Protesters call Dutch MP Geert Wilders a racist as he calls for end to mass migration from Islamic countries

Protesters clashed violently with police and guests tonight before a speech by controversial anti-Muslim Dutch MP Geert Wilders.

Activists pushed and shoved guests to stop them entering, and linked arms to try to form a blockade.

One middle-aged invitee was shoved to the ground in the skirmish.

A protester with a blood nose said a guest he'd called "one of the fascist cohort" assaulted him.

The 22-year-old, who would only give his name as James, said: "He threatened to punch me unless I let him through. And he then started clawing at my face."

There were reports of activists ripping up guests' tickets.

Police moved in to clear the gates to allow guests to enter to hear the speech.

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A line of officers, backed by mounted police, swarmed in to remove protesters from the entrance of the La Mirage Function Centre on the Hume Highway at Somerton, in Melbourne's north.

Up to 60 police then formed a ring of steel around the venue, as Mr Wilders spoke inside.

Senior Sergeant Michael Maloney said there had been no arrests.

Tony Iltis, from the Socialist Alliance, said the group were stopping fascists from entering.

"Police came in pushing us and grabbing shouting 'Move, move' and all that garbage," he said.

Protesters remained beside the venue to continue to voice their opposition, chanting "Racist scum!"

About 100 protesters had gathered in the minutes before Mr Wilders spoke.

The venue for the speech had been kept secret, but protesters got wind of it earlier today.

Protesters linked arms to block access, forcing police to use mounted officers to clear the entrance.

Entering the reception centre was like passing through airport-security, with guests forced to be scanned by metal detectors. The serene environment inside contrasted with the violent clashes of the protesters outside, with the 500 guests sitting quietly to hear the speeches.

Mr Wilders, entered the ballroom to a standing ovation, opening his speech with a condemnation of Australian politicians, including Federal Minister Chris Bowen, who had labelled him an "extremist" and a "fringe-figure from the far right".

While he said Western Australia Premier Colin Barnett had even told the press he would not be welcome in the state.

"I am the leader of a party who have nearly one million voters in a country that is known for its tolerance. I am not a fringe figure and I am not a far-right figure either.

Mr Wilders said he was forced to live under 24-hour police protection only because he had "criticised Islam".

He said his speeches were carrying on the traditions of Australian who fought at Gallopili and to uphold the "defence of our freedom". But warned the well-heeled crowd to be "vigilant" against the mass-migration of Muslims to Australia.

"Islam is not just a religion, as so many people mistakenly think, but a dangerous ideology," Mr Wilders said.

"Australian tourists visiting our major cities in Europe can still see the postcard views ... but if they are not careful and walk a few miles in the wrong direction they risk entering a dangerous Muslim ghetto.

"I am here to warn Australia, learn from us, learn from our mistake, learn from the European lessons. The more Islam you get in your society the less civilised it becomes and the less free it will be."

Mr Wilders used the ANZAC tradition as a rallying for the crowd to defend Australia against the "rising tide of Islam."

"The old ANZAC spirit that helped keep Europe free in the past can and will keep you free in the future. Be as brave as your fathers and you will be free."

Punters paid $66 for a ticket to hear Mr Wilders speak for more than an hour.

The speech was widely broadcast on social media and left-wing groups used Twitter and Facebook to rally protesters to the venue.

Q-Society spokesman Andrew Horwood said there were lots of protesters.

Mr Wilders is constantly protected by security guards, including Dutch policemen, since he rose to global infamy for his hard-line views on Islam.

He has linked Islam to mass murder and advocated a ban on mass-migration from Muslim countries to Western nations, as well as the banning of the Koran.

Mr Wilders said that Islam was a "fascist ideology" and the prophet Mohammed a "pedophile" and "murderer".

It was the first time he had spoken in Australia.

The right-wing MP wants a ban on Islamic immigration and says the religion is incompatible with freedom, but he insists he's not trying to incite violence or insult people during his Australian visit.

The protesters say Mr Wilders is a racist.

He is due to speak in Perth and Sydney later this month, but the Q-Society claims more than 30 venues have cancelled engagements.

Earlier, speaking in Melbourne at his first Australian press conference amid tight security, Mr Wilders said Islam could not integrate into western societies.

"Islam is totalitarianism ... Islam and freedom are incompatible," he said.

Despite threats of protests, no demonstrators attended the press conference, which was held in the outer western suburbs.

About a dozen security guards were present, including personnel from the Netherlands.

Mr Wilders said mass migration from Islamic countries to Western nations should be stopped, except for certain humanitarian cases.

"If a homosexual who is taken to jail or threatened to be killed in Iran or a Christian that is mistreated in so many countries today in the Middle East ... when it comes to asylum seekers it's a different story,'' he said.

Mr Wilders said he wasn’t in the business of insulting people or inciting hatred, but he made derogatory remarks about the prophet Mohammed .

"We have to be able to talk in a free society about the character of Mohammed," he said.

"Mohammed was a warlord, a terrorist, a pedophile, and I would not say that if not today 1.5 billion people believe that Mohammed is the best example to follow.

“It would be totally ridiculous to suggest that they are all following the example, but in the ideology the Koran is the word of God and the life of Mohammed ... is the person that they should copy, that they should try to follow.”

Mr Wilders said that those stopped from migrating from countries such as Lebanon would include Christians.

But Q Society's Mr Horwood interjected to say that the situation in the Netherlands was different to Australia.

"We don't have a policy of stopping people coming to this country, we welcome people coming to this country, we ask them to obey our laws,'' Mr Horwood said.

"What's happening in the Netherlands can be different, we're just hearing from some of the experiences, we're not asking that they all happen here.''