Intolerance in Holland

The US has the birthers, the Fourteenth Amendment repealers and the “Ground Zero Mosquers”. France has the Front National and a government that wants to be able to strip foreign-origin French nationals of their citizenship. In the Netherlands, Geert Wilders has finally managed to form part of the governing coalition of that country.

No members of his anti-Muslim Freedom Party have become ministers, but they will give support for a center-right government in return for certain concessions, such as new restrictions on immigration and a ban of the burqa. Wilders has enthusiastically spoken at the “Ground Zero Mosque” rallies and is currently on trial in the Netherlands on charges of incitement to racial hatred of Muslims.

The center-right in Brussels and other European countries say they “regret” the developments in the Netherlands. However, it doesn’t look like European opposition will create a crisis situation like in 2000 when Jörg Haider’s own Freedom Party formed a coalition government in Austria.

All in all, another rather dispiriting step in European politics’ slide towards Nativism and Islamophobia. Also see Bernard Girard’s analysis (French) of the rise of the two new incarnations of the populist Right: one nativist-xenophobic and the other neoliberal (“Tea Party”).

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