Geert Wilders backtracks on controversial anti-Islam proposals in a shift in tone

Youssef Ikhlaf, The Netherlands
WhatsApp Image 2024 02 17 at 13.28.25 scaled
Geert Wilders | Image: Library


Geert Wilders’ recent move to withdraw a series of controversial anti-Islam proposals marks a significant shift in his political position. This article examines the details of these withdrawn legislative proposals.


Geert Wilders is famous for his statement, I don’t hate Muslims. I hate Islam. (“‘I don’t hate Muslims. I hate Islam,’ says Holland’s rising political star”,

He has been a prominent figure in Dutch politics, often attributing the actions of some Muslims to what he sees as problems inherent in Islam. He has also been known to pass judgement on the Holy Quran by taking verses out of context. To justify this hostility, he consistently links the wrongful actions of certain misguided Muslims to the pure teachings of Islam.

Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, Khalifatul Masih V’saa warning

During a visit to the Netherlands in 2011, the Fifth Khalifa (Caliph) and Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community issued a stern warning to Geert Wilders. Addressing Wilders directly, he said, “Listen carefully […]. No worldly power, no matter how powerful and no matter how much hatred they bear towards Islam, will ever succeed in erasing our religion.” (“World Muslim leader sends warning to Dutch politician Geert Wilders”,

Huzooraa also said, Always remember, that we can achieve nothing without prayer. We have no worldly power, nor will we ever use any worldly force. But the prayers of people whose hearts have been grieved are enough to shake the Heavens. (Ibid.)

Huzooraa also spoke of the many decent people who continue to live in the Netherlands and who wholeheartedly reject the extremist views propagated by Wilders. Huzooraa said that all such people who care about each other’s feelings and believe in religious freedom should come together and start a campaign for peace in the world. This is something that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has long advocated and been involved in around the world.

Withdrawn proposals

Geert Wilders, leader of the PVV, has recently appeared to soften his tone and has now taken the surprising step of withdrawing several controversial legislative proposals, including those aimed at restricting Islamic expressions. The proposals were previously introduced by the PVV in the House of Representatives (“PVV trekt drie anti-islamwetsvoorstellen in”, Other proposals, including those relating to dual citizenship and the detention of certain suspects for up to six months without the intervention of a judge and before their conviction, have also been withdrawn. Wilders announced this decision in a short letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives, without giving any further explanation. (Ibid.) These initiatives were met with considerable criticism, and there was no parliamentary majority in favour of them. It is still remarkable because Wilders always said that he would never retract anything he had said before. (Ibid.)

During the parliamentary debate on the election results, Wilders had already indicated  a softening of his tone (“Wilders slaat een mildere toon aan, maar meeregeren is nog ver weg”, By withdrawing these proposals, he seems to signal a willingness to engage with other parties discussing the formation of a new government. Talks between the BBB, NSC, PVV, and VVD parties are continuing.

So what were the withdrawn proposals on banning Islamic expressions?

He withdrew four highly controversial legislative proposals that specifically targeted aspects of Islamic practice. These controversial proposals focused on the following key points:

1. Burqa ban criticised by the Council of State: The PVV leader wanted to introduce a ban on the burqa and niqab in public spaces. In its opinion, the Council of State is particularly critical of the security argument. According to the Council of State, it has not been sufficiently proven that the burqa in public places poses such a significant security risk that there is an urgent need for a ban that constitutes such a far-reaching infringement of religious freedom. (“Voorstel van wet van de leden Wilders en De Graaf betreffende het verbod van bepaalde islamitische uitingen.”,

2. The PVV’s proposal to ban the Quran raises concerns: In addition, his legislative proposal aimed at banning the printing of the Holy Quran, seeking a ban on its sale and imposing restrictions on its distribution. Strict penalties, including imprisonment, were proposed for anyone found in possession of the Holy Quran. The proposal raised concerns about restricting religious freedom and was criticised for its potential impact on the Muslim community. (“Wilders wil Koran verbieden”,

3. Controversy over PVV’s ban on Islamic schools: Another aspect of his legislative proposal was the ban on Islamic schools, with serious consequences for those who wish to be educated in an Islamic environment. Critics argued that such a measure could violate the right to education and contribute to religious discrimination. (“Verbod op islamitische scholen? ‘Wilders kan de Grondwet niet zomaar veranderen”,

4. PVV proposal to ban mosques sparks debate: In addition, another proposal aimed to ban the construction of mosques and to impose penalties, including possible imprisonment, on individuals who visit mosques. This raised questions about freedom of worship and the right to practise one’s religion without fear of legal consequences. (“The Netherlands’ most popular party wants to ban all mosques”,

Political implications

Geert Wilders’ decision to withdraw these specific proposals indicates an acknowledgement of their controversial nature and the challenges of gaining the support of prominent political parties to form a new government. This decision reflects a change of tone and a willingness to engage in more moderate discussions. (“Moskeeverbod, nexit: deze punten willen PVV-stemmers inruilen voor rechts kabinet”,


By the grace of Allah, we are witnessing that despite his election victory, Wilders can’t move an inch against Islam. The current discussions to form a new government have failed, as I write! Now Wilders has to look for other parties that are willing to govern with him. While the talks are still ongoing, we are following their progress closely. It reminds me once again of what Huzooraa said in 2011:

“Listen carefully […]. No worldly power, no matter how powerful, and no matter how much hatred they bear towards Islam, will ever succeed in erasing our religion.” (“World Muslim leader sends warning to Dutch politician Geert Wilders”,

No posts to display


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here