An official lecture on ‘controversial but relevant themes’ for Noord-Holland province has been cancelled following protests from the anti-Islam PVV, the Volkskrant reports on Friday.
The Willem Arondéus lecture, named after the artist and World War II resistance fighter, should have been given by cultural historian and writer Thomas von der Dunk on the theme ‘the new taboo about the war’.
However, CDA and VVD officials on the lecture committee said the text was too political and, after consultations with Hero Brinkman, who heads the PVV in the province, cancelled the speech.
The CDA and VVD are allied to the PVV in the national government.
Brinkman told the Volkskrant he had simply given his opinion. ‘The CDA and VVD representatives told me that there were a number of party political sections in the speech which were not positive for the PVV,’ the paper quotes Brinkman as saying.
‘I then said ‘if you give that anti-semite Von der Dunk a podium to attack the PVV, I will not only chop him off at the ankles during the debate but it might be the last Willem Arondéus speech altogether’.’
Brinkman denied his position was damaging to freedom of speech. The annual lecture is meant to look at social themes, ‘not party politics’, he told the paper.
The speech has a small section in which Von der Dunk draws comparisons between the PVV and attitudes in society towards the party with events in the Netherlands running up to World War II.
For the full text of the lecture (Dutch only), click here
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