The future of the Christian Democratic party is at risk if it does not take steps to stop Muslims and ethnic minority members quitting, a group of Muslim members say in an open letter in Thursday´s Volkskrant.
In the letter, the party members say they feel they are seen first as Muslims and second as members of the CDA.
‘This is undoubtably connected to the fact that we are in an alliance with a party that makes combating Islam a key issue,’ the letter states. Geert Wilders´ anti-Islam PVV has agreed to support the minority CDA VVD government in return for tighter controls on non-western immigration.
The influence of the PVV is damaging Muslims in and outside the party, the letter states. ‘One sign of that is not a single Muslim won a seat in the provincial elections,’ it continues.
The letter warns that if increasing numbers of Muslims leave the party in the cities, its position in urban centres will become extremely weak.
In the 1990s, the CDA embarked on an active policy of encouraging people from other religions to join, and this was particularly successful in the cities, the Volkskrant says.
The party is currently in the middle of a campaign to elect a new chairman.
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