The leader of the Netherlands’ right-wing Freedom Party, Geert Wilders, has called for a ban on the sale and distribution of the Qur’an. He would also outlaw the book’s use in the mosque and at home. Mr Wilders says the Qur’an (Koran) is a fascist book which promotes violence and is similar to Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
In a letter-to-the-editor in today’s de Volkskrant newspaper, Wilders argues that the Qur’an should only be permitted for research at an academic level.
However, the MP – who is known for his controversial statements about Islam – says he knows his proposal doesn’t stand a chance of being approved by parliament. His Freedom Party has nine seats in the 150-seat Dutch lower house of parliament.
Geert Wilders says he wants his proposal to serve as a warning to radical Muslims who misuse the Qur’an to justify the use of violence. His statement comes in response to the recent attacks on Ehsan Jami, founder of the Committee for Former Muslims. He says the perpetrators use the Qur’an as an excuse for the attacks.
Wilders writes that “The book incites hatred and killing and therefore has no place in our legal order. ”The jurist, commentator and co-member of the Committee for Former Muslims, Afshin Ellian also thinks that the Qur’an “possesses extremely violent passages with regard to women, Jews and non-believers”. However, he is against a ban. Mr Ellian says you should take measures against the people who abuse the Qur’an, not the book itself:
“It’s a religious book which of course can be read and discussed. What we really should fight are the radical imams and mosques which use the Qur’an to spread hatred. We must take firmer measures against them.”
Geert Wilders compares the Qur’an with Mein Kampf, which was written by Adolf Hitler in 1924. In his book, Hitler explained his theories about National Socialism, anti-Semitism and the superiority of the Aryan race.
The sale of Mein Kampf is outlawed in the Netherlands, but owning or trading old copies is permitted. However, Mr Wilders’ proposal to ban the Qur’an is more drastic than the ban on Mein Kampf because it would also outlaw the possession of the book.
Aug. 8, 2007
Nicoline den Boer