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<nettime> Dutch Lawmaker Urges Halting Immigration
coco fusco on Sat, 20 Nov 2004 21:07:40 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Dutch Lawmaker Urges Halting Immigration

The racist spirit of Pim Fortuyn lives on in Holland -
this suggests that all liberal and progressive
attempts to argue that Fortuyn was an isolated 
extremist are completely wrong.

Borders, borders and more borders...


Dutch Lawmaker Urges Halting Immigration

Fri Nov 19, 2:38 PM ET

By ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer

THE HAGUE, Netherlands - One of the most popular
politicians in the Netherlands said Friday the
country's democracy is under threat and called for a
five-year halt to non-Western immigration in the wake
of the killing of a Dutch filmmaker by a suspected
Muslim radical.

"We are a Dutch democratic society. We have our own
norms and values," right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders
told The Associated Press in an interview. "If you
chose radical Islam you can leave, and if you don't
leave voluntarily then we will send you away. This is
the only message possible."

In his first interview with the foreign media since
the slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh on Nov. 2,
Wilders said his own life has been repeatedly
threatened. He said he has begun living under state
protection and has even had to stay away from his own

Wilders split with the free-market coalition partner
Liberal Party two months ago because it backed the
candidacy of predominantly Muslim Turkey for the
European Union (news - web sites).

He formed his own conservative party, the Wilders
Group, which has one seat in the 150-member
parliament. But a recent poll suggested his
anti-immigrant message was reverberating through the
electorate, and he would win 24 seats if elections
were held today  up from 19 seats before Van Gogh's

Wilders said that without swift, bold action, Islamic
fundamentalism will topple the country's democratic

"The Netherlands has been too tolerant to intolerant
people for too long," he said. "We should not import a
retarded political Islamic society to our country.
There is nothing to be ashamed of to say this. It's
not Islam. I speak out against the facts."

In Brussels, Belgium, European Union leaders met
Friday to discuss immigration, one of Europe's most
pressing and sensitive issues. EU justice and interior
ministers agreed to demand that new immigrants learn
the language of their adopted countries and adhere to
"European values" to guide them toward better

Even as the number of immigrants arriving in Europe
falls due to tougher policies, led by a sharp drop in
the Netherlands, Wilders said closing the borders
isn't enough. Newcomers should be forced to integrate.

"If in a mosque there is recruitment for jihad, it's
not a house of prayer, it's a house of war. If it's
not a house of prayer, it should be closed down," he

Wilders, known for his radical positions and
peroxide-blond hair, has been a member of parliament
since 1998. He was born and educated in the southern
city Venlo, near the German border.

"I'm very tough on radical Islam. I have the toughest
ideas on beating this problem and I'm proud of it. I
say nothing wrong. I'm no racist, no anti-Islamist,"
he said.

Wilders and the police took the death threats more
seriously following the slaying of Van Gogh, who had
produced a television drama critical of how women are
treated in some Muslim societies. The filmmaker was
shot and stabbed to death, allegedly by a 26-year-old
suspected Islamic extremist who holds Dutch and
Moroccan citizenship.

The most recent threats were disclosed when two terror
suspects, arrested Nov. 10 after a standoff in which
several policemen were wounded by a hand grenade, were
charged with threatening Wilders and other
politicians, their lawyer said.

The latest video threat broadcast on the Internet  in
Dutch, with Arabic music in the background  condemns
Wilders for insulting Islam and offers the reward of
paradise for his beheading.

Wilders' style and cause are reminiscent of Pim
Fortuyn, a flamboyant political outsider who put
immigration on the national agenda before the 2002
elections. Fortuyn was shot to death by an animal
rights activist days before the vote, but major
parties since have largely embraced his ideas.

Wilders said he is not opposed to mainstream Islam but
is concerned by studies saying 10 percent of the Dutch
Muslim population  or about 100,000 people  support
radical Islamic views.


He cited a report by Dutch intelligence saying
recruitment for jihad, or holy war, is taking place in
as many as 20 mosques in the Netherlands, and said
they should be closed and their imams, or preachers,
arrested and deported.

"If we don't do anything ... we will lose the country
that we have known for centuries. People don't want
the Netherlands to be lost, and this is something that
I get angry about and I am going to fight for, to keep
the country Dutch," he said. 

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