Dutch Islam critic Wilders: “If we don’t act it will also happen here.” [INTERVIEW]

“The attack in Paris is a key moment”, says Geert Wilders (Islam critic and political leader of the Dutch Freedom Party). According to him now more than ever it became clear that freedom and Islam don’t go hand in hand. Citizens will not accept it anymore: “The revolution will come.” (Photo: Reuters/Michael Kooren)
“The attack in Paris is a key moment”, says Geert Wilders (Islam critic and political leader of the Dutch Freedom Party). According to him now more than ever it became clear that freedom and Islam don’t go hand in hand. Citizens will not accept it anymore: “The revolution will come.” (Photo: Reuters/Michael Kooren)
[This is a full translation of the interview with Islam critic and political leader of the Dutch Freedom Party that appeared in the Dutch news paper Het Parool on 9 January 2015. For the Dutch version see the link below.]

“The attack in Paris is a key moment”, says Geert Wilders (Islam critic and political leader of the Dutch Freedom Party). According to him now more than ever it became clear that freedom and Islam don’t go hand in hand. Citizens will not accept it anymore: “The revolution will come.”

Nine pictures are shown on the death roll that appeared in the online magazine of Al Qaida. Left of the middle shows the picture of Wilders. Located right of him is a picture of Stéphane Charbonnier, the killed editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo.

“On the internet I saw that the list is now also circulating with a red cross through his head,” says the Freedom Party leader, “with texts such as: ‘and now the rest.’ That’s not something to be happy about.”

This morning he woke up at 4.00 AM and afterwards could not sleep. “I knew this would happen at some point. But off course I was shocked anyway because I’m on the same list. I would lie if I said I am not afraid. Off course it has consequences…” He looks at the security guard who just checked the room in which the interview is being held.

“It’s war,” he already declared a few hours after the attacks. Directly after this statement he demanded a debate with the Dutch Prime Minister [Mark Rutte]. “Because if this attack makes one thing clear its that jihadis should be dealt with in a much firmer manner,” he said. “Isn’t it crazy that tens of them walk freely in this country? Who goes to Syria should never be able to come back. And the ones who have returned should be send to prison immediately. By way of an emergency law, not by way of the judge. The security of all is more important that the basic rights of some. If we do nothing the same will soon happen here. It’s a matter of time.”

And you think you can stop this?
“If we would close the borders for immigrants from Muslim countries and would deport everyone who has bad intentions it would already be a huge step. If we have achieved this we should extract ourselves from the Schengen Agreement and start to guard our own borders again. And we need the army. Isn’t it baffling that our soldiers are in Mali while our own security is under threat? Our soldiers should be here guarding stations and shopping malls. The jihadis are walking there now freely. They have declared war on us and we do nothing. They are laughing at us!”

What about the reactions of Prime Minister Mark Rutte and other political rivals?
“They express their aversion and then continue to busy themselves with the usual daily business. But they do not mention the cause. Islam is the cause. They don’t say it but people see it. Our voters are no xenophobes, they are people who feel that something is not right. That the Islam doesn’t belong in their country and that everything that happens is leading back to that. I do not want to suggest that all Muslims are terrorists but what is happening does have something to do with it.”

Do you not think that a lot of Muslims also reject this attack?
“I don’t know that. I don’t hear that much. I have seen a declaration from some mosques I believe and [Mayor of Rotterdam] Ahmed Aboutaleb said good things. Besides that it remains quiet. I don’t see large demonstration in which Muslims distance themselves from it.”

“I’m not at war against all those people. I also believe that their mosques should be safe spaces. Someone who gets it into his head to set a mosque on fire should remain behind bars according to me. So I do not say all those Muslims are at fault but they bring with them a culture that is not ours.”

A part of our culture is also the freedom of religion. You want to close mosques.
“But I do not believe Islam is a religion. It has the symptoms of a religion – a holy book, an imam, and what not – but it is not. It is a totalitarian ideology. A dangerous, frightening, violent, and wrong ideology.”

“It will lead to a revolution because citizens will not have it anymore,” Wilders says. “Not the British – mark my words, Ukip [the UK Independence Party] will have extraordinary electoral results! In Germany the Pegida, in France Le Pen. The revolution will come, let that be my single most important message. There will be no stopping this. Even if [Prime Minister] Mark Rutte will demonstrate on the Dam every evening.”

English Translation by Jeroen Vlug.
http://www.parool.nl/parool/nl/3587/POLITIEK-BINNENLAND/article/detail/3826167/2015/01/09/Wilders-Als-we-niks-doen-gebeurt-het-straks-ook-hier.dhtml

Dutch member of parliament makes call to “close all mosques” in the Netherlands

Machiel de Graaf, a parliament member for the Party for Freedom (PVV) led by Islam critic Geert Wilders, has called for the closure of all mosques in the

March of the Dutch Freedom Party against Islamic incursion.
March of the Dutch Freedom Party against perceived Islamic incursion in the Netherlands.

Netherlands. During a debate on the Dutch national finances De Graaf said that he wanted to make very clear that he believes the Netherlands should be de-islamized. Subsequently he called for the closure of Islamic houses of prayer. The call was severely criticized by the Minister of Social Affairs Lodewijk Asscher as being unconstitutional and reprehensible. The member of parliament has defended his call by arguing that Islam is “not a religion but a political ideology” and as such he did not believe it goes against the freedom of religion.

Political journalist Tom-Jan Meeuws observed that during the debate De Graaf ascribed almost every current problem in Dutch politics in some way or another to Islam. He also alluded to De Graaf’s call as a sign of a new roughness in the discours on Islam in the Party for Freedom, a party traditionally known for it’s critique of Islam. While in the last election program the PVV stated it wanted to stop the building of new mosques and a ban on minarets it now seems to initiate a campaign with graver implications for Dutch Islam.

Is the party over for the EDL?

October 18, 2013

 

The English Defence League is likely to splinter into smaller regional units with some supporters shifting to more extreme movements in the wake of the leadership’s resignation, according to a former member of the police unit that spent years covertly monitoring the group.

Even before last week’s shock decision by Tommy Robinson and Kevin Carroll to abandon the anti-Islamic street movement they formed in 2009 – saying they no longer wished to be associated with the far-right extremists that came to their rallies – there were signs that the group was splintering and losing support.

Local EDL leaders held a Skype conference on 9 October in which they agreed to establish a new committee of regional organisers. They chose a new chairman, Tony Ablitt, a former organiser with the British Freedom Party, a short-lived political front for the EDL. They are due to hold a meeting on 26 October to discuss the group’s future strategy.

“The legacy of the EDL is a few thousand young, working class men who have been radicalised and handed a warped view of British Muslims and their beliefs,” said Matthew Goodwin, associate professor at the University of Nottingham. “It is unlikely that now, with the resignations, those men are simply going to abandon those views.”

Matthew Goodwin, from the University of Nottingham, stated that it would be hard for Mr Robinson to change.

“He comes from a section of society that is already likely to feel left behind by the economic transformation of Britain and under threat from immigration and seemingly ‘new’ groups in society, like Muslims,” said Matthew Goodwin. “Those views were forged during his younger years, so it is distinctly unlikely that he will fundamentally overhaul his beliefs. Once we are hard-wired in this way, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to move in a radically different direction.”

 

The Independent:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/is-the-party-over-for-the-edl-8889961.html

Former Member of Freedom Party to Start Islamic Party in the Netherlands

10 September 2013

Arnoud van Doorn, a former member of the Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands, and a convert to Islam, has announced that he will launch a political party founded on Islamic principles. Van Doorn was a member of the PVV until the end of 2011, when he was removed due to financial irregularities. He remains as an independent candidate on the city council in The Hague. Van Doorn made his announcement via Twitter this week, though the news repeats a similar announcement in March 2013 when he also provided an interview to Al Jazeera. Van Doorn has yet to provide a name or substantive details about the party.

Dutch Social Affairs Minister Comments in Support of Freedom of Religion

July 12 2013

 

Dutch Social Affairs Minister Lodewijk Asscher has commented on the right to religious freedom in the Netherlands, stating that “The increasing visibility of Islam in our society, the different traditions and views, and the association with violence and radicalization have led to part of the people seeing Islam as a threat. This is a worrying development because this threatens the cohesion and stability in society”.

 

Asscher’s comments are in response to questions from Geert Wilders regarding a recent poll showing that a majority of Dutch support stopping further immigration from Islamic countries. The poll was commissioned by Geert Wilders’ Freedom Party (PVV) and conducted by Maurice de Hond. Canvassing 1900 respondents on their feelings about Islam and immigration from Islamic countries, the poll suggests that 68% of respondents believe that there is “now enough” Islam in the Netherlands. Respondents also suggested that the population would support a halt in building new mosques. Asscher rejects both proposals, and notes that the cabinet is not planning to block immigrants from Islamic countries.

 

Poll results also show that attitudes towards Islam and immigration in the country are predominantly negative, though a large discrepancy exists among demographics: the elderly population is much more negative than younger voters, and those with a relatively high education much less negative than those with a low education.

 

American Anti-Islam Groups Fund Dutch Politician

11 September 2012

 

Geert Wilders, the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV), has received funding from anti-Islam groups in the United States, Reuters reports. Daniel Pipes, director of the Philadelphia based think tank The Middle East Forum, admitted to funding Wilders’ legal defense against charges of inciting racial hatred. Pipes declined to reveal the quantity of his contributions. David Horowitz also reported paying Wilders “a good fee” for two speeches, as well as to covering a security fee to the Philadelphia police department incurred for protests surrounding Wilders’ public appearance. Both Pipes and Horowitz denied funding Wilders’ political activities in the Netherlands, and Wilders responded that he never requests a fee for speaking engagements, though travel and accommodation expenses may be paid. Legislation is currently in process in the Dutch parliament to force parties to reveal their donation sources.

Update: Sharia4Holland Member Arrested in Amsterdam

May 29, 2012

 

Following statements last week from a member of the Sharia4Holland threatening politician Geert Wilders, the Freedom Party called for a ban on the organization. Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten stated that the organization posed a violent risk in the country.

Though a ban is impossible as the organization is not a legal entity, the public prosecution as well as police began an investigation into Sharia4Holland, subsequently arresting the spokesman responsible for last week’s comments, a 29 year old man.

Reports also note that the leader of Sharia4UK was also present at the press conference, and spoke briefly at the gathering, but did not make controversial comments.

Sharia4Holland is an offshoot of Sharia4Belgium. Both call for the establishment of a caliphate in their respective countries as well as the introduction of sharia law. Sharia4Belgium publicly condemns homosexuality, and established a sharia mediation court in Antwerp earlier this year.

The Dutch branch is considerably less established than the Belgian, with estimations of some one dozen members. Sharia4Belgium is headed by Fouad Abu Imran, whose slated appearance in Amsterdam generated the events leading to this week’s arrest.

 

Update: Burqa Ban and Dual Nationality Clause Still Tabled in Netherlands

23 May 2012

 

Proposals to ban the burqa and dual nationality in the Netherlands remain in process in Dutch parliament, home affairs minister Liesbeth Spies states. With the government collapsed in May, Spies has commented that the legislation could be dropped, given that the sponsoring PVV (Freedom) Party no longer formed the supporting member of the minority coalition. However Spies now says that it is up to MPs to decide whether to drop the legislation, and that so far none have identified the issues as controversial.

Dutch Politician’s New Book Draws Criticism

3 May 2012

 

Anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV (Freedom Party) will be officially released in the United States this week. The autobiographical Marked for Death: Islam’s War against the West and Me has drawn criticism from Muslims. The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has released a statement on their website stating that “the new book is nothing but a repetition of Mr. Wilders campaign of hate mongering against Islam…”. Wilders is currently touring the United States to promote the book.

Dutch Anti-Islam MP Angry at ‘Right Wing Populist’ Label

2 Feb 2012

 

Geert Wilders, leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) has reacted against a pamphlet produced by the German justice ministry which labels the PVV a ‘right wing populist’ party. The brochure states that right wing populist parties could be a breeding ground for terrorism, and mentions Wilders twice by name. Wilders used his Twitter account to denounce the ‘scandalous’ statement, and demanded that the German ambassador explain why he is included in the brochure.