(artigo publicado originalmente no blog: http://heindehaas.blogspot.com.br/ dia 20/03/2014)
Geert Wilders, the popular leader of the Dutch PVV (Freedom) Party, is well known for his anti-Islam and anti-immigrant viewpoints. Dutch Moroccans are his favourite target, who are systematically put down by Wilders as criminal, extremist, terrorist, and benefit scrounging untermenschen.
They also avoid very harsh attacks against Wilders because they may need his party to form the next coalition government. After all, the PVV is now the biggest or second biggest party in national polls.
In other words, politicians are afraid to call Wilders a racist because he has become too powerful. Yesterday, he went one step further during a speech to celebrate his party’s victory in local elections in The Hague (see video)
– Wilders: “I ask you. Do you want, in this city, and in the Netherlands, more or fewer Moroccans”
– Audience: “Fewer, fewer, fewer…. ” (shouting)
– Wilders: “Then we will fix this” (audience and Wilders laugh)
Innocent: no. Deliberate:yes. Racist: yes.
Yet once again, PM Rutte of the VVD party stated this week that he does not rule out the possibility of forming a next government with Geert Wilders, who already gave vital support to Rutte’s previous government.
To be honest, this makes me angry and scares the hell out of me. Not so much because of what Wilders says (racism is of all ages after all), but because he gets away with it (not in the legal, but in the moral sense), because mainstream politicians lack the moral compass, courage and self-confidence to go in the counter-attack, show solidarity and identify with fellow Dutch citizens of Moroccan origin or Islamic faith.
What we need is a Prime Minister who has the guts to say: “I am a Moroccan”. That would be real leadership. What we get is cowardice.
As my colleague Ann Singleton said on Twitter yesterday: “Shocking times across Europe – racist parties are again becoming respectable power brokers”. Cynical power politics apparently justify sacrificing any principle. It is a dangerous slippery slope.