Netherlands: Wilders 'oppresses Muslim women' with headscarf ban

Netherlands: Wilders 'oppresses Muslim women' with headscarf ban

With his appeal for a headscarf ban, PVV leader Geert Wilders shows that he's the 'master oppressor of Islamic women', former PvdA state secretary Nebahat Albayrak said in an interview in De Volkskrant Saturday.

"If my mother wouldn't have been able to work with her headscarf, I would have never become who I am," says Albayrak, who was born in Turkey.  "For the emancipation process in our family we thank a mother in the meat processing industry who had contact with the outside world and who earned her own money."  Albayrak decided this week to again stand for parliament for the PvdA.

Wilders is not impressed by her comments.  "Albayrak should, as owner of a Turkish passport, know better: even in many official Turkish bodies and installations there's a headscarf ban.  She therefore lost her way with her two passports.  The Islamic headscarf is moreover a symbol of the oppression of women and therefore of the backward Islamic culture," Wilders said in response.
Albayrak said in the interview she as 'happily surprised' with the statements of Bernard Wientjes, head of the Dutch employer's federation, about Wilders.  The chairman of the VNO NCW union publicly warned last week of the damage caused to the reputation of the Netherlands abroad by Wilders and his PVV.

In an open letter to De Volkskrant, several former minister and other former politicians took a stand against Wilders and other 'populist preachers of fear and hate' which is especially aimed at immigrant and particularly Muslims.  "Calling out xenophobia can not be taboo.  Fear of the verbal violence of those sowing fear and hate may not take us hostage.  Therefore we're speaking out loud and clear against discrimination and racism and for solidarity regardless of ethnic origin and religion," say the signatories.  These include former ministers Hedy d'Ancona (PvdA), Hans Dijkstal (VVD), Jos van Kemenade (PvdA) and Jan Terlouw (D66), as well as Tineke Lodders (former CDA senator), Anja Meulenbelt (parliament member SP) and Kars Veling (former fraction chairman of the ChristenUnie).


Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende has lashed out at far-right politician Geert Wilders for insulting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

At a recent news conference in London, PVV leader Wilders called the Turkish PM "a total freak". In his weekly TV interview, Prime Minister Balkenende denounced Mr Wilders' slur as "absolutely irresponsible". "One may disagree with policies, but it is unacceptable in international diplomacy to use these sort of terms. If the Netherlands is going to operate in this style, the country will face big problems," the PM stressed.

Mr Balkenende warned that statements such as the one made by Mr Wilders could harm employment and companies in the Netherlands.

Last week, the head of the Dutch employers' federation (VNO-NCW), Bernard Wientjes, also warned that Mr Wilders is damaging Dutch interests. He described Mr Wilders' remarks about the Turkish PM as "outrageous".


Sources: Telegraaf (Dutch), RNW 1, 2 (English)

No comments: