Wilders: abolish anti-discrimination clause
21 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Conservative and anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders has called for the removal of Article 1 of the Constitution which guarantees equal opportunity and non-discrimination in Dutch law.
21 March 2006
AMSTERDAM — Conservative and anti-immigration politician Geert Wilders has called for the removal of Article 1 of the Constitution which guarantees equal opportunity and non-discrimination in Dutch law.
Wilders wants to replace it with an article stating that the Judeo-Christian and Humanism tradition and culture is dominant in the Netherlands.
This is one of the key points of the election programme for his new political movement, the Party for Freedom, which was published on Tuesday.
Pushing for the removal of the clause forbidding discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, philosophy of life, gender or any other criteria is not new.
Populist politician Pim Fortuyn was expelled from the Leefbaar Nederland (LN) party four years ago when he suggested Article 1 be deleted from the Constitution. He went on to set up his LPF party.
Fortuyn was murdered on 6 May 2002, nine days before the LPF won 26 of the 150 seats in parliament.
Wilders broke with the Liberal Party (VVD) in September 2004 because of his opposition to opening negotiations for Turkey's entry into the EU. He has sat in Parliament since as an independent (Groep Wilders) but will contest the general election in 2007 under the banner of his Party for Freedom.
A critic of immigration and fundamentalist aspects of Islam, Wilders has been the frequent target of death threats. He went into hiding after filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed by Muslim terrorist Mohammed Bouyeri in November 2004.
Wilders insisted on Tuesday he is not in favour of discrimination, but is against the limitations Article 1 imposes on the freedom of expression. "In reality, the equality mindset makes it impossible to pinpoint problems, and where necessary, to make a distinction," he said.
"Defining and defending our identity," Wilders said, is of the highest priority as there are "1.6 million allochtonen in the Netherlands, of which 1 million are Muslims."
Allochtonen is an ambiguous Dutch phrase which can mean immigrants or foreigners. It is also used as shorthand for any non-native Dutch residents.
Wilders said pure Islam is "intrinsically a-democratic" and he wants the Dutch borders closed to non-western immigrants for at least five years.
His party programme calls for a ban on the establishment of new Islamic schools and mosques in the Netherlands for five years. In addition, Wilders wants a ban on foreign imams preaching in the Netherlands and a ban on preaching in any language other than Dutch.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news