The leader of the Dutch branch of the anti-Islamisation PEGIDA movement was arrested on Saturday for refusing to take off a child’s hat shaped like a pig.
Edwin Wagensveld was leading a demonstration in the town of Ede against plans to build several migrant centres capable of accommodating up to 1,400 people.
Dutch News says “a few dozen” people carrying Dutch flags and placards were present at the protest where Mr Wagensveld was arrested. He described the arrest as “childish” and was released after an hour.
Saturday’s protest comes as senior figures in the Netherlands become increasingly sceptica that the huge number of migrants pouring into the continent can fully integrate into wider society.
In an interview with Trouw, the parliamentary leader of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy – the party of Prime Minister Mark Rutte – made hard-hitting comments on the failure of multiculturalism and the need to integrate Muslims into Dutch society.
Halbe Zijlstra slammed the liberal-left ideology that has dominated his country’s thinking for many decades, saying: “We in the Netherlands have for far too long been tolerant of intolerance towards ourselves. We have tolerated intolerance towards our values. This is obviously very stupid. We should be tolerant of that girl with the headscarf in class who has her own faith, but not when she says to you: ‘You must [also] put on a headscarf.”’
“If you want to live here then you have to keep to our values,” he added. “Those who want to live in an Islamic society where women are second class citizens, gay people are denounced and where other faiths are not allowed should go and live in Saudi Arabia or something.”
He also called for a ban on Salafist groups, saying they were putting the country’s way of life danger.
“Religion can never be a cover for a political-ideological assault on our constitutional state,” he said. “In Salafist circles things are called for and said that undermine our democracy.”
The Dutch people now have to stand up for their values if they want to preserve them for future generations:
“If you want a liberal society with all its freedoms and values, religious freedom, equality of man and woman… then you should be very clear about it and fight for it, and also make it clear to newcomers that this is non-negotiable. We have done exactly the opposite.”
In December, Geert Wilders, a politician noted for his criticism of Islam, was voted “politician of the year” for a third time. His party has recently led opinion polls in the country, with one suggesting they would win 35 out of 150 seats if an election were held tomorrow.