Resist the call to national racism in the Netherlands…
Rabat – Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam party is proposing to turn the Netherlands into an overtly nationalistic country in its program for the 2021 elections, first published on January 9. Wilders’ Partij voor de Vrijheid’s (PVV) political manifesto envisions a radically different country, where migrants submit to a local “dominant and leading ” culture, with the threat of deportation looming over all non-native Dutch citizens.
The PVV’s party program expands on Wilders’ inflammatory rhetoric and paints the Netherlands as a country where native Dutch people and Dutch culture are under threat. The party describes activist movements such as Black Lives Matter as “dangerous” and “radical.”
To realize its extremist vision of the country, the PVV argues for a “ministry of Immigration, Remigration and De-Islamification” that would enact its ethno-nationalistic policies.
The document turns the concept of discrimination on its head, claiming that it is Dutch people facing discrimination in the labor market and that Dutch history is “being erased.”
The new party manifesto for 2021-2025 takes inspiration from rhetoric among US ethno-nationalists, decrying the removal of statues of historic figures engaged in the Dutch slave trade. Wilders’ party considers efforts to remove the use of blackface in annual Saint Nicholas festivities an “attack on Dutch culture.” The party argues that the Dutch secular state should revert to “Judeo-Christian values.”
The party program paints a picture of native Dutch people under threat of politically correct elite parties and efforts to promote a multicultural society.
Wilders’ party proposes a number of radical initiatives to turn the Netherlands into a flag-waving ethno-nationalist state. Their envisioned country would be a place where migrants and their children become second class citizens expected to submit and adapt to the “dominant” culture.
Wilders’ party, in its new election manifesto, takes particular aim at people who hold a passport of another nation. All Dutch-Moroccans have the right to hold a Moroccan passport which, according to the PVV’s vision, means they are at permanent threat of deportation if they commit crimes for which native Dutch people face standard prosecution.
Wilders’ party proposed a change in the Dutch constitution that would establish a “Judeo-Christian” culture as the “dominant and leading culture” in the country. It aims to infuse its nationalistic vision into education by mandating a curriculum that promotes “western freedoms,” while the party would expect every school to fly the Dutch flag every morning.
The PVV states that the government should no longer provide communication in Arabic and Turkish, in order to “protect the Dutch language.” The party makes no references to the government communication in French or English that is commonly available.
Taking a page out of US right-wing talking points it paints a picture of a “war on Christmas” and promises to protect Christian holidays. The manifesto further pledges to remove any government subsidies to organizations that promote multi-culturalism and aims to end “positive discrimination and diversity policies.”
Wilders’ party aims to muzzle Dutch public broadcasting which it describes as a “vehicle for multiculturalism.”
The PVV’s party manifesto doubles down on Wilders’ trademark xenophobia and Islamophobia. It declares that “Islam is not a religion, it is a totalitarian ideology.” Anyone carrying a second passport, like all Dutch-Moroccans do, would lose their right to vote in the dystopian country the PVV proposes.
Wilders’ party further calls for stopping the “spread of Islamic ideology” by promising to close all Islamic schools and mosques and banning the Quran nationwide. The proposals directly contradict the Dutch constitutional right of freedom of religion and expression. They would also be impossible to enact even if a majority of Dutch people voted for Geert Wilders’ Islamophobic party.
It argues for a “restrictive immigration policy” and a closure of all centers for refugees. The party aims to institute a “Muslim ban” that would single out Muslim migrants and block entry to the country. The PVV aims to criminalize undocumented immigrants and cancel all asylum applications for Syrian refugees.
The proposed policies directly target refugees and anyone with dual nationality. Wilders’ party is proposing to deport anyone carrying a second passport if they commit any undefined crime.
Geert Wilders’ PVV appears to be using a skewed view of today’s world in order to push for draconian and often unconstitutional policies. With the PVV now in second place in national polls, this year is likely to be a make-or-break moment for Wilders’ extremist vision of the Netherlands.
Despite the failure of the country’s largest right-wing party to contain COVID-19, it seems many Dutch voters continue to blame not those in power for the country’s issues. Instead, the least powerful and most vulnerable communities are receiving blame for the country’s problems, in a trend that is eerily similar to Europe in the decades prior to World War II.
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