http://www.washingtonpost.com, By Anthony Faiola
Europe’s most controversial politician lives in a government safe house fitted with a panic room and guarded round-the-clock. A self-avowed foe of Islam who compared the Koran to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and called for a ban on Muslim immigrants, he travels by bulletproof car and rarely talks with journalists — choosing instead to funnel messages directly to supporters via Twitter and a personal blog.
But when Geert Wilders — dubbed “Mozart” for his bleached-blond bouffant hair – brought down the Dutch government last week in an extraordinary show of force by Europe’s resurgent far right, it wasn’t over his high-profile war on Islam. Instead, it was part of his emphasis on another belief that he and his Freedom Party now see as almost equally dangerous: an integrated Europe.
The rise of Wilders in the Netherlands is a cautionary tale for a continent in the midst of a debt crisis and where painful recessions, soaring unemployment and rising apathy among youths are fueling the strongest swell of support in decades for anti-immigrant nationalists.