Wilders blasts Queen over mosque visit
7 June 2006, AMSTERDAM — Independent Conservative MP Geert Wilders has taken Queen Beatrix and Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende to task following the Monarch's visit to a mosque.
7 June 2006
AMSTERDAM — Independent Conservative MP Geert Wilders has taken Queen Beatrix and Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende to task following the Monarch's visit to a mosque.
Queen Beatrix removed her shoes on entering the Mobarak Mosque in The Hague on 3 June and refrained from shaking hands with Muslim men in accordance with their strict religious beliefs. The visit was to mark the 50th anniversary of the building of the mosque.
Wilders, who has received dead threats for his criticism of radical Islam, said on Wednesday he was angry with the Queen and Balkenende.
In an extraordinary outburst, he accused them of "dhimmi behaviour". The term dhimmi refers to a free non-Muslim subject of a state governed in accordance with Islamic law. It is used frequently by opponents of Islam as a derogatory reference to people seen as too soft on Muslims.
Balkenende got involved when he made a call for tolerance for all religions during a speech on Tuesday evening. Stating that Muslims also have a right to freedom of religion, he said being allowed this freedom helped people feel more welcome in society. He held up the Queen's visit to the mosque as an example of tolerance in action.
Wilders said he was "irritated purple" at the Queen's decision not to shake hands with men at the mosque. "The Queen and Prime Minister Balkenende are putting Dutch norms and values in a bargain sale. Particularly now that the behaviour of the Queen is being presented by the Prime Minister as an example of tolerance," Wilders said.
The MP said the Queen and Balkenende are far too tolerant while the number of mosques in the Netherlands is fast increasing and more imams are coming here. "We must instead make the case for Dutch norms and values", Wilders said. He is to table questions in parliament to Balkenende on the issue.
It is very unusual for an MP to criticise the Queen openly as the Monarch may not respond on her own behalf. The Prime Minister is responsible for her statements and behaviour in public.
Bullish Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk made much of a previous incident when an imam refused to shake her hand during a visit to a mosque.
Separately, a government report warned on Wednesday that radical Muslims were gaining more influence in mosques in the Netherlands.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news, Queen Beatrix