Not in the name of the Dutch people!

Anne Frank
Image via Wikipedia

I was listening to Mr. Geert Wilders on the news today, and I couldn’t believe that he, when condemning the immigration in general and the Islam in particular, was talking, as he said, in behalf of all the Dutch people. So, I decided to verify.

I know the Dutch people ever since I used to do research for my school assignments in the Embassy of Netherlands, when I was still fourteen. They were always friendly, joyful, and I never saw the slightest indication of xenophobia anywhere. When they came to Portugal to support their team in 2004, were one of the most peaceful and funny claques in the whole competition.

There was something wrong, then. Because the fact that Mr. Wilders conquered a seat in the European Parliament is a sign that many people voted in his party. Right? Wrong. In terms of numbers (the source is Wikipedia), in 12.378.500 potential voters, only 4.573.743 voted. The Christian Democrats won 20 per cent of the votes and the ANP, the party whose leader is Mr. Wilders, won 16 per cent. In 4.573.743, this means that 731. 799 individuals voted in his party, that is, 5,9 per cent of the number of potential voters. I understand that the numbers may be boring, but when we actually think of the Dutch population, this has a very special meaning.

According to the Wikipedia, an estimate of 2005 pointed “80,9% as Dutch, 2,4% as Indonesian, 2,4% as German, 2,2% as Turkish, 2,0% as Surinamese, 1,9% as Moroccan, 0,8% as Antillean and 6% as Others”. How do these persons feel when this gentleman speaks of this supposed position of the Dutch population against them?

The Netherlands was always, throughout History, an open and free country, and it has, just like Portugal, a “tradition” of immigration. The same numbers, in the Wikipedia, reveal that we can find Dutch descendents in the United States, in South Africa, in Australia and in the Canada. In the U.S. “5 million Americans claim total or partial Dutch ancestry” and in South Africa there are “3 million Dutch descendents”.

As to religious freedom, the Wikipedia quotes “250.000 Buddhists, 95.000 Hindus, 850.000 Muslims and 45.000 Jewish.” Between the Christians, who most certainly are not an exception, there are “7.261.000 Protestants and 3.703.000 who follow the Roman Catholic Church.”

Going back in time to the painful memories of the World War II, I must recall this very special little girl, Anne Frank, whose Diary arrived to us as a testimonial of the supreme disgrace. She wrote her extraordinary Diary between the dates of 12 June 1942 and 1 August 1944, while she was hiding in an annex in Amsterdam. Her example of courage remained in our hearts and will teach the next generations about “things not to do”. Or it was this way when I was in school. Anne Frank died in a concentration camp in March of 1945. She was only fourteen.

Anne Frank’s legacy to the World is a tribute to Peace. It’s a small, brilliant and moving little book that hopefully won’t be forgotten. We can’t let it be forgotten. 

So, in that beautiful country of tulips and windmills, that generous and happy people must show the world that no! Mr. Wilders is wrong, and he can’t raise his voice in behalf of a nation when he is the representative of a minority that dares to condemn other minorities, in the name of… What?

“It’s a wonder I haven’t abandoned all my ideals, they seem so absurd and impractical. Yet I cling to them because I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart. It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.”

(Anne Frank)

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2 Responses to “Not in the name of the Dutch people!”

  1. Well…..I agree with most of the things you said. Anyway, thanks!

  2. Some good information in your post. Thanks for the pleasant read!

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