The Netherlands' most popular party wants to ban all mosques

Party for Freedom (PVV) leader Geert Wilders says he wants to fight Islam

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 29 August 2016 09:04 BST
Geert Wilders' party could become the biggest party in Dutch politics in March
Geert Wilders' party could become the biggest party in Dutch politics in March

The leader of the most popular Dutch party ahead of parliamentary elections next year has said he wants to ban all Islamic symbols, mosques and the Koran from the country.

The far-right Party for Freedom (PVV), led by Geert Wilders, has released its one-page manifesto ahead of the March 2017 legislative elections in which it calls for the total “de-Islamification” of the Netherlands.

Under PVV proposals mosques, Islamic schools and asylum centres will be closed; the borders will be shut down with a blanket ban on migrants from Islamic countries; women will be forbidden from wearing a headscarf in public; and the Koran will be banned.

In its manifesto posted on Wilders’ Facebook page on Wednesday, Islam was at the top of the 11-point plan with other pledges to ban expressions of the faith which were “contrary to the country’s order”.

It also pledged to withdraw from the European Union, cut all foreign aid spending and boosting funding for police and the security services.

The party has been leading the polls for several months following a string of Islamist terror attacks across Europe and a growing frustration in many countries about a perceived lacklustre response to extremism from mainstream politicians.

Radical imams will be "banned" and criminals with dual citizenship will be deported.

Wilders said: “I am very proud of the draft election manifesto. The PVV is fighting Islam, wants to close the borders of the European Union and to give all the billions we save back to the people. My message to Netherlands: Netherlands must again be ours.”

Wilders' party would shut down all mosques in the Netherlands. Pictured: the Mevlana Mosque in Rotterdam

A poll by IsposMori earlier this month found if the elections were held today Wilders’ party would win 27 out of the 150 seats to become the Dutch parliament’s largest single party.

By contrast the ruling Liberal Party would get 25 seats - down from the 41 it won in 2012, Bloomberg reported.

But Wilders, who is due to go on trial in October for allegedly inciting racial hatred, may struggle to make it into power because of his divisive policies.

The Dutch political system is based on proportional representation so parties often rule in coalition and Wilders is unlikely to win enough support either chamber of parliament to form a government.

Another poll by Dutch pollster Maurice de Hond in May found that although people wanted the PVV to be part of the next cabinet if they are the single largest party after the next election but 53 per cent do not want Wilders to be the next prime minister.

In February 2009, Wilders was banned from entering the UK by then Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

He had wanted to showed the anti-Islam film Fitna in the Palace of Westminster after being invited by former Ukip leader Lord Malcolm Pearson and crossbench peer Baroness Caroline Cox.

Under EU law, ministers have the power to block anyone entering their country who they deem a threat to “public policy, security or health”.

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