*UPDATED! 9-10-2014, see below*The leader of the racist Freedom Party Geert Wilders received a lot of criticism after a comment he made on the campaign trail at a market in The Hague on Wednesday.Geert Wilders was on a market in Loosduinen with the local frontrunner for the Freedom Party, Leon de Jong, campaigning for municipal council elections which are set for the 19th of March. During the visit Wilders stated on camera:
Most important are the people here on the market, the Hagenaars, Hagenezen and Scheveningers. We are doing it for those people. They are voting for a safer and more social city with fewer problems and, if possible also fewer Moroccans.
Although not surprising, the comment makes it clear that Wilders has now expanded his rhetoric of exclusion from not only Islam and its manifestations to an entire ethnic category: Moroccan-Dutch people.
A Moroccan-Dutch social-democrat, Fouad Sidali, responded by warning people on Twitter that ‘Hitler is among us’. He withdrew his comment later and apologized for it saying it was inappropriate. Chairman of the National Moroccan Council LBM said on Saturday the “the ball is now in the department’s court”.
Mohamed Rabbae, a former MP for the left-wing green party GroenLinks, said: “We will wait until Monday to see if the department put its own policy [to protect citizens against discrimination] into action.” The latter action is criticized for being ineffective and only masking the existing institutionalized racism.
On Monday on Twitter actors Nasrdin Dchar, Achmed Akkabi and director Abdelkarim El-Fassi started a campaign with the hashtag #BornHere. They posted a picture of themselves with their Dutch passport as a response to the comment by Wilders mentioned above. The action can be called a success since the hashtag #BornHere was trending last evening and yielded many positive responses from other Moroccan-Dutch and native Dutch alike. There was also a little bit of critique with people saying the passport doesn’t mean very much for people like Wilders, Moroccan-Dutch people should not have to prove their Dutch citizenship and that not all Moroccan-Dutch are born here. Here a few examples:
UPDATE 20 MARCH 2014
Yesterday the local elections were held. During a party rally in The Hague Wilders asked his audience whether they wanted ‘more or less Moroccans’:[youtube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGy-CYhZczo]
(If you don’t see the subtitles in English, click on the button)
UPDATE 9 OCTOBER 2014
The Public Prosecution Service considers Geert Wilders to be a suspect and has invited him for questioning. Wilders will be examined concerning remarks about Moroccans he made on 12 and 19 March 2014 in The Hague, which caused the police to receive over 6400 reports. He is suspected of having insulted a population group with respect to their race and of incitement to discrimination and hatred. Read more HERE.