Right-wing MPs have condemned remarks made by integration minister Ella Vogelaar in an interview with the Trouw newspaper on Saturday in which she says the Netherlands will become a country with ‘Jewish-Christian-Islamic traditions.’
In the interview, the minister points to the arrival centuries ago of Jews in the Netherlands and says that the country has been formed by Jewish-Christian traditions. ‘That’s how it will be with Islam,’ she told Trouw.
She also said the Netherlands will have to learn to live with fundamentalism. ‘There are ideas within Protestantism and Catholicism which make me raise my eyebrows,’ she said. ‘The SGP’s standpoints on homosexuality and women are not mine.’
The fundamentalist SGP, which has two MPs, believes homosexuality is a sin and that women should not have the right to vote.
Her own Labour (PvdA) party has yet to comment, with the exception of MP Samira Bouchibti who called the remarks ‘fantastic’.
But the anti-immigration party (PVV) and the Liberals (VVD) have reacted angrily, saying she has put the immigration debate back 20 years.
VVD leader Mark Rutte commented in Monday’s Volkskrant: ‘She’s completely wrong. Christianity and the Bible are Jewish and Christian. That has nothing to do with Jewish integration.’
PVV leader Geert Wilders said if Vogelaar did not take back her comments he would call for her resignation.
The Christian Unie, the small orthodox Christian party which is part of the governing coalition with the PvdA and Christian Democrats, said it is ‘worried’ about her view of religion.
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