A Dutch right-wing member of parliament called for a purge of mosques in the Netherlands during a debate on the integration of Muslim and Turkish minorities.
“Dutch unity, identity and culture are being wrecked by immigration and incubation. We do not want Islam in the Netherlands,” said Machiel de Graaf, a member of Dutch anti-immigration and anti-Islam Party for Freedom (PVV), during a debate on integration in the Netherland’s House of Representatives, reports Hurriyet Daily News in Turkey.
He called for closing down all mosques in the country, emphasizing that the Netherlands would be better off without mosques, the Assyrian International News Agency reports.
According to de Graaf, Muslims in the country are not integrated into Dutch society and refuse to be assimilated.
They also threaten Dutch identity and culture by having more kids, he added.
Members of the social democratic parties at the debate were quick to criticize the PVV deputy’s remarks, urging him to retract his words.
Although the PVV has been highly critical of Muslims and other immigrants in the country, this is the first time one of its members demands shutting down all mosques.
The debate on integration comes as Turkey’s Foreign Ministry complained to Dutch authorities about “aggressive and racist accusations” levied against member of the Turkish community in the Netherlands and the depiction of Turks as jihadist sympathizers.
The ministry warned that the issue could strain relations between the two countries.
“Aggressive and racist accusations toward Turks who are part of Dutch society and who come from a friendly allied nation are unacceptable,” read a Nov. 26 statement from Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, according to Hurriyet Daily News. “We have difficulty understanding why these racist attacks, which are incompatible with our long history with the Dutch nation, have been on the agenda recently.”
Anonymous sources told the Assyrian International News Agency that officials from Turkey and the Netherlands agreed that “integration does not mean assimilation” and that a thriving Turkish community in the Netherlands would benefit both countries.
According to the CIA World Factbook, Islam is the second largest religion in the Netherlands after various forms of Christianity. Muslims represent about five percent of the Dutch population, 2009 estimates show.