16 February 2017

Dutch lawmaker insists on 'de-Islamization'

Geert Wilders, the Dutch anti-Islam lawmaker who is at the vanguard of a wave of European far-right populists aiming to take power at elections this year, vowed Thursday to push ahead with his platform to "de-Islamisize" the Netherlands — despite lawyers saying it could breach the Dutch constitution — and to quit the European Union.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Wilders insisted that his plans, which include closing the country's borders to asylum seekers and migrants from Islamic countries, shutting all mosques and banning the Quran, are legal.

And he hinted he could even seek to change the constitution, if necessary.

"A constitution is not something that is (set) in stone and can never be changed," Wilders said. "It's alive as a society is alive and we are now being threatened by mass immigration and Islamisization and what I see as the toxic combination of mass immigration from Islamic countries and at the same time a total lack of demanding for people to assimilate and to integrate."

After decades of immigration, around 5 percent of the Dutch adult population is Muslim, according to the Central Bureau for Statistics. [AP] Read more