Geert Wilders, the controversial leader of the anti-immigration PVV party, has called for a ban on the Koran in the Netherlands. The Islamic holy book is, he says ‘Fascist’, ‘wretched’ and encourages violence. He wants the book banned from shops, homes and mosques.
In a letter published in today’s Volkskrant, Wilders compares the Koran to Hitler’s Mein Kampf and points out that this book has been banned since the end of the Second World War.
A ban on the Koran would be a clear signal to Islamists which use the book as an ‘excuse and inspiration’ for violence, says Wilders.
Wilders’ comments are prompted by an attack on the chairman of the ex-Muslims committee and Labour councillor Ehsan Jami at the weekend. The anti-terrorist coordinator this week ordered extra protection for Jami.
The Volkskrant puts Wilders’ call for a ban on the Koran on its front page but in its editorial column it suggests that PVV leader has gone too far and questions whether he can still be taken seriously.
The paper says Wilders’ call to ban the Koran from mosques would take away the right of a million Dutch Muslims to freely practice their religion. This contravenes the Dutch constitution and would reduce Muslims to second-class citizens – something that goes against the grain of the Christian-humanist traditions on which Wilders’ bases his call, the paper adds.
The call for a ban on the Koran is the latest in a series of anti-Muslim campaigns launched by Wilders which always generate widespread publicity. However, even Wilders admits that his latest proposal, like previous ones, is unlikely to get support from other parties.
The PVV has nine MPs.
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