Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders claims an animated video made by young refugees aims to “attract” immigrants and promote “Islamification” of the Netherlands.
Rabat – Dutch politician and notorious Islamophobe Geert Wilders has demanded time in parliament to debate a government immigration video that he claims to promote “self-Islamization” of the Dutch state. Wilders leads the marginal Dutch political party PVV, one of the anti-immigration parties that started European anti-immigration populism that has since evolved into an increasingly mainstream phenomenon.
Wilders is currently the subject of a court case for stating the Netherlands needs “less Moroccans” in a 2014 public speech. The Dutch politician was sentenced for promoting discrimination and insulting an ethnic group in 2016 but received no punishment from the court. He is currently appealing the decision, with the prosecutors demanding an additional fine of €5,000.
His party demanded the Dutch government explain their motivations for producing what he has dubbed a “propaganda-video” aimed at actively attracting refugees. The move is just one of many offensive statements aimed at creating resentment against immigrants, with a particular focus on Muslim immigration.
Wilders first tweeted about the video on August 3, claiming the video was made to actively attract foreign immigration. But Wilders’ criticism of the video was anything but timely, as it turned out the video was made four years ago. The video, titled “welcome in the Netherlands” is a short animation written by 12 young refugees as part of a project subsidized by a Dutch charity and the Ministry of Justice.
Wilders claimed the video was propaganda produced to increase immigration and funded by the Dutch government. The fact that the video was subtitled in Arabic appeared to be enough for the notorious populist to conclude the video would lead to the “Islamification” of the Netherlands, where less than 5% of the population is Islamic.
On August 1, Wilders visited Hungary where he praised the country by saying it had “very few mosques, no hijabs on the street, no socialists or fake liberals and no Moroccan street terror.” He called traditional Islamic practices on Eid al-Adha “sick Islamic barbarism.” He has repeatedly posted imagery of the Islamic prophet and routinely labels Palestinians as “terrorists.”
While Wilders’ party has had little political success in recent years, his rhetoric has infected Dutch politics. Mainstream politicians have been making increasingly problematic statements in order to appease and attract anti-immigration voters.
With economic opportunities for working-class Dutch people eroding and public services being gradually reduced, anti-immigration rhetoric has become a convenient tool used by Dutch politicians to avert responsibility.