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The Stop and Go Back Man



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Once they were renowned for their easy going attitude to just about everything. Marijuana and gay marriage, legalised euthanasia. To be Dutch was to be inclusive and proudly multicultural, socially progressive and accepting of difference.

Today, it’s spun 180 degrees and is speeding in the other direction. Friction has grown between ethnic communities and minorities such that the government has declared its experiment with multiculturalism over. New laws have been passed making it much harder for prospective immigrants. They must now speak Dutch and show they’ve hit a basic salary scale before they’re allowed to join relatives already living there. And there’s a push to outlaw face coverings, and stop the construction of mosques.

“I would not want to live or my children or grandchildren to live in a country where the ideology of Islam becomes more dominant every day, because the more Islam you have in a society, the less freedom you will have.” Geert Wilders, Freedom Party.

The public face of this anti-immigration movement is the populist, nationalist Geert Wilders.
His Freedom Party tapped into growing Dutch anxieties about how their society is being changed by the new, mainly Muslim, arrivals and won 15 percent of the vote in general elections last year. It now holds 24 seats and the balance of power in the Dutch parliament.

Wilders dismisses criticism that he’s intolerant telling reporter Eric Campbell he’s actually fighting on behalf of freedom and humanist values and saying out loud what many privately believe but are too afraid to express.

“We are telling the truth not about the people but the ideology of Islam. We are saying that all cultures are not equal. It might be politically incorrect, but I believe our culture is superior to the Islamic culture of unequality, intolerance and violence.” Geert Wilders, Freedom Party

While the majority of Dutch see him as an extremist, and he lives under armed guard 24 hours a day, he still has plenty of support, sometimes from rather unlikely quarters. Foreign Correspondent talks to gay activists who are grateful that he is championing their rights and defending them from gay bashings, many of them carried out by Muslim immigrants.

Other moderate Dutch Muslims feel frightened by the emotions Wilders is stirring up, and worry that his rhetoric will incite violence against them. So far, though, the violence in the Netherlands has gone the other way – with two previous high-profile anti-Muslim campaigners being murdered.

It’s a heady, dangerous mix of race, religion, politics and emotion with strong feelings on both sides. And it may be heading our way sometime soon. Wilders reveals he’s keen to come to Australia where he’s been invited to help a prominent federal politician on immigration issues.

http://www.abc.net.au/foreign/content/2011/s3311380.htm


Added: Oct-3-2011 Occurred On: Sep-6-2011
By: Neytiri
In:
World News, Other News, Politics, Religion
Tags: Multiculturalism, Islam, Muslim, Dutch, Netherlands, Holand, Geert Wilders, Freedom Party
Location: Netherlands (load item map)
Views: 2099 | Comments: 14 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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