Dutch News

3 March 2014
Local elections: new Muslim emancipation parties

Lately several new Muslim parties are established to take part in the upcoming Dutch local elections on March 19. Nida is one of them. Running in Rotterdam, where the populist local party Leefbaar Rotterdam, erected by the late Pim Fortuyn, is leading in the polls.

Nida is Initiated by young well-educated second generation Muslims that do not feel represented by the established parties. Especially the social democrats are influenced by the wave of populism, that is still rolling over the Netherlands, making concessions fearing to play into the hands of Geert Wilders.


Nida wants to be a party that has religious roots, but that wants to be there for all Rotterdam citizens. One of the initiators typifies the new party as a political party that is originating from an emancipation movement. 'We do not want to proof ourselves continuously, but we want to take part on equal terms. In the Netherlands Muslims still have quite a bad image and are mistrusted, but the country now needs a revolution of trust. (…) We are born here.'


Also older generation Muslims are becoming disappointed in the established parties.  After embracing migrant voters, a party like Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA) suddenly also became populist after 9/11. The social democrat party, that is nick-named ‘Party of the Arabs’ by Geert Wilders, tries to get rid of the image that they represent migrants, and especially Muslims.


Besides Nida, there is the Partij van de Eenheid (PvdE - Party of the Unity). This is a much more orthodox Muslim party that will run in The Hague. The city where also the PVV from Geert Wilders will take part in the elections. Quite interesting, because the second on the list of candidates is an ex-PVV politician that left the PVV movement and is now converted to Islam. The PvdE is also running in Amsterdam.


There is a great chance that especially the PvdA will take nasty blows after March 19, but it still remains to be seen if the new Muslim parties will really profit.


Muslim Wine bar

In Rotterdam Muslim emancipation is very actual. Over the last weeks a Muslim Dutch Moroccan owner of a wine bar received death threats, but according to Moroccans that support the wine bar owner 'most Muslims are fed up with the hassle of halal and haram. A guest of the win bar during one of the prostest drinks is peoud of the effect of their resistance: 'Geert Wilders is not going to be happy. He cannot keep on saying that the moderate Islam does not exist’.



Elections in the Netherlands background information






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