The political party of Dutch politician Geert Wilders, which is leading polls ahead of parliamentary elections next year, has vowed to close mosques and “ban the Quran” in its manifesto, AFP reported on Friday.
“All mosques and Islamic schools closed, a ban on the Quran,” said the document outlining the electoral program of the Freedom Party (PVV) ahead of March 2017 legislative elections, which was posted on Wilders’ Twitter feed Thursday.
The PVV says it will reverse the “Islamization” of the country with a range of measures including closing the borders, shutting asylum seeker centers, banning migrants from Islamic countries and stopping Muslim women from wearing the headscarf in public.
On the back of Europe’s migrant crisis, opinion polls have for months given Wilders’ PVV the edge over the current coalition parties of the Labour Party and the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy led by Prime Minister Mark Rutte, noted AFP.
Late last year polls predicted soaring support for the PVV saying it could gain as many as 38 seats in the 150-seat parliament, but that has slipped back, according to the news agency. In August, a poll from Ipsos gave it 28 seats — still way up on the 12 it currently has.
The immigrant crisis has polarized the Netherlands, a nation of 17 million people, leading to heated debate and some attacks on refugee centers.
Wilders can be considered somewhat of a controversial figure, especially with regards to his views on Muslims.
His anti-Islam rhetoric has in the past sparked outrage around the Muslim world and prompted death threats that have led to him living under round-the-clock protection.
Late last year, it was revealed that Wilders had been the target of a jihadist assassination attempt.
He also sparked outrage with a plan to broadcast cartoons of the Muslim Prophet Mohammed on national television, a plan which was branded a “provocation” by local Muslims.
Wilders is known for his support of Israel, having in the past saying that the Jewish state needs defendable borders and that for this reason Jews must settle Judea and Samaria.
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)