Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Dutch Extreme Right: Muslims, Foreigners Not Wanted

There is an interesting political party here in the Netherlands known as Freedom Party (Dutch: Partij voor de Vrijheid). It is led by the most controversial politician in the Netherlands, Geert Wilders (Picture to your left). Geert is as blunt as the back of a knife. His party wants a stop to the spread of Islam in Holland (he calls it Islamic Tsunami). It also wants an amendment to the immigration policy of the Netherlands to make it more difficult for foreigners to become full citizens of Holland and contest elections or vote.

The cause of Wilders’ fears is visible: many leading politicians in the country are Muslim descendants of Muslim immigrants—Moroccans especially. An example is the current Mayor of Rotterdam, Ahmed Aboutaleb. Wilders is afraid that in his lifetime, Muslims would take over the Netherlands and institute the Sharia Law.

But Wilders’ ideas are not popular—though his party is growing. A recent poll shows that even Christian leaders in the country are not happy with Wilders — talk of democracy based on principles. And, Muslims have not spoken against him loud enough for anyone to hear.

Wilders’ ideas (if adopted) will hurt many more people than Arab Muslims in the Netherlands. Dutch people born abroad will not be able to take part in Dutch politics. A young friend of mine, Meta, a nine-year old girl, born in Botswana by Dutch parents, is afraid Gildeers’ proposals would hurt her. She wrote the poem below on her fears:

Look at what the politicians are doing, it is not good.
I am allochton [state language used to describe people born outside of Holland and foreigners who have settled in Holland]
But nobody knows anything about this,
Geert Wilders wants to banish me.
I am a child
I am not a small thing.
I have a right to freedom.
If Wilders wins, I will only be a small breath of wind.
The Koran is a holy book, and Wilders covers up the bible.
Later I want to emigrate, because here we are shut up in safes.
The rights are of nearly no importance,
That is what the politicians are singing in unison.

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