Wilders: Fortuyn killed by muslim

Just in: in an interview with a German broadcaster, Wilders said that Pim Fortuyn was murdered by an Islamic radical. This is false, and Dutch Twitter is in a state of outrage — for once contra Wilders instead of pro.

In 2002 Pim Fortuyn, arguably the founder of the Dutch anti-Islam right wing, was murdered scant days before the elections by an animal-rights activist, and not, as Wilders claims, a radical muslim. (I never quite understood what animal rights had to do with Fortuyn, and the most likely explanation is that his killer was radical in a general sense. But he was white.)

Fortuyn’s party went on to take 26 seats, but without Fortuyn its “leaders” mostly reverted to infighting, and the coalition the party participated in fell apart within 100 days. Since then no radical-right party has participated in government. (From 2010-2 Wilders supported the VVD+CDA coalition without actually joining it.)

Wilders admitted he was wrong; he meant Theo van Gogh, the islam-critical film maker (and great-grandson of Vincent van Gogh’s brother) who was indeed murdered by an Islamic radical in 2004. It is possible that Wilders misspoke, I suppose.

Still, this is not the type of publicity Wilders is hoping for, and his enemies are gleefully piling up on him. The hilarious #geschiedenismetwilders (history with Wilders) hashtag proceeded to blame high-profile murders in Dutch history, stretching all the way back to St. Boniface in 754, on Muslims. The downside of a Twitter-centric election campaign, I suppose.

Also, I thought Wilders spoke fair German, but the interview was conducted in English. Live and learn.

<— Small fry, week of 20/2 | Debate aftermath —>

This is the political blog of Peter-Paul Koch, mobile platform strategist, consultant, and trainer, in Amsterdam. It’s a hobby blog where he follows Dutch politics for the benefit of those twelve foreigners that are interested in such matters, as well as his Dutch readers.

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