Ehsan Jami joins Wilders’ party

Amsterdam — A Dutch self-declared ex-Muslim and critic of Islam has joined the rightist Freedom Party PVV which is also highly critical of Islam, its party leader confirmed Thursday.

Iranian-born Ehsan Jami, 24, may run for a council seat in The Hague in the upcoming local elections in 2010. Or, he may try to enter parliament following the general elections in 2011, PVV leader Geert Wilders said. “I think he prefers parliament,” Wilders said, adding Jami was someone “with guts and interesting viewpoints.”

Jami, born and raised in Iran, previously was a council member for left-wing Labour in Leidschendam-Voorburg near The Hague. In the spring of 2007 he established a committee for former Muslims demanding Muslims’ right to renounce their faith.

In September of that year he wrote an op-ed essay together with Freedom Party leader Wilders in the national daily Volkskrant, in which they compared Mohammed with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler. Labour subsequently expelled Jami from the party, but he continued as an independent councilman in Leidschendam-Voorburg. Both the liberal VVD and the Freedom Party tried to recruit Jami in the following months.

DPA, 1 October 2009