The first day of the Dutch annual General Political Assembly (Dutch: ‘Algemene Politieke Beschouwingen’) in the Dutch Lower House for a large part was dominated by the increased influx of refugees. All party chairmen gave attention to the issue. According to the Dutch anti-Islam party chairman Geert Wilders (Party for Freedom) the Netherlands is in danger of becoming one big refugee centre.
The Party for Freedom (PVV) leader once again brought dismay upon himself from other parties by warning for the massive inflow of Muslims. Dutch tax-money is the Netherlands’ biggest export product, according to Wilders. ‘The cabinet rather spends money on foreign countries and foreigners than on the Netherlands and the Dutch people’, the PVV-leader argued.
Wilders read from a, according to him secret, list of Dutch locations were refugee centers are still going to be opened. ‘Almost half of the municipalities in the Netherlands are in danger of accommodating a refugee center’, he said. Green-Left (GroenLinks) party-leader Jesse Klaver said he was unable to detect ‘a shred of humanity’ in Wilders.
The Labour Party-leader (PvdA) Diederik Samson stated that the consequences of the refugee crisis are worse that the bank crisis of 2008. ‘At that time banks collapsed but now people drown’, he said.
[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.”
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
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.
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.
The Dutch rapper Hozny was sentenced to 80 hours of community service a conditional sentence of two years of prison for a hiphop video in which Islam critic Geert Wilders is allegedly portrayed in a threatening manner. The video (watched more than 580.000 times on Youtube) showed a Wilders look-alike that is put at gunpoint. At the end of the video gunshots are heard while the look-alike is not in sight. The video has stirred wide controversy and condemnation.
Rapper Hozny has justified the video as an artistic expression and critique of Wilders’ plea for less Moroccans in the Netherlands during the Dutch municipal campaign last year. During a gathering Wilders asked a crowd of it wanted more or less Moroccans in the Netherlands where upon the crowd chanted “less, less.” The incident had exploded into a controversy in and of itself resulting in more that 5000 reports against the Dutch member of parliament.
Hozny explained he wanted to chock with his video but not to threaten. The court nevertheless decided against the rapper and argued that the freedom of expression should not be used as a refuge for someone who makes dead threats to another, even if it it done in a more or less artistic manner. It further argued that the usage of dead threats is detrimental to the public debate on the freedom of expression and its limits.
Geert Wilders’ personal policy advisor and member of Zuid Holland provincial council has left the Freedom Party (PVV). Stephan Jansen, who has been active for the party since 2006, says in a letter to party workers that his departure is due to the anti-Moroccan statements made by Wilders during and after the local election campaign.
‘The recent statements about Moroccans made by our political leader, Mr. Wilders, have ensured our party will never be taken seriously again,’ Jansen writes. ‘No other political party will work with us.’
Two MPs, one MEP and a handful of provincial councilors have quit since Geert Wilders led supporters in an anti-Moroccan chant after the local elections. At the same time, a poll conducted for the party indicated that 43% of the 2,500 respondents “would rather there were fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands.”
The impact of right wing politician Geert Wilders’ anti-Moroccan chant before local elections in the Netherlands continues. The public prosecution has released a statement after receiving more than 5,000 formal complaints about the chant. According to the prosecution, decision to prosecute will not be influenced by the volume of complaints. “We look at the contents and what Mr Wilders exactly said and in which context,” the department said in a statement. “In principle, one complaint is sufficient. We will take note that so many have been made but that will not influence what Wilders said or if he committed a crime.”
The department could not say when it will reach a decision regarding whether to prosecute.
Two MPs, one MEP and a selection of local and provincial councilors have broken ties with the PVV since the chant.
AFP via Expatica– http://www.expatica.com/nl/news/dutch-news/5000-police-complaints-against-dutch-populist-wilders_289344.html
Dutch politician Geert Wilders has recently generated public controversy after posting a sticker on the door of his parliamentary office resembling a Saudi Arabian flag and reading “Islam is a lie, Mohammed is a criminal, the Koran is poison.”
The government condemned the sticker, with deputy prime minister Lodewijk Asscher calling it ‘disgusting’ and aimed only at hurting people. Foreign minister Frans Timmermans stated that, “Insulting their religion is not the way to combat extremism but plays into extremists’ hands… the Dutch government is distancing itself from this.”
Lobby group Landelijk Beraad Marokkanen, led by former GroenLinks MP Mohammed Rabbae also issued a complaint against the sticker.
Following the attention to the sticker, Wilders established an email account to field comments, firstname.lastname@example.org. He later claimed that Gmail had blocked the account.
With reference to a 2011 case in which a Dutch court found politician Geert Wilders not guilty of inciting hatred against Muslims, lawyer Gerard Sprong has asked the court for a reconsideration. The ruling of the earlier case, which developed as a response to Wilders’ anti-Islam statements and the release of his online movie Fitna, will not be affected and there is no question of Wilders receiving punishment. Rather, Sprong is requesting a clear ruling on whether Wilders was guilty of discrimination and inciting hatred with an eye to similar future cases, he told TV programme Pauw & Witteman.
In a recent interview with the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, Marine Le Pen, the leader of the right-wing party Front Nationale (FN), expressed her wish to collaborate with the Dutch right-wing party, Freedom Party (PVV), led by Geert Wilders, for the upcoming European election campaign. Le Pen intents to shows right-wing voters in Europe that xenophobic and racist national movements, which she terms as ‘patriotic’, aren’t isolated but exist in every EU member state. Both parties are infamous for their anti-immigrant, islamophobic and pro-white Christian rhetoric.
Despite the many similarities, however, the leader of the FN acknowledges differences with Wilders in regards to the subject of Muslims and Islam. In her view, she has “nothing against the religion itself”, but is predominantly concerned and against the “influ of Muslim immigrants and the visibility of Islam in society”. Wilders, the author of the controversial Islam critical film “Fitna”, on the other hand is all together against the prohibition of the Quran which he compares to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf”.