Dutch election winner walks back Muslim ban — RT World News

Geert Wilders had initially proposed targeting Islamic places of worship and holy books in 2018

Dutch leader Geert Wilders has abandoned three controversial anti-Islam legislative proposals that his critics deemed unconstitutional, while his Party for Freedom continues negotiations to form a ruling coalition, the party announced in a statement on Monday.

One controversial bill, initially proposed in 2018, sought to ban “Islamic expressions“, denouncing religion as”A violent and totalitarian ideologySpecifically, it would have banned mosques, the Qur’an, Islamic schools, and the wearing of the veil, including the burqa and niqab.

The State Council, a legislative oversight body, condemned the bill in 2019, declaring that “They are not compatible with the basic elements of a democratic constitutional state, which are the elements that the initiators intend to protectWilders advises getting rid of it.

Wilders, whose party defied expectations by winning a parliamentary majority in the November elections, did not comment directly on the withdrawal of the legislation on Monday. However, he indicated last year during a parliamentary debate following his victory at the ballot box that his anti-Islam stance was not inflexible.

Sometimes I will have to withdraw proposals and I willThe politician said, pledging:Show Netherlands, legislature, [New Social Contract leader Pieter] Umtzigt Party – anyone wants to hear it – that we will adapt our rules to the constitution and bring our proposals in line with it.

Wilders made several similar comments before and after the election, promising to take his anti-Muslim policies seriously.In the refrigerator“To broaden his appeal, pledging to become a leader for all the Dutch people.”No matter what you believe or what your background is“.

Umtsigt, who ran in the election on a center-right reform platform, had previously expressed concern that Wilders' anti-Islam campaign could violate the Dutch constitution. However, his New Social Contract Party has not ruled out participating in a ruling coalition with the Party for Freedom, which won 37 of 150 seats in the lower house of parliament in November, and must partner with its rivals who control a further 39 seats to… Forming a secure government. The majority of.

Wilders is scheduled to resume negotiations with Umtsigt as well as leaders of former Prime Minister Mark Rutte's People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and the Citizen Farmers' Movement (BBB) ​​on Tuesday. Of the 15 parties that won seats last year, only the BBB, which won just seven, was immediately open to partnering with the Freedom Party.

Wilders' party campaigned on the basis of a tough crackdown on immigration, a binding referendum on leaving the European Union, and prioritizing Dutch national defense over military support for Ukraine. The media establishment and pro-EU elements in Amsterdam denounced her victory as “Trump momentIt is a harbinger of the rise of far-right extremism.

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