Several right-wing Dutch political parties made immigration- and integration their main campaign issues back in the 1980-1990s, but the connection to particularly Muslims – rather than ‘newcomers’ from diverse ethnic backgrounds – became apparent with the rise of local party Liveable Rotterdam (Leefbaar Rotterdam) and later on national level with the Party for Freedom (PVV) and Forum for Democracy (FvD). This backlash against ethnic and religious diversity has influenced the Dutch political landscape. Against this backdrop we see the rise of progressive parties with a strong Muslim presence: DENK, founded by Muslims of Dutch-Turkish descent and NIDA, a local party in Rotterdam that explicitly refers to itself as an ‘emancipation movement inspired by Islam.’ Both parties counter right-wing populism by emphasizing ethnic and religious diversity as a positive power of ‘Dutchness.’ They significantly differ, however, in their political discourses and the strategies they employ to counter right-wing populism.
In this paper, the main objective will be to understand this recent development of Muslim politicians forming their own parties in the Netherlands. I will particularly focus on the Dutch elections of 2017, as the theme of these elections relied heavily on the subject of ‘Dutch identity’. Making use of discourse analysis, social media data, political debates, and newspaper articles, the questions I will address in this paper are: what role did DENK and NIDA play in the 2017 elections? How do they counter populist framing of ethnic and religious diversity? And how do they relate to each other? In addition to this, I will make some general remarks on how we might understand these parties in light of societal debates on Dutch national identity and citizenship.
|Number of pages||1|
|Publication status||Published - 29 Jun 2019|