Moroccan organisations in the Netherlands said they will make a formal complaint against the public prosecution department if it does not take action over Geert Wilders’s latest anti-Moroccan statements.
The 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.”
Wilders has stated several times in recent days there should be fewer Moroccans in the Netherlands. Several commentators have noted this is the first time he has referred to a nationality, rather than “Muslims” or “Moroccan criminals”.
“Wilders has crossed his own boundary,” the Volkskrant said in an analysis. “Until now, Wilders has always managed to balance on the dividing line between what is and is not discrimination in the eyes of the law.”
Speaking during campaigning for the local elections in Almere on Saturday, Wilders said: “I can’t formulate it any differently. Less immigration, less ‘Islamisation’ and fewer Moroccans.”
His comments have also been condemned by prime minister Mark Rutte, who nevertheless did not rule out the VVD forming a local government coalition in Almere or The Hague with the PVV. Wilders party is only fielding candidates in the two cities and may become the biggest party in both.
Meanwhile, Wilders has also said he plans to take legal action against everyone who says he is like Hitler, broadcaster Omroep West reported. Earlier this week, a local Labour campaign leader compared the PVV politician with Hitler but withdrew the comments on Friday. Wilders told the broadcaster he believed in freedom of speech. “But I have had enough of abject, sick-making comparisons with Hitler,” Wilders said. “They are a serious insult to the PVV, PVV politicians and our voters.”
Various commentators have pointed out that in the past Wilders has said the Koran as a book is “worse than Mijn Kampf’” and has compared the prophet Mohammed with Hitler.
In 2011, Wilders was found not guilty of charges of inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims and non-westerm immigrants by judges in Amsterdam. The court ruled that some of Wilders’ statements were insulting, shocking and on the edge of legal acceptibility, but that they were made in the broad context of a political and social debate on the multi-cultural society.
Update: See “Calls for prosecution of Dutch right-winger after anti-Moroccan chant”, Reuters, 20 March 2014