Front against Wilders on the rise
3 December 2007, THE HAGUE – The "reasonable people" of the Netherlands are starting a movement against the standpoints of Geert Wilders, the Volkskrant reports. René Danen of the anti-racist organisation Nederland Bekent Kleur and Mohamed Sini of the Islam and Citizenship foundation hope to be able to put together a broad countermovement in the coming weeks.
3 December 2007
THE HAGUE – The "reasonable people" of the Netherlands are starting a movement against the standpoints of Geert Wilders, the Volkskrant reports. René Danen of the anti-racist organisation Nederland Bekent Kleur and Mohamed Sini of the Islam and Citizenship foundation hope to be able to put together a broad countermovement in the coming weeks.
The Refugee Council of the Netherlands also supports the call from Doekle Terpstra, former trade union leader and chairman of the HBO Council for universities of applied science. Terpstra said in Trouw last week that he was annoyed at Wilders' actions and his statements about Islam as a fascist religion. He talks about the "Wilderisation of society" and "Wilders' evil message."
"I feel more and more provoked by the constant insults towards Muslims," Terpstra says. "Wilders abuses his position and freedom of speech as an alibi to bait society and create rifts." He also says: "Am I the only one who is angry and concerned? Unions, employers, Muslims, churches, humanists unite, join forces and turn the tide."
"That is what we want to do now," says Danen. There are no concrete plans yet, but one aim is to organise a demonstration around the time that Wilders' much talked about film on Islam is to be shown, sometime in January.
Danen says that is feasible. As leader of a student union and more recently the protest platform Keer het Tij (Turn the tide), which opposed the social-economic measures of the last centre-right governments, he has plenty of experience in organising large scale protest.
"We mainly want the silent majority, which has always been against Wilders, to start a dialogue with the neighbour who does vote for the PVV." Politicians should also put up more active resistance to Wilders, Danen says. "They have been silent for too long."
In a reaction Wilders said Terpstra's comments were "outright disgusting." He pointed out that his party had the democratic support of a half million voters. Nor is he happy to be associated with something like "an evil message." It is a small step from that to calling for violence against his person, Wilders said.
Both Danen and Terpstra stress that their call is against the ideas of the PVV, and not against Wilders as a person. They say they have been flooded with positive reactions from people who want to participate in protest actions.
[Copyright Expatica News 2007]
Subject: Dutch news