Dutch rightwing MP Geert Wilders has said in an interview on Danish public service television that millions of European Muslims should be deported and stripped of their nationality.
Referring to his Freedom Party’s recent success in the European parliamentary election, he said there were an increasing number of “normal” people in the Netherlands who were afraid of what he describes as “Islamisation”.
Reiterating his frequently expressed view that Islam is antidemocratic, the populist politician said he saw it more as an ideology than a religion. He said a “huge number” of Muslims in Europe want a non-democratic society, and although at present they are still in the minority, “as soon as they start becoming stronger, they will I’m sure change their tune and it will be too late to fight back.”
Mr Wilders stressed that he believed that Muslims who abide by the law and conform to what he described as “our values” should be welcome to stay. However, he said he had a “clear message” to people who did not choose to return to their countries of origin on a “voluntary basis”:
“If you commit a crime, if you start thinking about jihad or sharia, then it’s very clear, we will send you away, we will send you packing, we will strip you of the Dutch or Danish nationality. Abide by the rules, you are welcome to stay, and if you don’t we will send you away the same day.”
Pressed by the interviewer to specify the number of people to whom he thought such measures would apply, he confirmed that he was referring to millions of people.
Mr Wilders’ fiercely Eurosceptic Freedom Party gained four seats in the European Parliament in the recent elections, just one fewer than the Christian Democrats, the senior partner in the Netherlands’ present ruling coalition. If the Treaty of Lisbon is ratified and the Netherlands gains an extra seat in the EU parliament, depending on the calculation method applied it may also be allocated to the Freedom Party.