The rise of right-wing parties in the Dutch elections brings to light long-running tensions around race and immigrationby Theodore Stone / March 22, 2018 / Leave a comment
The Netherlands prides itself as being synonymous with liberalism. To many, the term exemplifies the country’s social and political culture. Seen by many as the home of open-minded values and a leading light in the fight for social progress, the term “liberal” seems to sum up the country’s social and political culture.
Yet Wednesday’s municipal elections show a different story. Compare the above with the opening lines in the right-wing politician Geert Wilders’ latest video: “Islam is Terror. Islam is Misogyny.” Compare it with the campaign by the popular shock-blog GeenStijl’s, asking people to not “vote for the Muslim candidate” in an online poll for the country’s best councilor—and compare that with the racist abuse the candidate Ugbaad Kilincci had to experience during a campaign visit.
It seems that the liberal credentials that The Netherlands prides itself on may be wearing thin; the tolerance becoming complacent.
The signs have been there for over a decade. The Pim Fortuyn List (PFL), which rallied around the idea that Islam was incompatible with Dutch culture, stormed into Dutch politics in 2002, when, five days after the assa…