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Rabat – Geert Wilders, the leader of the far-right Dutch Party for Freedom (PVV), is creating a stir once again with his anti-Islam sentiments as Ramadan begins.
On April 12, the controversial politician took to Twitter to post a video attacking Islam and Ramadan, with the incendiary captions; “Ramadan, not our culture, not our history, not our future,” “Stop Islamization,” and “Islam does not belong in the Netherlands.”
Wilders captioned the post with “Stop Islam. Stop Ramadan. Freedom. No Islam.”
Many on Twitter were quick to express their disagreement. “Saying freedom, while not letting people believe in their religion,” one user replied.
“Freedom is not attacking others and their beliefs. Go learn about freedom and then talk,” another user said.
Geert Wilders also received criticism from public figures for the Ramadan tweet. Omer Celik, the spokesman of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AK), said on Twitter, “Enemies of Islam also hate migrants, poor people, needy people and foreigners.”
Fahrettin Altun, the director of Communications for the Turkish presidency, responded strongly to Geert Wilders’ comment about Ramadan. He said, “I invite the international community to a conscious struggle against the racist mentality that incites Islamophobia and targets social peace.”
Another critical comment on Wilders’ tweet came from David Kaye, a clinical professor of law at the University of California and a former UN special rapporteur on freedom of expression. He said, “Geert Wilders is repulsive.”
In addition to Wilders’ Islamophobia, observers know him well for his antipathy toward Moroccans living in the Netherlands.
During his election campaign in February 2017, he made headlines by calling Moroccans “scum” and declaring that he wanted to make the Netherlands “ours again.”
“The Moroccan scum in Holland … once again not all are scum … but there is a lot of Moroccan scum in Holland who make the streets unsafe, mostly young people … and that should change,” he told journalists.
Wilders faced charges of inciting discrimination in 2017, but he received no fines or prison time. However, in 2019, he faced charges of inciting discrimination again, but a court acquitted him but upholded his prior conviction for collectively insulting the Moroccan people.