‘It’s scary’: residents in Rotterdam reflect on Geert Wilders’ election win

The Guardian World news: Islam - 24 November, 2023 - 17:56

Wilders’ far-right party won the most seats in Dutch election, though many in this diverse city say they can understand why

In this tiny plaza, still plastered with posters urging voters to back the minority rights party Denk, the yawning divide between voters in Rotterdam’s diverse Feijenoord district was on full display.

On one side stood Nas Kosa, a Muslim who fears what might lie ahead after Geert Wilders’ far right, anti-Islam party surged to win more seats than any other party in Wednesday’s election.

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Offensive, hostile and unrepentant: Geert Wilders in his own words

The Guardian World news: Islam - 24 November, 2023 - 09:00

The far-right politician softened his rhetoric for his campaign, but has never made a secret of his anti-Islam and anti-migration stance

The victory of Geert Wilders’s far-right PVV party in the Dutch elections has taken pollsters and politicians across Europe by surprise. But Wilders is no newcomer. For years he has attempted to woo voters with his brazenly anti-Islamic policies, hostility to migration and suspicion of Brussels.

In the election campaign, he appeared to win over voters with a slightly softer version of his familiar rhetoric, telling one interviewer he could put his views on Islam “on ice” and declaring in a debate that he wanted to be “a prime minister for all Dutch people”.

The Qur’an is the Mein Kampf of a religion that aims to eliminate others … Ban that dreadful book just as Mein Kampf is banned.

Islam is not a religion; it’s an ideology, the ideology of a retarded culture.

A head rag tax, I would like to call it.

I ask you: do you want, in this city and in the Netherlands, more or fewer Moroccans?

There is an enormous gap between this fake parliament – because that is what it is, a fake parliament – and people at home.

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Dutch Muslims fearful for future after ‘shocking’ election results

The Guardian World news: Islam - 23 November, 2023 - 13:10

Scale of Netherlands vote for Geert Wilders’ far-right party and its anti-Islam policies causes concern over rights and safety

Geert Wilders described it as the “most beautiful day” of his political life. But for many across the Netherlands, news that Wilders’ far-right, anti-Islam party had emerged with the most votes in Wednesday’s election set off alarm bells over what might lie ahead in a country once regarded as a beacon of tolerance.

“These election results are shocking for Dutch Muslims,” said Muhsin Köktas of the Contact Body for Muslims and Government. “We did not expect such a party with a programme that is against the basic principles of the rule of law to be so big.”

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Coldplay concert to go ahead in Malaysia amid opposition from conservative Muslims

The Guardian World news: Islam - 22 November, 2023 - 10:22

‘Kill switch’ to cut power in case of an ‘unwanted incident’ was discussed, but the band’s support of Palestine has endeared them to prime minister

A Coldplay concert is going ahead in Malaysia on Wednesday despite opposition from conservative Muslims in the country, but the band could face a “kill switch” that cuts off the show if they seriously offend cultural sensibilities.

Following outcry over a same-sex kiss between members of the 1975 at a Kuala Lumpur concert in July, earlier this month deputy communications and digital minister Teo Nie Ching introduced a ruling that concert organisers must have “a kill switch that will cut off electricity during any performance if there is any unwanted incident”.

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China closing hundreds of mosques in northern regions, rights group says

The Guardian World news: Islam - 21 November, 2023 - 23:00

HRW says other mosques altered, for example through removal of minarets, as part of sinicisation campaign

Chinese authorities have closed or altered hundreds of mosques in the northern regions of Ningxia and Gansu, homes to the highest Muslim populations in China after Xinjiang, as part of broader efforts to “sinicise” China’s religious minorities, according to a report.

Researchers at Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the Chinese government was significantly reducing the number of mosques in Ningxia autonomous region and Gansu province.

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