of the New Year's Eve sexual assaults in Cologne.
Wilders, surrounded by bodyguards and police, visited a market Saturday in the largely blue-collar town of Spijkenisse to hand out the sprays, which contained red paint. Amid stalls selling vegetables, fish, flowers and bicycle parts, Wilders got a rock-star welcome from dozens of supporters, while others protested his visit, waving placards including one that read, "Refugees are welcome, racism is not."
The publicity stunt fits into Wilders' uncompromising anti-immigrant, anti-Islam rhetoric that has propelled him to the top of Dutch opinion polls, just over a year away from the parliamentary election.
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