Europe

Muslim groups criticize Wilders' 'Moroccan scum' comments

  • Firebrand int-islam lawmaker Geert Wilders smiles during an election campaign stop in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands Saturday Feb. 18, 2017. Now, as a March 15 parliamentary election looms, the political mood is turning inward as Wilders dominates polls with an isolationist manifesto that calls for the Netherlands "to be independent again. So out of the EU." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    Firebrand int-islam lawmaker Geert Wilders smiles during an election campaign stop in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands Saturday Feb. 18, 2017. Now, as a March 15 parliamentary election looms, the political mood is turning inward as Wilders dominates polls with an isolationist manifesto that calls for the Netherlands "to be independent again. So out of the EU." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • Firebrand int-islam lawmaker Geert Wilders greets well-wishers during an election campaign stop in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands Saturday Feb. 18, 2017. Now, as a March 15 parliamentary election looms, the political mood is turning inward as Wilders dominates polls with an isolationist manifesto that calls for the Netherlands "to be independent again. So out of the EU." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    Firebrand int-islam lawmaker Geert Wilders greets well-wishers during an election campaign stop in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands Saturday Feb. 18, 2017. Now, as a March 15 parliamentary election looms, the political mood is turning inward as Wilders dominates polls with an isolationist manifesto that calls for the Netherlands "to be independent again. So out of the EU." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

  • Firebrand int-islam lawmaker Geert Wilders talks to media during an election campaign stop in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Saturday Feb. 18, 2017. Now, as a March 15 parliamentary election looms, the political mood is turning inward as Wilders dominates polls with an isolationist manifesto that calls for the Netherlands "to be independent again. So out of the EU." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

    Firebrand int-islam lawmaker Geert Wilders talks to media during an election campaign stop in Spijkenisse, near Rotterdam, Netherlands, Saturday Feb. 18, 2017. Now, as a March 15 parliamentary election looms, the political mood is turning inward as Wilders dominates polls with an isolationist manifesto that calls for the Netherlands "to be independent again. So out of the EU." (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)  (The Associated Press)

Muslim organizations in the Netherlands have criticized disparaging comments about Moroccans made by anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders, but say they are just the latest in a long string of insults.

Launching his campaign Saturday for the Netherlands' March 15 parliamentary election, Wilders criticized what he called "Moroccan scum" for making the Netherlands unsafe.

Ebubekir Ozture, director of the Muslim umbrella group Contact Organ Muslims and Government, on Sunday called Wilders comments "reprehensible," but added, "It is not the first time and probably won't be the last time," that Wilders has used such language.

Wilders was convicted late last year of inciting discrimination and insulting a group for anti-Moroccan comments he made before and after local elections in 2014. He branded the conviction "political."