The Netherlands’ anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV) faced embarrassment this week after learning that a prospective MP nominated by the party has defended a radical imam. Lilian Heider defended imam Imraan Kariman in 2007 for an inflammatory speech leading to a ban on his public speaking. Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV, called at the time of the speech case for the Imam to be deported.
A Muslim woman from Almere is suing a local politician, Raymond de Roon, for discrimination and inciting hatred. De Roon is the local leader of the Freedom Party (PVV), a party whose aim is to ban headscarves in publicly funded institutions. It is unclear whether such a ban will occur, as no other political faction supports the PVV on this point.
A report investigating polarization and radicalization across the Netherlands has named Geert Wilders’ Freedom Pary (PVV) the ‘new radical right’, a party with a national democratic ideology but without extreme right wing roots. The study, completed by four researchers at Tilburg University, notes that the party’s views on Islamisation and non-Western immigrants appear to have a discriminatory nature, the result of favoring “the familiar”. The study identifies the Freedom Party’s organization as authoritarian, not democratic. Wilders, in a comment to ANP, called the report “scandalous”.