AMSTERDAM: A former Dutch MP and right-hand man of anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders has converted to Islam.
The anti-Muslims far-right former MP Joram van Klaveren on Tuesday revealed he has converted to Islam.
Van Klaveren had fought a relentless campaign in the Lower House against Islam in the Netherlands as a lawmaker for Wilders’ party.
He had campaigned for banning the burqa and minarets in Netherland, saying ‘we don’t want any Islam, or at least as little as possible in the Netherlands’.
But the 40-year-old Van Klaveren said he had changed his mind halfway through writing an anti-Islam book.
The work “became a refutation of objections non-Muslims have” against the religion, he told the respected NRC daily on Tuesday.
“If everything I wrote up to that point is true, and I believe that, then I am a de facto Muslim,” he told the NRC.
Van Klaveren converted to Islam on October 26 last year, the NRC added in the interview piece ahead of the release of Van Klaveren’s book titled: “Apostate: From Christianity to Islam in the Time of Secular Terror.”
“It feels a bit like a religious homecoming for me,” he told Dutch newspapers. On the other hand, Wilders told a local TV that he had no words to comment.
“It’s up to him of course. But it’s good that he left the PVV five years ago, otherwise, it would have been time for him to go now.
“I expect a lot but I didn’t see this coming.”
Van Klaveren split with Wilders in 2014 after the PVV leader’s controversial comments that year when asking supporters whether they wanted “fewer or more Moroccans in your city and the Netherlands”.