ROTTERDAM– A former member in far-right Dutch party has converted to Islam, after writing a book on the fastest growing religion, Politico reported.
“During that writing, I came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter,” Joram van Klaveren told Dutch radio.
Van Klaveren was a member of parliament for the Freedom Party (PVV) from 2010 to 2014.
He resigned after PVV leader Geert Wilders’ racist remarks about Moroccans and set up his own party, but failed to win a seat in the 2017 national elections, and quit politics.
During his time in the far-right party, he had harsh views on Islam, saying “Islam is a lie” and “The Quran is poison.”
Asked whether he feels guilty, Van Klaveren said he had been “simply wrong,” adding that it was “PVV policy: everything that was wrong had to be linked to Islam in one way or another.”
Converting to Islam, he followed in the footsteps of Arnoud Van Doorn, another former PVV member who converted to Islam in April 2012.
Van Doorn praised van Klaveren on Twitter, saying he never thought that he would see so many converts from his former party.
Both politicians are not the only members of European far-right parties who have found Islam.
Maxence Buttey, a councilor in the eastern Paris suburb of Noisy-le-Grand, also converted to Islam in January 2016, sending a video message to fellow officials of anti-immigration Front National party to praise the Muslims’ holy book, the Qur’an, and asking them to join him.
Arthur Wagner, another member of a far-right German party, also converted to Islam in 2018, leaving his position on the party’s national executive committee.