31 January 2006
BRUSSELS — Internationally famous Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has called for the extreme-right Flemish Interest to be banned.
“This party appears very similar to extremist Muslims such as those from the Hofstad group,” the Dutch Liberal VVD MP said in a debate in Antwerp on Monday night.
The alleged members of the Hofstad group are currently on trial in The Hague on suspicions of terrorist activities. One of the accused is Mohammed B., the convicted killer of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh.
Monday’s debate was organised by Liberales, a left-wing think tank of the Belgian Liberal VLD party. Besides Hirsi Ali, Belgian Socialist SP.A politician Mimount Bousakla and journalist Nadia Dala took part in the debate, newspaper ‘Het Gazet van Antwerpen’ reported.
Known for its anti-immigration and openly anti-Islamic policies, the Flemish Interest reacted angrily to Hirsi Ali’s comments.
“You probably won’t like hearing it … but you are closer to the Flemish Interest than the Flemish Liberals,” party chairman Frank Vanhecke said in a letter addressed to the Dutch MP on Tuesday.
“The points of view that the Flemish Interest takes today scarcely differ from those of yourself or [right-wing independent Dutch MP] Geert Wilders.
“Our proposals regarding family unification [migration], the shelter of asylum seekers in their own region and restricted access to social security are part of the platforms of the traditional parties or government policy in the Netherlands.”
Vanhecke also dismissed Hirsi Ali’s statement comparing the Flemish Interest with the Hofstad group, Belgian newspaper ‘De Standaard’ reported.
“We have never called for violence. We don’t tinker bombs together, threaten politicians with death or plan assassinations. We only urge for a healthy understanding and a different immigration policy.”
Hirsi Ali is quickly making an international name for herself and was named by Reader’s Digest as the European of the Year earlier this month. In her work as a Dutch MP, she primarily focuses on integration and emancipation policies.
In 2004, she wrote the film ‘Submission’ which was produced by Van Gogh prior to his murder in November of that year. The film cast anti-women texts in the Koran in a bad light and Hirsi Ali temporarily went into hiding after being threatened with death.
[Copyright Expatica News 2006]
Subject: Belgian news