From: ALL the news that doesn't fIT <>
Newsgroups: soc.culture.african,soc.culture.albanian,soc.culture.algeria,soc.culture.arabic,soc.culture.assyrian
Subject: World War 3 Report #35—May 26, 2002
Date: Thu, 30 May 2002 16:30:24 -0400
Organization: NY-Transfer-News-collective
Message-ID: <ad623j$bio$>

Xenophobe right gains power in the Netherlands

By Bill Weinberg, with David Bloom and Sarah Robbins, Special Correspondents, World War 3 Report, # 35, 26 May 2002

On May 16 the Dutch people elected as the second-largest party in parliament a right-wing party that could only exist in the Netherlands-combining tolerance for lifestyles-its assassinated leader was gay-but not for immigrants. Pim Fortuyn, a flamboyant former Marxist-Leninist sociology professor and frequent talk show guest who liked to be called professor Pim, was assassinated by an animal-rights activist days before the election. Fortyun's party, Lijst Pim Fortuyn (LPF), was created in February when his previous party found his anti-immigrant views too extreme. LPF went on to become the second-largest party in its stronghold of Rotterdam, on the strength of its anti-immigrant message. The Netherlands, Europe's most densely populated country, has 10% immigrants, or people of non-western descent, and Fortuyn proposed halting all immigration to the country. Fortuyn, who didn't like to be called a rightist (he found intolerable the fact that he was compared with Austria's Jorg Haider or France's Jean-Marie Le Pen, and didn't care for the Flemish Vlaams Blok) wanted to integrate all immigrants currently in Holland into Dutch society, and a third of his supporters were immigrants. Fortuyn especially objected to Islam, calling it a backward culture because of its intolerance of his sexuality: In Holland homosexuality is treated the same as heterosexuality. In what Islamic country does that happen? he said, and the other tolerant elements of Dutch society he favored—including legalized prostitution and decriminalized drug use. Fortuyn explained his views in his book, Against The Islamisation Of Our Culture. (BBC, May 12; BBC, May 6; Financial Times, April 10)

The election proceeded with LPF headed by Fortuyn's second-in-command, a dark-skinned Cape Verde islander named Joao Varela. The 27-year-old businessman had himself immigrated to the Netherlands at age six. The Netherlands does have a problem with asylum seekers, refugees, illegal and other immigrants, Varela told the UK Guardian. I'm fully behind Fortuyn on this. Stop people coming in for the moment till we can sort out this conflict. Stressing integration and the learning of the Dutch language, Varela complained, I see too many satellite dishes, too much trading in goods imported from the countries they come from. (UK Guardian, May 10)

It is not yet known why Volkert van der Graaf, 32, killed Fortuyn. A vegan animal-rights activist, Van de Graaf said in an interview two years ago that he didn't care for fishing with worms as a kid because he felt it was cruel both to the worms and the fish. He had a strong objection to factory farming, but Fortuyn did not have a well-thought out policy on the issue. (BBC, May 12) (David Bloom)