The Party for Freedom (PVV), under the political leadership of Geert Wilders, the Netherlands’ most well-known anti-Islam politician, has presented a one-page political program for the upcoming elections. It is highly unusual for Dutch parties to present their particular programs in such a short and limited format. It seems the program has established somewhat of a record in this regard.
The PVV program contains controversial, but not new, political goals, including the closing of all mosques and Islamic schools, forbidding the Quran and headscarves, closing all refugees centers and canceling all the residence permits given to refugees. It also re-states the wish of the PVV for the Netherlands to become “independent again”, meaning to “get out if the EU”.
The program rejects the government policies of the Rutte II cabinet on all fronts and aims to undo some of the large retrenchments as well as to lower several taxes. The finances to take these measures the PVV want to cover by completely eliminating public broadcasting services and the funding for developmental aid, wind mills, art, innovation, and the like, stating that “in stead of financing the whole world and the people we don’t want to have here, will spend the money on the common Dutch people”.
Contact Institution Muslims and Government (CMO) is ‘shocked’ by the results of a research done by Motivaction, according to which 80% of Turkish youth don’t disagree with using jihad-inspired violence against people from a different faith. 300 Turkish and 400 Moroccan youth between 18 and 34 participated in the research.
CMO wants to discuss the results with minister of Social Affairs and Employment and vice premier Asscher. But they also state that the research lacks some nuances.
Politicians have also reacted on the results. Geert Wilders’ Party for the Freedom (PVV) want a debate on integration policies with Asscher. Wilders himself sees his ideas about the huge amount of support among Muslims in the Netherlands for jihadis in Syria confirmed.
According to Pieter Heerma, member of Christian Democratic Appel (CDA) this sympathie for IS and jihadis could be undermining for the (Dutch) rule of law. His party also wants the glorification of violence to be penalized.
Asscher wants to speak with Turkish youth themselves and Turkish organizations.
August 13, 2014
Conflict broke out in Schilderswijk, a neighbourhood of the Hague, on the weekend of August 10. The “Pro-Patria” (For the Fatherland) group held a march against ISIS, an extreme Islamic group with a presence in the city. During the march, 150-200 Muslim youth threw stones and shouted at the protestors, and police intervened.
The city’s mayor, Jozias van Aartsen, faced criticism for permitting the demonstration against ISIS as well as for failing to be available during the conflict on August 10. He has since returned from vacation to deal with the events, and has placed a ban on demonstrations in the neighbourhood for a period of three months.
Following the confrontation, Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV), has called on “everyone” to participate in an anti-Islam demonstration to be held in September.
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.
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.
27 December 2013
In an interview with NOS television anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders announced that he will step up his campaign on an international level in 2013. The PVV leader claims he will “fight” Islam “from Australia to America, from Switzerland to wherever.”
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.
17 August 2012
New research by Chris Aalberts of Erasmus University in Rotterdam shows that the majority of Dutch residents supporting Geert Wilders and his PVV party are not in agreement with the politiican’s anti-Islam stance. According to Aalbert’s research, conducted through in depth interviews with supporters, only a small minority of supporters see Islam as a serious threat; rather, Wilders draws support from those “concerned about the more humdrum irritations of daily life” who identify anti-Islam rhetoric as a way of bringing their issues to the table, Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports. Aalbert’s research and the media coverage comes with the commencement of national campaigns for a September parliamentary election.
11 July 2012
Ab Qasim, a member of the Shariah4Holland group, has been fined 750 Euros for his comments threatening PVV leader Geert Wilders. Speaking at an impromptu press conference in Amsterdam in May, Qasim suggested that Wilders should learn the lesson of filmmaker Theo van Gogh, who was murdered in 2004. In addition to the fine Qasim has been sentenced to 150 hours community service and a month’s suspended sentence.