Henny Kreeft, leader of the Dutch Muslim Party (NMP), announced Monday that the party will contest upcoming local council elections in Venlo, hometown of politician Geert Wilders. The vote, to be held November 18, 2009, is the result of redrawing council boundaries.
Four candidates – two with a Moroccan, one with a Turkish and one with a Pakistani background – will be on the NMP election list. The party hopes to win two seats, one from Labour and one from the green left GroenLinks party.
Kreeft told Telegraaf that running in Wilders’ hometown is a coincidence, stating ‘Venlo is very important for us’. The party plans to participate in nine local council elections next year.
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.”