Amsterdam - The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, received a storm of criticism after wishing Muslims a “nice Ramadan” yesterday. It is the first time that the Prime Minister has wished Dutch Muslims a happy Ramadan.
Amsterdam – The Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, received a storm of criticism after wishing Muslims a “nice Ramadan” yesterday. It is the first time that the Prime Minister has wished Dutch Muslims a happy Ramadan.
The PM tweeted: “I want to wish the one million Muslims in the Netherlands a nice Ramadan. Ramadan kareem.”
“Graag wens ik de miljoen moslims in Nederland een fijne ramadan toe. Ramadan kareem.”
— Minister-president (@MinPres) June 18, 2015
Geert Wilders, the leader of the opposition party and a self-proclaimed anti-Islamist, responded to the message of the Prime Minister calling him “crazy.”
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) June 18, 2015
Wilders was not the only one to criticize his message to Muslims. Many other Dutch citizens condemned Rutte’s move toward Muslims, wondering why Rutte did not send similar wishes during Christmas or other important national festivities to other groups. Some even equated wishing Ramadan Mubarak with anti-Semitism.
Both U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron tweeted similar messages without stirring any controversy in their respective countries. Cameron sent his very best wishes to everyone who is observing the holy month of Ramadan. And Obama wished everyone a Ramadan Kareem.
Some of the reactions were harshly critical of Islam itself with many associating Islam with murder and oppression. Some went so far as to claim that the Dutch Premier’s message to Muslims “is a slap in the face of the victims of Islam.”
@MinPres Een klap in het gezicht van al die tientallen miljoenen slachtoffers van de islam.
— Typisch_henk (@Typisch_Henk) June 18, 2015
“No, from the Jewish religion this anti-Semitist never heard… freaky,” said one Twitter user.
“Is he going to speak a foreign language now? He never wished our people happy Christmas, what a lickspittle. But Ramadan is fine, mind you,” another Twitter user said.
Reflecting the widespread islamophobia prevalent in the Netherlands, one Twitter user called the Dutch Premier the “President of Muslims.” “How great, president of the Muslims! luckily Islam stands only for murder, massacre, inequality and oppression.