Beheading “joke” forces politician to drop out of elections

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No image availableNL Times

Steven van der Heijden removed himself from the municipal election candidate list for the D66 in Best over a beheading 'joke'. In 2016 he shared a photo in a group message in which fellow student and now Leefbaar Etten-Leur councilor is depicted as a prisoner of terrorist organization Islamic State that is about to be beheaded, De Gelderlander reports.

Raats reported to picture to the police at the time. When he found out that Van Heijden is appearing on the electoral list of the D66 faction in Best, he posted his displeasure about this online. 

Van der Heijden told the the D66 about a quarrel at school after Raats expressed his displeasure online early last month, Marion Hinderdael, chairman of D66 De Kempen under which the Best faction falls, said to the newspaper. But Van der Heijden did not tell them exactly what happened and said that it was over. "He misjudged how deeply hurt the feelings of his former schoolmate apparently still are", the D66 said in a statement.

"Now that we've seen the picture, we said: This can not be allowed. A distasteful joke", Hinderdael said to the newspaper. She emphasized that Van der Heijden himself decided to withdraw from the elections.