He once said that Islam is a “lie” and described Islam’s holy book as “poison.”
Rabat – Former far-right Dutch politician Joram van Klaveren changed his view on Islam while writing a book criticizing the second most common religion in the world.
The 39-year-old opened about his conversion to Islam on Monday with Dutch digital newspaper NRC.
The politician, who was a member of the Freedom Party (PVV), had previously called Islam a lie.
He quit Geert Wilders’ PVV in 2014 after Wilders asked his supporters if they want more or fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands at a rally. The crowd then chanted “fewer.”
Klaveren told a Dutch radio station that he came “across more and more things” that made his view of Islam “falter.”
In his interview, the politician was asked if he felt guilty about his former sentiments on Islam. The politician said that he had been “simply wrong,” because it was a “PVV policy.”
“Everything that was wrong had to be linked to Islam in one way or another.”
Klaveren is not the first convert to Islam from PVV. Arnoud van Doorn, another PVV politician, converted to Islam in 2012.
On his Twitter, Doorn congratulated Klaveren, saying that he had never “thought that the PVV would become a breeding ground for converts.”
Euro-Islam speculates there are almost 1 million Muslims in the Netherlands. Muslims represent 5.8 percent of the Dutch population.
According to the same website, “Dutch Muslims come primarily from Turkey and Morocco.”
Other substantial minorities come from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Somalia.
Over the years, several renowned celebrities have announced their conversion to Islam.
In 2018, Arthur Wagner, a leading member of the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) party known for its anti-Muslim rhetoric, resigned from his post after deciding to become a Muslim.
Irish rock singer Sinead O’Connor also converted to Islam in October 2018.