Dutch Muslim party to stand for election in Venlo

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.

Halal Increasingly Common on Dutch Shelves

Telegraaf reports that halal foods are gaining Dutch shelf-space in the Netherlands. The halal food includes pork-free snacks such as sausages and meatballs in which the meat is processed according to Islamic law. Manufacturer Mekkafood from Venlo drove up production 25% this year, to 7,800 tons of halal meat. Producers note demand for halal products among non-Muslims, including popular Turkish pizzas, but note that the increase in the total number of Muslims also plays a role.