Muslims: 'It's a slap in the face'

Muslims: 'It's a slap in the face'

Dutch organizations standing up for the Muslim minority are full of disbelief about the PVV's great victory.

"Today is a dramatic day for Moroccans in the Netherlands," Farid Azarkan, chairman of the SMN (Dutch Moroccan Alliance) told

This article was prepared by the Islam in Europe blog -

"It's a slap in the face of all Moroccan and Muslim Dutch. It's really painful that a party which considers Moroccans and Muslim Dutch as second grade citizens is so popular, although I do understand it. They're kicking against the established order, and are new, many people think that the PVV could manage things better.

"I hear from some Moroccans that they simply don't feel welcome any more in the Netherlands. Wilders speaks of street terrorism, as is every city in the Netherlands is being terrorized every day. Also for the economy and the position of the Netherlands in Europe, I think that it's very bad if the PVV would be in government," says Azarkan.

SMN Chairman Farid Azarkan said, "Moroccan-Dutch are now wondering whether their neighbours and colleagues still see them as fellow citizens of this country, and whether there is a safe future here for them and their children."

But he adds, "We must remember that most people in the Netherlands did not vote for the Freedom Party. That is a sign of hope. A very large majority of the Dutch population wants pluriformity and diversity. That is the Netherlands that we are so familiar with: a country of democracy, freedom, equality, tolerance and solidarity."

Driss El Boujoufi, spokesperson for the Union of Moroccan Mosque Organizations in the Netherlands (UMMON), is also concerned. "We respect the results that were arrived at democratically, but mud-throwing at a certain group doesn't contribute to a harmonious society. Muslims are not a negligible group in Dutch society, we hope that PVV voters would also see that."

Spokesperson Mehmet Yaramis of the Dutch Islamic Federation says he hopes that there will be a new government which would ensure stability. "We continue to hope for a good future."

A spokesperson for Nederland Bekent Kleur, an anti-racism organization, says the PVV victory was 'shocking'.

The CMO (Contact Body for Muslims and Government) is disappointed about the PVV citory, says spokesperson Rasit Bal.

"The PVV of Geert Wilders has become very big, while he clearly had it in for Muslims, a minority group which is very active in finding its place in society," says Bal. "It's very embarrassing for the Netherlands. It's about a weak, vulnerable group."

Bal doesn't think that Wilders' party would end up in the government. "I have trust in the established political parties. I think that they wouldn't do that."

If the PVV does end up in the government, the CMO says it would be very bad for the Netherlands. "A government with the PVV can't turn out well for the Netherlands. It would unprecedentedly increase the tensions between the population groups." Moreover, Bal thinks it would be harmful for the international position of the Netherlands.

Sources: Elsevier, AD (Dutch), RNW (English)

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