A far-right politician who stunned followers by converting to Islam has called for a “halal beach” so that Muslims will not have to lay eyes on “scantily-clad” Dutch beauties.
The idea for the new beach in The Hague, a city in the Dutch province of South Holland, was pitched by city councillor Arnoud van Doorn.
Van Doorn was elected to The Hague’s city council in 2010 for the far-right Party for Freedom (PVV), which has strong anti-immigration and anti-Islamic viewpoints, and party leader Geert Wilders has even called for a ban on the Quran.
However, van Doorn made a shock conversion to Islam after he was booted out of the PVV and has since become a member of the Islam Democraten (Islam Democrats) political party where he serves on the city council.
Van Doorn claimed that Islamic community of The Hague wants a separate beach as they do not feel comfortable visiting the coast with non-Muslims.
He said: “Not only Muslims, but also many other people feel uneasy when looking at scantily clad and often unsightly beachgoers.”
“Also, women point out that they have to constantly deal with unwanted innuendo and overtures by persons of the opposite sex.”
Van Doorn asked the local authorities to designate a section of one of the city’s beaches for Muslims only, like they did with an exclusive nudist beach.
The controversial politician said that such “halal beaches”, referring to the Arabic word for what is permissible or lawful under Islamic law, already exist in many other countries such as Turkey and Indonesia.
He justified the request by saying that “57 percent of the population [of The Hague] has a non-Western background, and 70 percent of them are Muslims”.
The city authorities and other political parties have not yet reacted to van Doorn’s proposal.
However, netizens were widely opposed to the idea. Netizen ‘Bierwormpje’ wrote: “Afterwards I want to claim a stretch of beach just for Roman Catholics!”
‘Omwenteling’ wrote: “You should propose it in reverse, a beach where only non-Muslims are allowed to go. It would be a major scandal!”
The Hague is home to some of the best known beaches in the Netherlands, with Scheveningen Beach and its landmark pier considered the most prominent.