Expatica news

Alderwoman signed petition from radical Muslims

29 January 2008

GILZE-RIJEN – Alderwoman in Gilze-Rijen Hatice Can-Engin (Labour PvdA) signed a petition from controversial organisation Hizb ut-Tahrir two weeks ago. This emerged from a statement that the alderwoman had sent round on Monday evening.

After it became clear to her that the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) considers the members of Hizb ut-Tahrir to be radical Muslims, the alderwoman of Turkish descent distanced herself from the group and has rescinded her support for the petition, which protests the defamation of Islam.

"I supported this message because I place a high value on dialogue and harmony in Dutch society. Since I am such a champion of democracy, dialogue and harmony, I now emphatically distance myself from this organisation. I regret any misunderstandings that may have arisen," the statement from the local politician read.

Hizb ut-Tahrir (Liberation Party) is banned in many Islamic countries and a number of countries in Europe. The organisation’s name was also on pamphlets circulated in the Netherlands at the beginning of the year protesting the film on the Koran by Freedom party (PVV) leader Geert Wilders.

Another PvdA politician has been reprimanded in connection with the petition. The PvdA faction in the Rotterdam submunicipality of Charlois asked council member Bouchra Ismaili to resign from her seat after it became known that she had signed the petition as well.

[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]

Subject: Dutch news