A political campaign video by a far-right Dutch party that was broadcast on state-run television has sparked outrage over its racist and Islamophobic content.
The Netherlands’ state-television NPO aired the campaign video of the country’s Party for Freedom’s (PVV) which calls for "de-Islamization of the Netherlands".
"A demographic tsunami from Africa [is coming] to The Netherlands," the video asserts.
The video clip calls for closing the borders to refugees and says, "More Islam causing intolerance, oppression, and terrorism. For this reason, PVV says stop. Close the borders. And de-Islamize The Netherlands."
Austrians react to government’s headscarf plan
Austrians have reacted to a plan by the education minister to expand the headscarf ban for students and teachers to secondary schools.Education Minister Heinz Fassmann said on Monday that the issue should be discussed throughout the country, especially in the parliament.Speaking on Austrian state television ORF about a draft law to ban Muslim girls from wearing headscarves in kindergartens and primary schools, Fassmann said it is not yet known how many girls are wearing headscarves in the institutions in question.However the ban is not related to the number, it is related to its content, he said.The ban should be put in force for free education and protection of girls, Fassmann added."It is not just me and the ministry," Fassmann said, adding political parties, especially the parliament, must express their view on the headscarf ban for secondary schools and build a social consensus.- Fundamental rightsJournalist and writer Wilhelm Lagthaler told Anadolu Agency that systematically misguided politics over the decade have produced a racist and discriminative attitude against Muslims who have been living for a long time in Austria.Immigrants, refugees, and Muslims have been blamed for all problems in the country, Lagthaler said.Choosing what to wear is “a basic human right,” he said. “I am against wherever there is a pressure to wear or remove the headscarf.”Lagthaler also said that teachers are civil servants representing the government. “Teachers working with a Muslim identity belong to the Islamic religion, which is part of this country,” he added.“Naturally, it is normal for them to work with their own identities at any stage of the state,” he said, giving the example of Sikh police officers working in India with a turban.He added that this attitude against Muslims is an approach that violates fundamental rights and shakes the foundations of harmony and peaceful coexistence in the country.Austrian activist Markuz Schulz said that the far-right government in the country is trying to cover up the real problems of the society with such issues as the headscarf ban, imams, political Islam.Schulz said that teachers and students are excluded from education and training under the pretext of a headscarf ban. “This has nothing to do with adaptation,” he added.- IslamophobiaAnother activist Michael Probsting blamed the far-right government of having a racist and Islamophobic attitude towards Muslims, which is an important minority group in the country.“A headscarf ban is a violation of human rights, religious rights, and free-thinking,” he said.“I am not a Muslim, but the issue is not related to who has which religious view. The question here is the freedom of people to live in the direction of their beliefs and a headscarf ban means trampling on this right,” he added.Austria's new coalition government, consisting of the far-right Freedom Party and center-right Austrian People's Party, is aiming to create a draft law to ban young Muslim girls to wear headscarves in kindergartens and primary schools; a culture which they say is alien to the country.The headscarf ban on public servants was drafted by Austrian Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz.More than 600,000 Muslims live in Austria, where Islam has been one of the officially recognized religions since 1912, making up seven percent of the population, according to figures obtained from the Vienna Islamic Federation.
Human rights activist Oscar Benjamin told Anadolu Agency that the right-wing PVV's leader Geert Wilders aimed at spreading fear and hatred through such hostile messages.
According to Benjamin, the video is similar to anti-Jew propaganda movies made before World War II.
"The similarities cannot be ignored. In the old movies, the Jews were shown as dangerous. Now the Africans and Muslims are shown as dangerous," he said.
Rabbi Lody van de Kamp described Wilders’ ideology as "a copy of Nazi Germany".
76 pct of Islamophobic attacks target women in Belgium
Around 76 percent of Islamophobic attacks in Belgium in 2017 targeted Muslim women, an anti-Islamophobia association in the country revealed on Saturday.The Belgian Association for the Prevention of Islamophobia (CCIB) published a report on the attacks happened in 2017.According to the report, the attacks mainly carried out by targeting places of worship, spreading hatred on social media and physical aggression towards people.“There is an Islamophobic attack in Belgium every two days,” the report said.As 29 percent of Islamophobic attacks occurred on the Internet, cyberspace was the most widespread area where these attacks happened. Daily life (17 percent), education institutes (16 percent), workplace (14 percent), and politics (8 percent) are other areas where Islamophobic attacks occur.The CCIB said the report is based on the information gathered from people who were attacked.According to the report, Muslim women were mainly attacked because of their headscarves.The report stated that most attackers were male.The EU has lately witnessed growing Islamophobia and hatred of migrants in recent years triggered by propaganda from far-right and populist parties, which have exploited fears over the refugee crisis and terrorism.
Social media users also reacted against the anti-Islamic video on the Internet.
Human rights activist Ewout van den Berg said on Twitter that the PVV’s film had "exactly the same images" with a Nazi propaganda film "The Eternal Jews" from 1940. Berg also shared captions from the two videos.
Last month, Wilders canceled a planned anti-Islam cartoon contest that would depict Prophet Mohammad.
In a statement, he said the contest, which was expected to take place in the Dutch parliament, was canceled due to "security reasons".
EU allergic to Muslim women, says Algerian millionaire paying Danish niqab fines
European countries are following an “Islamophobic trend” through their support for laws that are “inherently” discriminatory to Muslim women by targeting their freedom to wear what they want, says Algerian businessman and political activist Rachid Nekkaz who was thrust into the spotlight after vowing to pay the fines of women wearing the niqab in Denmark. Nekkaz is determined to support women’s right to wear what they want, and has publically supported their choice to not wear the veil in countries such as Sudan and Iran.France as well as Belgium, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark and the German state of Bavaria have all imposed some curbs on face veils in public. Women wearing full-face veils in Denmark are subject to fines and can face up to seven days in jail in the country.Supporting human rights in 18 countries through his organization, Nekkaz, whose American wife does not wear the veil, has so far paid 1552 fines totaling 315,000 euros in several European countries.Hello, Mr. Nekkaz. First of all, we want to know more about you. What activities are you a part of?I am the president of the "Hassiba Human Rights League", which defends civil liberties in Algeria and all over the world. Thanks to my financial independence, I have the means to pay the fines of human rights activists accused by the Algerian justice system, the fines against women freely wearing a niqab in Europe, and the fines against women refusing to wear the veil in Iran.Muslim body slams Islamophobia within UK's Tory partyBoris Johnson says Muslim women wearing burkas look like ‘letter boxes’You are an Algerian businessman and politician. What’s it like to be successful in a country like France when you have migrant background?I renounced my French nationality in 2013 because I could no longer stand for the French government's divisive, discriminatory and freedom-killing policies which systematically single out Muslim women with their unjust laws. France does not appreciate the success of those who oppose its laws. It doesn't like being ridiculed by a modern and legalist Muslim citizen like me. It fights them (me) in any legal or tendentious way possible. France has done everything possible to discredit me in the eyes of national and international public opinion: unfair tax audits, outright defamation campaigns through the press, a media boycott, a series of accusations and trials in courts, and even my registration onto their "S-file," the terrorist watch-list. In France, this "S-File" lists all persons who may "disrupt the security of the state". But, thanks to God, I have always resisted against these French pressures and intimidation campaigns worthy of a dictatorship.Denmark considers adding jail terms to veil banThousands march against veil ban in DenmarkWhy do you feel the need to support the burqa and the veil? What incident spurred you to take action?I am neither an imam nor a theologist. I am a universal human rights activist, who takes the philosophy and history courses that I followed at the Sorbonne University in Paris very seriously. Loyal to the teachings of the great philosopher Voltaire, I am a supporter of the freedom to wear a niqab in Europe, even if I am personally opposed to it. But I also defend the freedom not to wear the veil in Sudan and in Iran. I was in Tehran, Iran on March 8th, 2018 to facilitate the release of 29 women who were jailed for removing their veil in a public space. I thank the Iranian authorities for having released them during my stay, which was on International Women's Day.‘Islamophobia has become the religion of state in France’What do you think about Islamophobia especially in France and Europe? Is it possible to turn the tide back? What should be done for that to happen?France today is no longer that of the 1980s. It has become allergic to Islam and to Muslim women. Islamophobia has become the religion of State of France. Unfortunately, since 2010, other European countries have followed this Islamophobic trend, by voting in turn for these laws which are inherently discriminatory against Muslim women: Belgium, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, Bulgaria, Germany and Denmark. I've had to intervene personally in all these countries to communicate clearly to them that I will always assist these Muslim women in order to neutralize these unjust laws and to guarantee the freedom of clothing of these harmless women by paying all the fines that they receive while wearing their niqab on the street.How many Muslim women who suffered from this prohibition have you helped so far and how much have you spent on supporting them?Since 2010, I have paid 1552 fines totaling 315,000 euros including legal expenses in these European countries. This concerns 817 European women of whom 66 percent are native, white Europeans converted to Islam.Europe yearning to 17th century massacresDo you think freedom can be restricted through penalties? Doesn’t it run counter to Europe -land of freedoms-?I believe that the governments of Europe are starting to renew their 17th century totalitarian attitudes, when the Catholic states slaughtered the Protestants because of their "dissident" religion. Today, these same states are making true mistakes, believing that we can reduce or limit public freedoms by simply imposing fines. With the fund that I set up in 2010, I demonstrated that one single, determined individual could effectively, pacifically and legally combat the freedom-killing laws made by eight European countries. In reaction, France had voted a law against me personally in order to throw me in prison for 6 months with a €45,000 fine, if I continued to pay the fines. I therefore adapted my strategy by granting these women 181€ no-interest, 20-year loans, in order to continue to pay the fines for women who choose to wear a niqab in the streets. Even Belgium, who has planned for €127 fines and a 7-day prison sentence, has ceased to fine women who wear a niqab, because of the bad publicity that my payment of the fines has brought to their country. Denmark, who threatened two-week prison terms for women who wear the niqab in the streets, also risks being ridiculed around the world. Worst, on my trip to Copenhagen next September 11th to pay the fines, the whole world will discover that Denmark has become a totalitarian state, like Saudi Arabia. These two monarchies share a common factor: they imprison women because of their clothing choices.‘Algerian administration refuses to give formal approval to my party’You are the founder of the Youth and Change Movement. Can you give us some information about this movement?I created a political party, called the youth and change movement (MJC) in 2014, during my candidacy for the Algerian presidential elections. Since this date, I have become the most popular opponent and politician in Algeria. After a total of 3124 kilometers walked across the desert and the mountains of Algeria (2014/2016) against the exploitation of shale gas and against corruption, I was "hit" with the challenges thrown at me by President Bouteflika's dictatorship, who has refused to give my party a formal approval in Algeria and allow us to hold meetings there. From June 2016 to May 2018, I was illegally placed on house arrest in my village, which is constantly encircled by 15 police officers in unmarked and official police cars. No contact with the population has been allowed. Only travel between my village and the airport has been allowed until recently. Since 2014, my driver's license has not been renewed. And since February 2018, the authorities refuse to renew my (still valid) passport, but in which there are almost no more available pages for visa, entry and exit stamps. I am also the subject of a two-year boycott of the part of the Algerian media. Dictator Bouteflika is obviously very angry about the global campaign I started in 2015 in front of Algerian embassies abroad, demonstrating against the corruption of Algerian politicians (95 demonstrations in total).If you have any other freedom-related activities, could you tell us about them?In Algeria, I pay the fines for human rights activists accused by the Algerian justice system. In November 2009, I visited Urumqi in China to support 12 young Turkish-speaking Uyghur people, who were scheduled to be executed by the Chinese justice system in China. In April 2013, I went to Nigeria in Kano to participate in the release of the (Catholic) Moulin-Fournier family, who had been held hostage by the Boko-Haram group. Anyway, since the interview-book that I wrote in 2000 with Bill Clinton and the G7 heads of State, I have intervened in 18 countries in order to defend the principle of freedom. It's all these combats for freedom which I describe in detail in my book "The Niqab's Voltaire". Today, I am very honored to be one of the 330 Nobel Foundation's designated candidates for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. It's feels like a true recognition of the fair nature of my fights for freedom in the world.
Wilders, known for his anti-Islam stance, announced the contest in June.
The decision raised criticism across Muslim states as physical depictions of God or Prophet Mohammad are forbidden in Islam.