The Los Angeles Times reports the Netherlands appears to have caught the nationalism bug, mere weeks before its next national election.
Wilders has since surged to the top of the polls ahead of the nation’s parliamentary elections March 15. He appears unlikely to become prime minister because most rival parties have ruled out joining a government coalition with him as its head, but he could become a kingmaker.
The 53-year-old politician, whose mother’s family is originally from Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country and a former Dutch colony, promises to restore Holland to its white, Christian roots.
He wants to ban the Koran, which he has likened to Adolf Hitler’s “Mein Kampf,” shut all mosques, and pull the Netherlands out of the European Union. He’s an isolationist. He wants to halt all foreign aid.
He’s been a fixture in the Dutch parliament, with his signature platinum blond streaked hair and far-right views, since first elected to the body in 1998. But Wilders’ message has resonated in recent years with a growing number of voters in a country where a perceived loss of national identity due to immigration is a much greater concern than unemployment.