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Local Political Parties of Muslims

For the local elections in 2014 there are several old and new political parties of Muslims. A very short overview:

Islam Democraten (Islam Democrats)

  • City: The Hague
  • Seats: 1
  • Frontrunner: Hasan Kucuk
  • Profile: ID presents itself as an Islamic party, in name and in the program.

Partij van de Eenheid (Party of Unity – there was a Unity Party as well in Amsterdam, but they withdrew after the court decided they could not use this name in order prevent confusion with the PvdE).

  • City: The Hague (2 seats), Amsterdam, Zwijndrecht (the frontrunner for Zwijndrecht has withdrawn due to threats to him and his family).
  • Frontrunners: The current PvdE is a cooperation between two independent council members Abderrazak Khoulani and (convert and former Freedom Party member) Arnoud van Doorn. In 2009, before the previous elections, Khoulani broke away from the ID. Both Khoulani and Van Doorn are frontrunners in The Hague.
  • Frontrunners in other cities are Rashid Ez-Zaouak (Amsterdam), Mohamed el Bachiri (Zwijndrecht, but withdrew his candidacy after threats to him and his family).
  • Profile: Although not obvious in the name perhaps the PvdE emphasizes its islamic identity and inspiration. They opted for a more general name of Unity Party in an attempt to express their ambition to be a party that appeals to everyone regardless religious or ethnic affiliation. Nevertheless, their reference to unity can also be taken as referring to the Islamic dogma of tawhid (the unity and uniqueness of God).

Nida (Nida, can be translated as ‘call’ or ‘voice’).

  • City: Rotterdam (new party, 0 seats)
  • Frontrunner: Nourdin El Ouali (former member of the GreenLeft)
  • Profile: They present themselves as firmly grounded in Rotterdam and inspired by Islam and use the slogan ‘We believe in Rotterdam’. Their list of candidates is a mix of men and women, new and old politicians and they try to present themselves as the new young entrepeneurs for all the people in Rotterdam.

All of these parties have men and women on their list as well as people from different ethnic backgrounds.
In the past most parties that claimed to be inspired by Islam were not very successful. In the last municipal elections only ID managed to obtain a seat in the local council and only the Nederlandse Moslim Party (Dutch Muslim Party) ran in more than two cities; eight to be exact. They did not manage to win a seat.

These past results lead many people to be skeptical about the chances of these parties during the elections although Dutch publicist Nourdeen Wildeman noted that the at least the ID appear to be more professional than in the past.

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