Far-right PVV wants to take constitutional rights from Muslims
The main focus of the election program for Geert Wilders' PVV is still to close mosques and Islamic schools, ban the Koran, and ban Dutch people with dual nationality from voting or acting as a politician in the Netherlands, NU.nl reports.
The newspaper said it tried to get an interview with Wilders, like it did with the left-wing leaders Jesse Klaver, Lilianne Ploumen and Lilian Marijnissen earlier this week, but a suitable date could not be found. The newspaper therefore analyzed the PVV election program and Wilders' main campaign promises.
While trying to get rid of Islam is still the PVV's main focus, the party also promised to push billions into healthcare, to lower rents, to retain pensions, and to invest in education and security. As the PVV did not have its program calculated by central planning office CPB, it remains unclear how it will fund all these plans.
But most of Wilders' media appearances and the party's program is still aimed against Islam. "It is an existential problem: the survival of a free Netherlands depends on the extent to which we manage to push back Islam," is stated in the PVV election program. Wilders wants to close mosques and Islamic schools and ban the Koran. People with dual nationality must not have the right to vote or hold political office, according to him. And with that he wants to strip hundreds of thousands of Dutch of a number of constitutional rights. He also wants to establish a Ministry of Immigration, Remigration and De-Islamization.
The fact that Dutch-Moroccan people, for example, find it very difficult to get rid of their Moroccan passport is not Wilders' problem. "They have to solve that in Morocco with Moroccan law. I am not about Moroccan law," he said on WNL. That Muslims feel threatened by his plans, is nonsense, he said to newspaper AD. "I don't threaten anyone at all. I know what it's like, I get dozens of threats a day. But it is my right and duty to warn against a dangerous, totalitarian ideology."
The basis for Wilders' plans is his claim that Islam is "the most violent political ideology that exists", and therefore not a religion. Political ideology is not protected in the Constitution as religions are. But according to Leonard Besselink, professor of constitutional law at the University of Amsterdam, that claim is based on absolutely nothing.
"Islam is one of the great religions of the Book, which, like Judaism and Christianity, adopt the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as the core of human existence," Besselink said to NU.nl. According to him, Wilders' plans can only be implemented if articles of the Dutch constitution are deleted or changed, and if the Netherlands withdraws from European and United Nations human rights treaties.
Bastiaan Rijpkema, philosopher of law at Leiden University, called it the Wilders "fallacy", speaking to NU.nl. "It is a fallacy to deny the religious aspect of Islam". According to him, what is "worrying" is that after years of Wilders' rhetoric, there are now Dutch people who believe the idea that there are groups of Dutch who "no longer deserve to be protected by certain fundamental rights".
According to Maurits Berger, Leiden professor of Islam in the West, Wilders is always careful to make a clear distinction between Islam and Muslims. Because insulting Islam is allowed, but insulting Muslims is discrimination, as Wilders found out when he was convicted of hate speech for saying that he would arrange "fewer Moroccans" in the Netherlands. "I suspect that Wilders has had very good legal advice," Berger said to the newspaper. But in practice, it is difficult to separate Muslims and Islam. "Islam does not exist without Muslims. Wilders is fairly consistent in insulting Islam and of course this also affects the Muslims, but he is neatly covered by law."
Due to his extreme views, Wilders has been sidelined in Dutch politics over the past years. Parties from the VVD to left-wing SP have all announced that they will not work with the PVV in a coalition.