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Geert Wilders told Associated Press in an interview Thursday he will launch the movement late this year, initially in five countries: the U.S., Canada, Britain, France and Germany.

“The message, ‘Stop Islam, defend freedom,’ is a message that’s not only important for the Netherlands but for the whole free Western world,” Mr. Wilders said at the Dutch parliament.

Among the group’s aims will be outlawing immigration from Islamic countries to the West and a ban on Islamic Sharia law. He hopes that, starting as a grass-roots movement, it eventually will produce its own lawmakers or influence other legislators.

Ayhan Tonca, a prominent spokesman for Dutch Muslims, said he feared Mr. Wilders’ message would fall on fertile ground in much of Europe, where anti-Islam sentiment has been swelling for years.

From wire dispatches and staff reports