Various religious and social organizations are addressing the Netherlands’ Muslim population in advance of national elections on June 9, 2010. While some organizations are encouraging active participation in the election, others are urging Muslims not to vote. Radical Islamic group Hizb ut-Tahrir set up a website and handed out flyers at Dutch mosques urging Muslims not to vote, as no candidate provides sufficient support for Muslims while their participation would legitimize the election.
Alternately, the Council of Moroccan Mosques in North Holland is urging Muslim participation in the election. The Dutch Moroccan Alliance has produced a video and will send representatives into the community to speak Moroccan youth in an attempt to “get out the Moroccan vote.”
The former director of the Netherlands Muslim Broadcaster (NMO), Frank Williams, has been arrested for accepting bribes of at least 600.000 Euros. His son, daughter-in-law, and a film producer have also been arrested. The four suspects were arrested in a criminal investigation of misuse of the broadcasting funds of the NMO, one of the public broadcasters subsidized by the government, NIS reports. The finance ministry announced that Williams is suspected of “forgery, defrauding the income tax service and taking bribes as director of the NMO”.
In an interview with Eren Güvercin, Netherlands Muslim Party (NMP) leader Henny Kreeft discusses his party’s hopes for upcoming elections as well as outlining its key points. “Apart from improving relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, and investment in our young people, we also oppose the ban on the burkaas we believe a woman should be able to make a free choice whether she wears one or not” says Kreeft.
Addressing the NMP’s approach to Geert Wilders’ PVV party, Kreeft says, “Firstly, we have to explain that Islam does not equate with war, but that it is about peace, solidarity, family issues – and that Dutch Muslims just want to lead normal lives here, like everybody else. We intend to close the rift between Muslims and non-Muslims and to improve the negative image of Islam. Secondly, we have to invest in our future, and the most important way and probably the only way to do this is to invest in our youth.”