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Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Political Islam in Europe (2)

Recently, I read that the Germans are flabbergasted about some pillars of Dutch democracy: no voting threshold and “extreme” proportional representation. Apparently, the Germans fail to see the link with their own observation that everything in Holland happens some 10 years earlier. A voting threshold or absence of proportional representation would obscure new small electoral trends.

Quite likely the Netherlands will have an Islam party (i.e., DENK) in Dutch parliament following the 15 March 2017 general election. DENK, the Dutch-Turkish Islam party, has already shown clear support to the Turkish government. This is partly the result of allowing dual passports and partly the result of Turkish heritage. This Dutch trend is a clear signal to other European countries.

Practically and informally, the DENK islam party is already represented in Dutch parliament as 2 Labour members from Turkish descent left the Labour Party and “stole” their Labour seats. This annoying practice happens rather frequently in the Netherlands (see last 6 "parties" in this list).

A voting threshold might prevent DENK’s political representation for some years. However, I would prefer to know now rather than in 10 years. Knowing now would allow taking measures in forthcoming years. Measures like cancelling dual passports, either in general or specifically for politicians. Politicians should – or better: must - serve their own country first.

A German equivalent of the Dutch DENK Islam party would have serious consequences as 5% to almost 10% of Germans have Turkish roots. The large variance probably refers to German rules on disallowing dual citizenship. A German Islam party (e.g., DENKE) could also result in a boost for the German anti-Islam movement PEGIDA and political parties (eg, AfD).

The phenomenon of a large number of Dutch political parties is also bound to spread into Europe. These parties all represent Special Interest Parties (e.g., animals, anti-Islam, 50+, Islam) because the classical divide between Left and Right ended in the previous century. The new divide between Nationalism (and special interests) and Globalism / Internationalism is emerging in several countries (e.g., France, NL, U.K.). Other countries will follow.

The Germans claim that the Dutch Freedom Party is anti-constitutional as that party has only 1 member: Geert Wilders. All others in Wilders’ Freedom Party are basically acolytes, fans, groupies, whatever. That legalistic complaint is typically German: form over substance.

Disallowing a political party does not remove the underlying political current. The Germans should have known that by now. The Dutch approach of allowing – or tolerance – fits the Netherlands (e.g., animal party, anti-Islam party, DENK, euthanasia, gay marriage including adoption of children, soft drugs, voluntary life ending).

The worst thing Europe could do is banning political parties. Banning multiple citizenship supports parliamentary democracy. Allowing multiple citizenship creates Trojan horses and non-state actors. A political Islam party like DENK would need to choose between serving domestic or foreign interests.

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