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Dutch far-right leader retracts mosques and Muslim schools closure proposal

Dutch far-right leader retracts mosques and Muslim schools closure proposal
By Ahmet Kocak
Jan 9, 2024 2:07 PM

Dutch far-right leader Geert Wilders withdraws draft law proposal to ban Islamic practices, such as closure of mosques

Geert Wilders, leader of the far-right Freedom Party (PVV), is withdrawing the draft law he presented, which included the closure of mosques and Muslim schools in the Netherlands, along with a ban on the Holy Quran and the burqa — a full body covering including a face veil worn by some Muslim women.

In a letter to Martin Bosma, speaker of the House of Representatives, Wilders also announced that he had withdrawn his draft law proposals that would deny the right to vote and be elected to those with dual citizenship and allow members of terrorist organizations to be detained for six months without trial.

The draft law, which was submitted about 5 1/2 years ago, includes the closure of mosques and Islamic schools in the country, along with a ban on the Koran and the burqa.

Political experts in the country state that by withdrawing these bills, Wilders is sending a message to other parties in the process of forming a new coalition government.

Pointing out that Pieter Omtzigt, the leader of the New Social Contract Party (NSC), has repeatedly emphasized that it is important that human rights are not harmed, experts assess that Wilders has taken a step towards rapprochement. However, they also note that there is still a considerable distance to cover in this regard. 

Coalition talks, which were last held on Dec. 21, will resume tomorrow after a political break.

After Wilders presented the “anti-Islam and anti-immigrant” bills, the leaders of other parties in the parliament reacted and stated that such a law was against the scope of religious freedoms guaranteed in the country’s constitution.

Wilders, who won 37 seats with 23 1/2% of the vote in the early general elections held in the country on Nov. 22, 2023, announced that he wanted to form a right-wing coalition including the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) led by Dilan Yesilgoz, who ranked third with 24 seats, the NSC led by Omtzigt, who ranked fourth with 20 seats, and the Farmer Citizen Movement Party (BBB) led by Caroline van der Plas, who ranked sixth with seven seats.

In a parliamentary session on the election results, Wilders said he would soften his anti-Islamic stance.

With this, in the final report prepared by Ronald Plasterk, one of the former interior ministers assigned to investigate coalition possibilities after the elections in the Netherlands, it was recommended to hold talks and research for the establishment of a quadruple “right” coalition government with PVV, VVD, NSC, and BBB.

PVV MP Martin Bosma was elected president of the House of Representatives on Dec. 14, 2023.

Source: Newsroom


Last Updated:  Jun 5, 2024 4:37 PM