Dutch Muslims are relieved, but divisions highlighted by election remain

Source: Religion  News Service

GRONINGEN, Netherlands (RNS) Dutch Muslims are breathing a sigh of relief after the worse-than-expected performance of anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders in this week’s election.

“We have trust in the future” of this traditionally welcoming country, said Rasit Bal of the Muslims-Government Contact Organization, an advocacy group, which feared a victory by Wilders’ PVV party would strengthen the anti-immigrant sentiment in the Netherlands.

Bishop Gerard de Korte of Den Bosch said the outcome shows that Dutch voters rejected Wilders’ extreme rhetoric, which included calls to close mosques and ban the Quran.

“From the view of Catholic teaching that is positive,” he told RNS.

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