Traineeship Program Participant
The Dutch right-wing politician Geert Wilders said the following in his victory speech on the 22nd of May 2014: “Do you want in this city (The Hague) and in the Netherlands, more or less Moroccans”. The crowd screamed: “LESS LESS LESS” . These crowds are the members of parliament (shortcut MP) from the political party the PVV (Partij Voor de Vrijheid/Party For the Freedom), which was founded by Geert Wilders in 2006. In the early days of the 2000s, Geert Wilders was an MP from the VVD (Volkspartij voor Vrijheid en Democratie/Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy), but this changed in 2004 as he stepped out of the VVD. He became an independent parliamentarian in the Dutch parliament till 2006. In 2006, he started his own political party, namely the PVV.
The news agency the Independent has described Geert Wilders as the far-right populist of the Netherlands. According to an article by Samuel Osborne from the Independent, Geert Wilders sees Islam as a threat to European norms and values. Thereby, adding that Islam is incompatible with freedom. The article of Osborne also showed that Wilders called Dutch-Moroccans a “scum” . Wilders (a shortcut of Geert Wilders) is against Islam in the Netherlands and in Europe. Therefore, Wilders could fall into the definition of Islamophobia as the dictionary of Cambridge states the following regarding Islamophobia: “Unreasonable dislike or fear of, and prejudice against, Muslims or Islam”. One might think: Why are the PVV party and Wilders so important? The answer to this question is the fact that the PVV party is the second party in the Dutch parliament. According to the official website of the Dutch Parliament: De Tweede Kamer (The Second Chamber), Wilder’s PVV is the second party with 20 seats (out of the 150 seats). These results are from the last Dutch elections of 2017 . This could make Wilders a key player in Dutch politics and maybe a prime minister for the upcoming future.
Therefore, this research will look into Wilders and his PVV party. How did a party from 2006 become the biggest party in the Dutch parliament as it is anti-Islamic? Thereby, looking at how Geert Wilders and his party, the PVV, used their anti-Islamic ideas in Dutch society. Also one must take into consideration that the Netherlands has many minorities from Islamic countries. The website of Minorities Rights Group International indicates that the Netherlands has 400.367 citizens with a Turkish background and 364.328 citizens with a Moroccan background. This follows up with other minorities such as Syrians and Iraqis. This clashed in Dutch society on different occasions as Wilders called Moroccans “scums”. This clashed also on the political level as Wilders wants to ban Dutch MP’s and Dutch voters with a double nationality to participate in the elections. He was addressing to the political party of Denk, which has three seats in the parliament and was founded by two MP’s with a Turkish background. However, Wilders draws also voters with his anti-Islamic and thus anti-immigrant attitude. During his court case of 2010, he was judged by the court for exciting hatred against Muslims. Nonetheless, Wilders was supported by his fans and voters. Wilders is well known in the Dutch (and foreign) headlines and has, as a politician, influences in Dutch society. This all spark the question, how does Geert Wilders influence Islamophobia in the Netherlands between the years 2006 till 2018?
2. Literature Review
The chapter Literature Review has the objective to give a literary context that provides background information regarding the subject. This research will look at how Geert Wilders and his party, the PVV, influenced the Netherlands by using Islamophobia. However, in order to understand the contemporary political situation in the Netherlands, one must understand the history of the country. Therefore, this chapter will go back to the 40s as the Netherlands was occupied (1940-1945) by Nazi Germany and endured five years of harsh treatment by its occupiers. This will have spillover to the 50s, 60s, and 80s that formed (partly) the current situation of the Netherlands.
2.1 The Netherlands in the Second World War
Like mentioned earlier, The Netherlands was occupied during the Second World War by Nazi Germany. The occupation of the country started in 1940 and ended in 1945. Nonetheless, the period of the occupation was a disaster in the Netherlands, especially for the Jewish community in the Netherlands. The Dutch Anna Frank house states that more than 100.000 (75%) Dutch Jews disappeared in concentration camps, such as Auschwitz and Sobibor . In the last year of the war, the Netherlands did not have enough food for its population and this period was called: De Hongerwinter (The Winter of Hunger). This started on 17 September 1944 and also in the winter of 1945 . After the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945, the Dutch population took revenge and attacked their own population that collaborated with the Germans. These collaborators were a part of the Dutch fascist organization, the NSB (Nationale Socialistische Beweging/National Socialist Movement). NSB members were punished by the Dutch government, right after the liberation of the country. Anton Musset was the leader of the NSB and he received the bullet from the Dutch government . After the liberation, the Netherlands entered a new stage of rebuilding and emigration.
2.2 The Netherlands after the Second World War
After the Second World War was over, the Dutch entered a stage of state-funded emigration. In the research paper of Marijke van Faassen, the first Dutch citizens emigrated to Australia in 1949. This emigration was economically motivated as the Dutch economy was poor after the war. In 1950, the former Dutch prime minister Willem Drees addressed the Dutch citizens and has said the following: “A part of our citizens must have the courage to move to other lands, then their own”. In the midst of the 50s, the Marshal plan helped the Netherlands to develop its industrial policy. This resulted in the need for immigrants. The paper of van Faassen stated that the Dutch government saw the new immigrants as a temporary labor force and the emigration as a permanent solution. In other words, the immigrants have to leave the Netherlands if they are not needed by factories. Nevertheless, the Dutch did not only go to Australia as an emigration point. According to the Library and Achieves from the Canadian government, Canada received three waves of Dutch immigrants. The first wave started in the 1880s, the second wave happened in 1920 and the third (and the largest) wave happened right after the Second World War. The Governmental websites of Canada indicate that the majority of the Dutch immigrants are from an agricultural background. However, the Dutch immigrants also existed out of skilled workers and also war brides (Dutch girl married to a Canadian soldier). The Dutch emigrated after the war, but as van Faassen mentioned earlier, The Netherlands also received new immigrants.
2.3 The Netherlands, a switch from emigrants towards immigrants
In the previous paragraph, Marijke van Faassen pinpointed an interesting aspect regarding immigration in the Netherlands. She described that the Dutch government saw the immigrants as temporary. However, the contrary happened as the Netherlands received more and more immigrants. In the report of the Dutch Central Statistical Office (CBS, Centraal Bureau voor Statistieken), Han Nicolaas described that the Netherlands has become a country for immigrants since the 1960s. According to Han Nicolaas, the Netherlands was a country of emigrants in the early years of the 50s. The native Dutch citizens (approximately 350 thousand) moved to Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and Canada. However, after the 60s, immigration towards the Netherlands skyrocketed. The first graphic of Nicolaas, the late 60s shows that the bar of immigration surpasses the emigration bar until the beginning of the 2000s. Furthermore, the report stated that first, second and third generations of nonwestern immigrants stayed in the Netherlands permanently . One could conclude that the Netherlands has become an immigration country and immigration was not temporary as one could see the graphics from the Dutch Central Statistical Office. Nevertheless, does the Netherlands have a multicultural society?
2.4 The Netherlands and Multiculturalism
One must understand the notion of multiculturalism before describing multiculturalism in the Netherlands. According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, multiculturalism is a political discourse and philosophy that describes the challenges in diversity. The main idea is that minorities keep their identity within the state . Shadid. W from the University of Tilburg has also described the term multiculturalism, and he reflects it to the Netherlands. Shadid described that multicultural citizenship has three components, which are equality for citizens, belonging to the nation-state, and exclusiveness that recognizes the identity of an individual (like language and culture). He describes also that people within multicultural citizenship has obligations towards the nation-state, which are unity within the nation-state, accepting basic laws for tolerance and equality, accepting the right of other individuals' believes and values. He describes that the Netherlands has all similar points. These points are embedded in the Dutch legal system, thus the Netherlands has multicultural citizenship. The Netherlands has many different cultures, thus the Netherlands is a multicultural society . However, is Shadid the only person that sees and describes the Netherlands as a multicultural society? A Moroccan-Dutch girl described in the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant, that multicultural society exists in the Netherlands and it will not leave. She described her summer in Morocco with her Dutch husband Mathijs and his family. She described in this article that the Dutch family exists out of an Australian and an Israeli brother-in-law. The daughter-in-law is originally from Suriname and thus she lives as a Moroccan girl in a multicultural Dutch family. There are many articles that describe Dutch society as multicultural. Shadid described that Dutch laws support a multiculturalism and this is true in the sense of the first article in Dutch law and this is as follows: “Everyone who lives in the Netherlands is equal under Dutch law. Discrimination based on religion, sex, ethnicity, and color is prohibited”.
3. The beginning of Geert Wilders and the PVV Party
This chapter will look into Wilders and his political party the PVV. Thereby, looking at how Geert Wilders has started his career and his political party the PVV. This chapter will also describe the developments of the PVV party and how it recruited members. Like every political party, the PVV of Wilders has its own agenda points that seek to realize it. This chapter's research will seek answers in the basic knowledge regarding Geert Wilders and his political PVV party.
3.1 Who is Geert Wilders?
Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician and a member of parliament for his own party, the PVV. The website Parlement states that Geert Wilders was born on the sixth of September 1963, in the Dutch town of Venlo. Wilder’s journey started in 1989 when he became a member of the political party the VVD. In 1998, he became an MP for the VVD in the Dutch parliament. In 2004, he left the VVD and has become an independent MP. During the elections of 2006, he entered the Dutch parliament with his own political party the PVV. However, Geert Wilders has also personal life, but little has been known about it, and as there are fewer sources regarding Wilders youth. Nevertheless, Wilders was invited to the tv show; Tijd voor Max. There he was interviewed regarding his youth and adolescent years. Wilders described his teenage years as the trouble maker at home, but he has grown out of it. According to Geert Wilders, he went to Israel at the age of 17th and returned to the Netherlands at the age of (approximately) 20. Wilders has worked in a Kibbutz, which was working on a farm in Israel. After his time in Israel, he returned to the Netherlands to fulfill his mandatory military service. Wilders is not in good terms with his brother as he went public against the PVV, which was founded by Wilders himself. He was once a fan of the new wave within the punk groups and loved football. Geert Wilders's youth was normal, but he stayed in Israel and that may need some explanation.
The Dutch Broadcasting Studio the NOS, interviewed Wilders for 70 years of Israel. Wilders was actually going to Australia and not to Israel, but the trip to Australia was too expensive for young Wilders. Israel was cheap and more welcoming, thus he went to Israel to work on a farm. He had to go to a hideout when he heard the air alarms and told the following: “I could see the invasion of fanatics with their booms, which had the aim to kill many people. Israeli helicopters have shot them”. Wilders described Israel as a little western country in the east and said that the west should protect Israel. Wilders added that Israel is a free state and has the right to exist as the country has a Jewish identity. Nevertheless, he is in favor of a peace process between Palestinians and the Israeli state. At the end of the interview, he was also positive about his first mosque visit in Jerusalem and less positive about a mosque in Damascus as his shoes were stolen. Wilders has discovered Islam in a mosque and was positive about it. This is interesting as Wilders and his party are against Islam. Furthermore, Israel might have influenced young Wilders, he is positive regarding Israel as he calls upon the west to protect it. However, how and why did Geert Wilders start a political party, which is against Islam?
3.2 How did the PVV start?
This research has mentioned the beginning of the PVV on two occasions. Nevertheless, it did not mention nor clarify the reasoning behind the PVV. How and why did the PVV start? In an article in the Dutch newspaper De Algemene Dagblad, Geert Wilders has started his political party on the 22nd of February 2006. Wilders's motivation to start a new political party dates back to his MP years for the VVD. According to an article by IsGeschiedenis (a Dutch magazine for history), Wilders was befriended with the chair of the VVD Frits Bolkestein. Mr. Bolkestein and Wilders were skeptics of the Dutch multicultural society. Nevertheless, Frits Bolkestein left the party in 2004. Around that same year, the Dutch parliament was voting to allow Turkish accession talks. The VVD voted in favor and demand that Wilders (as a member of VVD) votes in favor of a Turkish accession talk. This was the bottle that pushed Wilders to leave the VVD and he became an independent MP as he took his seat from the VVD. In 2006, two years later, he created the PVV and entered the general Dutch elections. After the elections of 2006, Wilders PVV party entered the Dutch parliament. the PVV was against Islam. The Turkish accession talks of 2004, did play a role in the forming of the PVV. Wilders was against Turkey in the EU and his party entered the Dutch parliament. One may wonder what the main points of the PVV are as the party are new.
3.3 What are the main points of the PVV?
The PVV entered the Dutch parliament in 2006 and thus the party spoke to a part of the Dutch voters. However, what were the main electoral points of the PVV. In the Dutch TV show from AVRO-TROS, Wilders received the stage to explain the main points of his new party in 2006. According to Wilders, everyone should have the freedom of speech in criticizing Islam and create cartoons where one mocks the main prophet of Islam. Wilders also wants to change the first amendment of the Dutch constitution, which prohibits discrimination in every form and base. According to Wilders, the Netherlands ' leading cultures should be based upon Christianity and Judaism. The other cultures are welcome in the Netherlands, but they should never have the chance to be dominant in one neighborhood. I don’t want to have a dominant Muslim culture in the neighborhoods, villages, and in the cities, said Wilders. Wilders wants to shut down Islamic elementary schools “as they have negative influences on nonwestern immigrants to integrate in the Netherlands”. He does not see a problem with Christian or Judaism elementary schools. The presenter of the program pinpointed that a Christian elementary school doesn’t see women fit as politicians, but Wilders replied; “We don’t have problems with Christian schools”. Wilders's new party was in favor of freedom of speech, where Islam would be ridiculed. One could wonder if the idea of Wilders and it’s PVV party changed regarding Islam or immigration?
In 2017, the Netherlands entered a new general election period and PVV stole the day. The PVV made an election program that exists out of one page with bullet points. The first bullet point from the PVV’s election program is the de-Islamization of the Netherlands, which is as follows (sub-points):
- Stop immigrants and asylum seekers from Islamic countries
- Cancel all the semi citizenship of asylum seekers
- Islamic headscarf will be prohibited in public services
- Prohibited any other Islamic symbols that are against the public security
- Lockup radical Muslims as a prevention method
- Criminals with a double nationality should be denaturalized and banned from the Netherlands,
- People who went to Syria to join the fight should stay in Syria
- The Quran will be prohibited, mosques and Islamic elementary schools will be shut down.
The other main bullet point comprises of the Netherlands leaving the EU and “regaining its independence”. Lower rents, lower healthcare payments, more money for the police and army, not a penny to developing countries, and more money for elderly care . The de-Islamization points of the PVV are harsh as it wants to close all mosques in the Netherlands and criminalize Muslims for reading the Quran. In one of the sub-points, he wants to denaturalize criminals with double nationality. So one could say a systematic removal from Muslims with double nationality from the Netherlands. The one-page election program of the PVV was ridiculed by the famous Dutch satire Arjan Lubach as the election program is not concrete . However, how does the PVV function with his new MP’s, and how does the MP’s look towards Wilders?
3.4 The MP problems of the new PVV
The new PVV entered the Dutch parliament in 2006 and noticed a shortage of MP’s, thus Wilders and the second woman of the PVV made a commercial to get recruitments as new MPs for the PVV. In the commercial, they only asked for a motivation letter and a CV of the candidate . One might think that the methods of recruiting people would not be a problem. However, the PVV faced a lot of problems with his new MP’s. In an article on the news website De Parool, Eric Luccassen from the PVV was well-known by his neighbors as the bad neighbor of Haarlem. Lucassen threatened and intimidated his neighbors a lot. They filed an official complaint to the police between the years 2006 till 2009. Lucassen had also a court case regarding sexual harassment with a minor from 2002 . Lucassen is not an MP anymore for the PVV . However, Lucassen was not the only PVV member with a criminal record. According to Fleur de Bruijn from the news agency BNR, Machiel de Graaf from the PVV received a triple salary. De Graaf was a senator for the first chamber (for the provincial elections), a member of The Hague municipality council, and worked in a commission for the Dutch parliament. However, he never showed up for the commission but did receive the income from it. De Graaf was once a critic of senators who had a double income, which could make the PVV MP De Graaf a hypocrite . Nevertheless, old PVV MP’s have opened their books regarding the functioning of the PVV. They pointed to a one men party of Wilders.
In the years between 2010 till 2014, the PVV lost 14 MP’s within four years. In an article of the Nu.nl of 2014, many ex-PVV members (from MPs to senators) left the party as they could not unite under the speech of Wilders (like fewer Moroccans) or could not bring democracy to the party. The interesting aspect is that two old MP’s (Arnoud van Doorn en Joram van Klaveren) from the PVV converted into Islam. This was a result of their own research into Islam. In 2014, a documentary was made with the title Wilder’s Wereld (Wilders World), old MP’s describe Wilders as someone who has the power in the party. There is no democracy and no one could be critical towards Wilders. A part of the MP’s of Wilders left after the less little less Moroccans incident. Another part of the MP’s left as they had no right to give their input to the party. The new recruitments for the PVV were from all educational backgrounds, some of them did not know the 12 Dutch provinces. They have been educated in how to react towards the media and how the Dutch parliament works . The PVV did have MPs who had a problem with law order, but also MPs that were fed up with Wilders's speeches and the undemocratic rule of their party. The PVV is being controlled by Wilders itself and the MP just needs to follow it.
3.5 Third chapter conclusion
Wilders was born on the sixth of September 1963, in the Dutch town of Venlo. His political carrier started in 1989 as he became a member of the VVD. He entered the Dutch parliament for the VVD in 1998 and left the party in 2004 as it disagreed to allow Turkish accession talks with the EU. He stayed in the Dutch parliament as an independent MP, but this changed in 2006 as his new PVV party received seats in the parliament. The PVV immediately criticized Islam and wants no Islamic “domination” in the Netherlands. It wants to ban mosques and Qurans in the Netherlands. Wilders had problems with their recruitments as they seek for new MP members as some had bad records. These MPs left the party. Some MPs also left the PVV as Wilders has the only rule of the PVV. Other MP’s of the PVV could not find themselves under the harsh speeches of Wilders. In the end, two formal PVV MP’s have been converted into Islam.
4. How did the PVV perform in the national, municipal, and European elections
In 2006, the PVV entered the Dutch general election and received its first votes. As mentioned in the previous chapter, the PVV entered the Dutch parliament and received seats. In 2020, the PVV and its members are still a part of the Dutch parliament . The PVV has still members in the council of the city hall in The Hague . This means that the PVV received votes from the citizens of The Hague. The house of the Dutch province of Zuid-Holland has three members from the PVV . This means that the PVV has voters within the Dutch society. After Brexit, the PVV was able to return to the European parliament and received one seat . This all indicates that the PVV is an active party during the elections. One must look at the electoral track of the PVV and look if the party has a success. This chapter will also give a glimpse of the PVV campaign during the elections
4.1 The PVV’s participation in the General Dutch elections of 2006 and 2010
The first elections that the PVV has participated in, were the General Dutch elections of 2006. In short research of P. Lucardie from the University of Groningen, the main point of Wilders's election campaign of 2006 was based on the dangers of Islam. According to the campaign of Wilders, the Netherlands is being engulfed in a ‘Tsunami of Islamization’. Nonwestern immigrants must sign a treaty for assimilation in the dominant culture. Other Dutch politicians criticized Wilders for his statement and have found it disgusting. The new PVV is also against the EU. Two of the volunteers of the PVV were attacked and according to Wilders, the perpetrators were Moroccans . Nevertheless, PVV entered the Dutch elections and according to the Dutch Electoral Commission (Kiesraad), the PVV received 9 seats in the Dutch parliament . The next Dutch elections were in 2010 and this would give a track record of PVV’s election results.
Wilders launched the PVV election program of 2010 as the Netherlands was entering the general elections of that year. According to the website of the PVV, Wilders has started his election campaign in 2010, in Rotterdam. Wilders started his speech by criticizing the Dutch tv-show Zembla for comparing him with Nazis. He followed up with his motivation for starting his campaign in Rotterdam. Wilders stated that Rotterdam is the city of Pim Fortuyn, who paid for his freedom with his own life. Wilders mentioned that neighborhoods in Rotterdam have been Islamized. He added that Rotterdam was once the biggest port city of Europe and it has now become the capital of Eurabia. Wilders is using sentences as: “We will liberate our country and we will start from Rotterdam” . These terms indicate that Muslims are occupying the Netherlands and that the PVV would liberate the Netherlands.
The PVV has made a short report with its agenda points for the elections of 2010. They described that the PVV wants more police and harsher punishments. It wants an ethnic register, more police on the streets, lifelong imprisonment after three convictions of violence act, Non-Dutch citizens and citizens with a double nationality must leave the country after a criminal record, opening of reeducation camps, teenagers from 16 and onwards should not be seen as minors (receive the normal punishment), magistrates that does not function shall be removed from office and more money for healthcare. Nevertheless, the PVV wouldn’t be the PVV if they forgot to add the de-Islamization point. The PVV sees Islam as a political ideology and thus it should not have the legal rights as a religion, closing mosques, prohibiting the Quran, shutdown of all the Islamic (elementary) schools, no money for Islamic media, no money for the Equality Commission and thus shut it down, assimilation contracts and no assimilation means the end of the Dutch citizenship, Turkey should join the EU and the Netherlands must leave the EU . Again, Wilders and his PVV party are against Islam, but Wilders's agenda points are 60 pages. Nevertheless, the PVV became the third party of the Netherlands and received 22 (out of the 150) seats. The party jumped from nine seats to 22 and won 15 extra seats. In an article on the Dutch Public Broadcasting website, the PVV supported the minority government (was not fully a part of it) of the VVD and CDA (Christelijke Democratische Appel/Christian Democratic Apple). This helped the forming of a new Dutch government, but it failed two years later. Wilders clashed with the CDA minister as Wilders wants more immigration restrictions and the CDA less. Also, the harsh speeches of Wilders regarding Islam did not do any good. The Netherlands went to a new general election in 2012 and the first Rutte government fell. Nevertheless, the PVV is doing good in the national general elections as the party became the second in the last general elections of 2017. According to the Dutch Electoral Commission, the PVV received 20 seats in 2017.
4.2 The PVV in the EU elections of 2009
In the previous paragraph, the PVV mentions his election points which comprise of the Netherlands leaving the EU. In an article by NU.nl, Barry Madlener from the PVV was interviewed for the European Parliamentarian elections of 2009. Barry Madlener wants less Brussels and more The Hague. According to Madlener, the Netherlands is paying too much to Brussels and has more jurisdiction than the Dutch parliament. Madlener also mentioned that the Dutch are paying for poor EU member states and the Netherlands needs money. In addition to it, Madlener from the PVV is also against Turkish membership as the country is Islamic and could get more power in the EU . The PVV wants less EU and more of the Netherlands. The PVV did receive votes in the European elections of 2009. According to Europe-nu.nl, the PVV received 4 seats in the European Parliament . Nevertheless, the PVV did not join a European party alliance and joined the Non-Attached Members . In 2019, the PVV did not receive enough votes to enter the European Parliament. However, after the Brexit process, the PVV received one seat in the European Parliament. The PVV is in general against the EU as Wilders talks regarding a Next . The PVV is doing poorly in EU elections and good in the national (general) elections. One may wonder if the PVV receives also votes in the municipal council elections of 2014?
4.3 The PVV in the council election for the municipality of 2014
The website of the Dutch Election Council states the following: “In the Netherlands, elections to the municipal councils take place once every four years”. Every national political party is able to participate in the municipalities it prefers. The PVV has entered the municipal elections in 2010 and 2014. According to the Dutch Broadcasting Studios the NOS, the PVV has only participated in two municipalities in the years 2010 and 2014. These municipalities are The Hague (where the Dutch government and the royal family are seated) and Almere . The PVV did receive votes in the municipal elections of 2010, it became the biggest party in Almere and the second in The Hague. However, this election received not much attention as the municipal elections of 2014. Nevertheless, before one explains the municipal elections of 2014, one must look into the election program of the PVV. The PVV party in The Hague gave an interview regarding their election program for the municipal elections of 2014. According to Gerard van den Ijsel from Den Haag FM, Leon de Jong from the PVV said that The Hague would be ‘Scum free city’. The election program of the PVV in The Hague consists of tax reduction and the improvement of elderly care. In addition to it, the PVV in The Hague wants to de-Islamize The Hague . The PVV wouldn’t be the PVV if they did not add de-Islamization in their election program. Nevertheless, they became the second in The Hague, as D66 (Democratic 66) won the elections in The Hague. This situation is different in Almere, as the PVV won the elections in Almere. In an article by Charlotte Huisman from the newspaper Trouw, PVV won the elections in Almere and some voters voted for the PVV as they are against the Muslim minority in the country. A voter with origins in Suriname said the following: “They (PVV) are not against the Dutch citizens from a foreign background, they are against the Turks and the Moroccans”. The PVV is successful in the municipality elections. However, in the last municipality elections of 2018, the PVV did not become the first anymore as local parties won the municipality elections and the national parties (in general) lost the elections.
4.4 Conclusion of the fourth chapter
In conclusion, the PVV of Wilders is doing good in the national general elections as the party becomes the second or the third party in the general elections. The PVV is doing also well in the municipality elections for its council as the PVV is still able to get seats in different municipalities. Furthermore, the PVV is not doing well in the elections for the European Parliament as the PVV receives only four or not even one seat for the European Parliament.
5. How did the PVV influence islamophobia in the Netherlands?
The previous chapters explained the history of Wilders and his PVV party. The previous chapters also explained the spear points of the PVV election program. Last, of all, the previous chapters also gave a track of voters record for the PVV as the party participated in the general Dutch elections, the elections for the municipality council and the elections for the European Parliament elections. This chapter will look at how the PVV influences islamophobia in the Netherlands and how it is affecting the Dutch society.
5.1 The ripples in the Dutch society with Geert Wilders Speech: “More or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands”
Wilder’s speech of more or fewer Moroccans in The Hague and the Netherlands has been mentioned in this research paper on many occasions. However, this research paper did not explain the ripple effects of Wilders's speech in Dutch society. After the victory of the PVV in The Hague as becoming the second party in the council of the city, Wilders speech was recorded by the Dutch Broadcasting Studio and Wilders said the following in his speech of 2014: “I am not able to ask you this question as D66 ( Political party Democrats 66) officers are ready to prosecute me, but I find the word of freedom of speech more important and thus I’ll say it anyway. Do you want in this city and in the Netherlands more or less Moroccans”? The members of Wilders party screamed, “LESS, LESS, LESS”. Wilders replied with a smile: “Okay, we are going to arrange it”. This speech of Wilders was not taken lightly as it caused outrage within the Netherlands. The website of RTL Nieuws (News) made a collection of all the events that followed Wilders's speech. According to RTL Nieuws, many Dutch citizens of Moroccan descent started the hashtag ‘Bornhere’. They started to take a selfie with their Dutch passport. A Facebook page has started with the text: I have filed a legal report against Wilders (Ik doe aangifte tegen Wilders). This page called upon the public to file complaint against Wilders for inciting hate speech. Famous Dutch influencers filed an official complaint of discrimination against Wilders. The Dutch politicians were not amused. Prime minister Rutte said: “it gave me a disgusting taste in my mouth”. Some members of the PVV left the party, Jewish organizations reacted with disgust and the German media compared Wilders with the Nazi minister of Goebbels. In the end, the Dutch prosecutor opened a court case against Wilders for inciting hate speech and discrimination. The court procedure is still in process. The less, less speech of Wilders created many problems for Wilders and has sent shockwaves throughout the Dutch society.
5.2 Geert Wilders: Kopvoddentaks, which is a tax to wear the headscarf
Unfortunately, the less, fewer Moroccans speech of Wilders was not the only problem. In the year 2012, Wilders gave a speech in the Dutch parliament regarding his plan to de-Islamize the Netherlands. According to Wilders, the Netherlands has been invaded by ‘hate beards´ and headscarves. Wilders described these symbols as a part of a hate ideology called Islam. Wilders said that his PVV wants to reconquer the Netherlands from Islam and its symbols. Therefore, he wants to state a headscarf tax (kopvoddentax, Turkish word would be: Kelle Vergisi), if one wants to wear a headscarf, she must pay tax. Wilders motivated this idea with the following: “We have the dog tax, we had fly tax and we have a packaging tax, so why not a head tax (Kopvoddentax)” . One could say that Kopvoddentax is a harsh term, but it is harmless. Nevertheless, the Dutch well-known criminal investigator, Peter R. de Vries, would disagree with the harmless part of the sentence. Peter R. de Vries was invited to the tv program called: Paul en Witteman, where he received the question if the words of Wilders are harmless. Peter R. de Vries called the speech of Wilders the lowest point of the parliamentarian debate, since the Second World War. According to Peter R. de Vries, Wilders has used the term deliberately to dehumanize a part of the Dutch society and said that Wilders is a very dangerous man. Peter R. de Vries added that he used the term Kop also deliberately as the word kop used to describe the head of the animal. Furthermore, Wilders never apologized for his language. One could conclude that Wilders is dehumanizing the Muslims in the Netherlands and thus also a part of the Dutch society. The paragraphs and the chapters have examined Wilders, also its political party the PVV. However, what is the future of Islamophobia in the Netherlands?
5.3 The future of Islamophobia in the Netherlands
A research paper is not able to predict the future or to look at a glass boll. Nevertheless, it could look at contemporary issues regarding Islamophobia in the Netherlands. There are neighborhoods in the Netherlands that does not like Dutch citizens from different background. One of those neighborhoods is in The Hague. The name of this neighborhood is Duindorp. In video footage of the local news media Omroep West, the citizens of Duindorp does not want a Muslim or an immigrant family in their neighborhood. Two neighbors were debating on the street and one of those neighbors (mid-age man) said the following: “There were four houses empty in that street and who will be living in them, four nonwhite people”. The other neighbor (an old woman at the age of 76) replied to it and said the following: “come on, where should those people live?!”. The men replied: “In their own country and not here in the Netherlands, so it is good that our white neighbors are throwing rocks at their windows”. The PVV of Wilders is also popular in this neighborhood. The right-wing media PowNews interviewed three people from Duindorp and they were happy that Wilders was participating in the municipal elections of 2014. One of the interviewed people said the following: All those brown people should leave as they are represented in the criminal world”. It is also not a huge surprise that PVV won the 2014 elections in Duindorp . The Duindorp case is just an example of racism and Islamophobic tendency in the neighborhood that supports the PVV. However, do the Muslims in the Netherlands need to be worried regarding Wilders and his PVV?
A political scientist and an expert on the Balkans wars are worried about Wilders's rhetoric. The Dutch tv show Zembla (which was mentioned before in this research paper) has made a documentary regarding the dangers of Wilders. According to Zembla, Wilders is misleading its voters by lying regarding the religion of Islam as his anti-Islam movie Fitna took some text of the Quran out of context. In the documentary, the testifying expert for the Balkan wars, Mr. Tom Zwaan, sees parallels with Wilders's speeches regarding Islam and the Balkan wars. According to Zwaan, karadžić has demonized and dehumanized the Muslims of the Balkans in the 80s. This had a spillover into bloodshed during the Balkan wars of the 90s. According to Zwaan, Wilders said once that he dreamed of a war, which Zwaan finds doubtful. The documentary of Zembla interviews a French Political scientist Jacques Sémelin. He stated that an economic crisis and a politician who blames the minority group as the culprit is dangerous. Especially as it uses words like: We have to protect ourselves and our identity .
However, the political landscape of the Netherlands might change as the PVV might have a new competitor. Forum voor Democratie took the voters from the PVV and was able to win the Dutch elections for the provinces and it’s senate . One knows the effect of Wilders and his PVV in the Netherlands, but Wilders might have inspired other right-wing movements and loners.
5.4 Wilders inspires rightwing people aboard and loners
Wilders has attracted right-wing movement from abroad and right-wing loners. In 2011, Andres Breivik has created a massacre in Oslo and the Norwegian island of Utoya. Thereby, killing 93 people. Breivik was against Muslims and Immigrants . However, he admired Wilders in his manifesto. According to an article in the newspaper, the Volkskrant, Andres Breivik mentioned Wilders in his manifesto against immigration and Muslims. Breivik has tried to meet with Wilders in London to see his anti-Islam movie, but Breivik was not able to meet him. Nevertheless, Wilders was horrified that Breivik called his name in his manifesto and said: “I and the PVV have nothing to do with this sick delusional men, we want to de-Islamize peacefully and we wish our condolences to the Norwegian people” . Nevertheless, Wilders receives support from right-wing organizations such as Tommy Robbinson and his English Defense League. Like Wilders, the English Defense league wants to de-Islamize the United Kingdom, Europe, and the World . Wilders was invited by the American Freedom Alliance to give a speech regarding Islam and thus Wilders gave his anti-Islam speech. The American Freedom Alliance is a non-profit institution that aims to defend Western values. This institution sees environmentalist fanatics and Islam as a threat . Wilder’s speech inspires the rightwing movement from aboard and some could take it to a whole new level.
5.5 the conclusion of the fifth chapter.
In conclusion, Wilders and his party the PVV are still influencing Islamophobia in the Netherlands and aboard. Wilders receives always attention by saying less Moroccans or Kopvoddentaks (headscarf tax). Wilders finds a way to dehumanize the Muslim society in the Netherlands by using words as kop, which is used to describe animal body parts. Balkan war expert Tom Zwaan, crime investigator Peter R. De Vries and the political scientist Jacques Sémelin are worried about Wilder as he demonizes Muslims. Tom Zwaan sees parallels with Karadžić that dehumanizing the Balkan Muslims before the Balkan wars of the 90s. The PVV is able to get supporters within the Dutch society and their supporters don’t want to live in a neighborhood with immigrants (thus also Muslims).
The central question of this research paper is as follows: How does Geert Wilders influence islamophobia in the Netherlands between the Years of 2006 till 2018? The research described the painful history of the Netherlands in the Second World War. The Netherlands lost the majority of its Jewish population and after the liberation, an emigration fewer has hit the Netherlands. This followed up with an immigration fewer from Moroccans and Turks to the Netherlands. This gave the Netherlands a multicultural society. Geert Wilders is a Dutch politician since 1989. He started with the VVD and left the party in 2004 as VVD accepted Turkish accession talks. Two years later, Geert Wilders founded the political Party the PVV. After these years, Wilders and his party took a harsh stand against Islam. Wilders had a victory speech with Less, less, less Moroccans. This followed up with a Kopvoddentaks (headscarf tax), which the term kop is being used for an animal body part. Wilders wants minorities and Muslims to assimilate or emigrate back to the country of origin. Wilders wants the freedom of speech to ridicule Islam and changed the first amendment in Dutch law regarding discrimination. The harsh speeches of Wilders resulted in the loss of PVV MP’s an outrage in the Netherlands. Experts see the speeches of Wilders dangerous. Nevertheless, Wilders has loyal followers within the Netherlands and abroad. In conclusion, Geert Wilders did influence islamophobia in the Netherlands. Wilders is trying to humiliate and dehumanize the Muslims. He wants to close Islamic institutions and prohibited the Quran. Therefore, Wilders is a key player in Islamophobia.
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