Populist proposal to ban Islamic expressions in Netherlands immediately shot down

Geert Wilders surrounded by bodyguards, Spijkenesse Feb 2017
Geert Wilders surrounded by bodyguards, Spijkenesse Feb 2017Photo: Peter van der Sluijs / Wikimedia Commons

PVV leader Geert Wilders put forward a proposal to ban all forms of Islamic expressions in the Netherlands during the first day of the General Considerations, the parliamentary debate on the government's plans and budget for the next year, on Wednesday. The proposal was immediately shot down by the other parties, NU.nl reports.

Mosques, Islamic schools, the Koran and burkas must be removed from the Netherlands, the populist party leader said. "Let us strengthen our rule of law by putting our ideology above Sharia", Wilders said. "Out of love for the Netherlands. Out of love for our freedom."

PvdA leader Lodewijk Asscher pointed out that Wilders has been proposing this for years. "But nothing ever comes of it", Asscher said. ChristenUnie leader Gert-Jan Segers called Wilders' plans scary. "Defending freedom by getting rid of freedom", Segers said. Wilders responded: "Giving freedom to Islam is suicide." D66 leader Alexander Pechtold said that Wilders never "makes a serious attempt to get majority support" for this proposal. Wilders responded that he never makes a proposal that he isn't 100 percent behind.

Earlier in the debate Wilders also attacked DENK and party leader Tunahan Kuzu. "A party from our midst said this summer that Dutch people should fuck off if they do not like the multicultural society. That was Mr. Kuzu from the faction of DENK. I would like to say to him: fuck off yourself. You are the poison in this society and democracy. This is our country, not your country. Your country is Turkey", Wilders said, according to newspaper AD.

Kuzu responded by saying that he is a Dutch citizen and a Dutch parliamentarian. "Whether Mr. Wilders likes it or not. Get used to it." According to Kuzu, Wilders always sets himself up as a guardian of freedom. "At the same time, you ask for cartoons that insult people to the bone. How can you set yourself up as guardian of freedom if you want to ban parties, ban the Koran and close mosques?"

Wilders also criticized the government for restoring ties with Turkey after a diplomatic fallout that lasted around 18 months, and for allowing immigrants and asylum seekers into the country. He asked whether Prime Minister Mark Rutte has lost his mind because he "allowed 400 thousand non-western immigrants in the Netherlands in five years". "Open borders cause Islamization", Wilders said. "The Netherlands isn't the Netherlands anymore."