“Geert Wilders is evil, and evil has to be stopped.” These are the words of Doekle Terpstra, a member of the board of directors of Unilever Nederland. Last week Mr Terpstra founded an Anti-Wilders Movement. He told De Telegraaf newspaper (2 December): “It is important that the indigenous Dutch, too, rise in order to stop Wilders.” Unilever is an Anglo-Dutch multinational which manufactures and sells nutrition, hygiene and personal care products on five continents.
Geert Wilders is the leader of the Dutch Freedom Party (PVV). He is an outspoken opponent of Islam and is living in hiding following death threats by Jihadists. Mr Wilders was one of the victors of the November 2006 general elections when his new party won 9 out of 150 seats in the Dutch Parliament. Recent polls indicate that the popularity of Geert Wilders’ PVV is increasing.
Mr Wilders has been accused of “Islamophobia” after calling the Koran a “fascist” book. He wants the Koran to be outlawed in the Netherlands because it “incites to hatred and killing and therefore has no place in our legal order.”
Last week Mr Wilders announced that he is launching a movie about Islam next month. Doekle Terpstra responded, saying the politician was abusing freedom of speech. Mr Terpstra launched an appeal to his countrymen to stop the PVV leader from preaching his “evil message.” To De Telegraaf, the largest paper in the Netherlands, he said that “Geert Wilders is evil, and evil has to be stopped.” Following Mr Terpstra’s appeal the death threats against Mr Wilders have intensified dramatically. In Gouda anti-Wilders activists painted swastikas and the slogan “Wilders must die” on the walls of a school.
Meanwhile pro-Wilders groups have begun a boycott of Unilever products because Mr Terpstra, though a former leftist trade unionist, is today a member of the board of directors of Unilever Nederland.
The Anglo-Dutch multinational Unilever is known from international brands (mostly food, beverage, home and personal care products) such as Axe, Ben and Jerry’s, Bertolli, Best Foods, Brooke Bond, Colman’s, Cif, Dove, Findus, Glidat Strauss, Heartbrand, Hellmann’s, Imperial Margarine, Knorr, Lipton, Pepsodent, PG Tips, Sunsilk, Unox, Vaseline and countless others. Wilders’ supporters have vowed not to buy any Unilever products as long as the company keeps Doekle Terpstra on board.
Last month one of Holland’s most prestigious institutes, the University of Leiden, appointed the Islamist ideologue Tariq Ramadan to the post of professor of Islamology. Mr Ramadan is at least as controversial as Mr Wilders. One wonders why Mr Terpstra, contrary to Mr Wilders, did not oppose Mr Ramadan’s appointment. Mr Terpstra did not make any effort to say “Tariq Ramadan is evil, and has to be stopped.” Why has no-one heard him call upon his countrymen “to rise in order to stop Ramadan”? Does the Unilever director think that Mr Wilders’ anti-Islamism threatens Dutch society, but Mr Ramadan’s pro-Islamism does not?