Religious political leader accuses centrist of “radical secular ideology”

SGP party leader Kees van der Staaij brutally attacked the D66 and its leader Alexander Pechtold in the Christian debate in Ede on Thursday. Van der Staaij compared Pechtold's "radical secular ideology" with radical Islam, BNR reports.

According to Van der Staaij, the Christians have to fight on "several fronts". "The love of God and love towards one's fellow man is something now at stake", he said to the predominantly Christian audience, referring to radical Islam. Later he said that the "radical secular ideology of Pechtold and his" has nothing to do with violence, but with "radical self-thinking in terms of life and death".

"I definitely in no way want to say they are the same, but they are two different fronts that we face, from the Christian philosophy that we stand for."

The other two Christian party leaders in the debate, Sybrand Buma (CDA) and Gert-Jan Segers (ChristenUnie), quickly rejected Van der Staaij's comparison.

"I've heard that, but I still see differences", Buma said. "Political discussion with the D66 is sensible, but in the Netherlands we have to fight along with all parties against the influence of radical Islam."

Segers said that controversy with the D66 on medical ethic issues is not a reason to compare the party with jihadism. "It is a fight about life and death, and that the fight with Alexander Pechtold fortunately is not."