Trump Representatives Export Anti-Muslim, Arab Sentiment

Trump Representatives Export Anti-Muslim, Arab Sentiment
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Published January 11th, 2018 - 13:47 GMT via

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Peter Hoekstra had claimed in 2015 that the “Islamic Movement” in the Netherlands was behind “politicians being burned
Peter Hoekstra had claimed in 2015 that the “Islamic Movement” in the Netherlands was behind “politicians being burned" (Youtube)
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The new U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands has been called out for spreading Islamophobic lies.

His case is an example of how President Donald Trump is exporting the anti-Muslim sentiment at the heart of his administration through who he chooses to represent it internationally.

Peter Hoekstra had claimed in 2015 that the “Islamic Movement” in the Netherlands was behind “politicians being burned.”

He added that “there are no-go zones” in the European state.

Given an opportunity to take back or clarify his discredited comments at his first press conference as envoy on Wednesday, Hoekstra ignored the question.

International press and social media alike were delighted, however, as Dutch journalists refused to accept his silence, leaving him “humiliated,” according to one headline.

“This is the Netherlands, you have to answer questions,” pressed one reporter.

It was not the first time he had been challenged on the statement. In December, he told a reporter that he had never referred to “no-go zones,” calling the suggestion it “fake news” - only to deny having labeled it fake news a minute later, after having been shown a clip of his words.

The Dutch and Trump critics in the U.S. alike may have enjoyed Hoekstra’s apparent comeuppance. However, the fact that an individual who has failed to apologize for such comments is representing his nation internationally is a sign of the unabashed place Islamophobia, and a disregard for the truth, holds under President Trump.

It cannot have been unknown to Trump that Hoekstra held racist attitudes. Back in 2012 his campaign advert for Senate was called “blatantly racist” over its use of Chinese stereotypes.

The choice to select Hoekstra, along with his unpleasant and harmful views, seems to have been a deliberate one then.

And such an appointment can have an impact. In 2010, RNW described the Dutch as “world leaders in Islamophobia.”

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders has already drawn inspiration from the U.S. president, calling for a Trump-style Muslim ban in the Netherlands.

“It will be almost as if you are bordering a kind of Gaza Strip on almost every border,” the so-called “Dutch Trump” said in December.

“We must adopt a totally new strategy. We must have the courage to restrict legal immigration instead of expanding it, even if we sometimes have to build a wall.”

While Wilders’ PVV party was held in opposition following elections in March, it was arguably Trump’s election in the U.S.  that had forced people to take him seriously as a political force.

Hoekstra’s appointment is not an anomaly for the Trump administration. At home, former Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s Islamophobic and anti-semitic views were well documented. Former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn called Islam a “cancer” among other things.

But Islamophobic, prejudiced and extreme views are also espoused by many who represent Trump on the world stage.


Israel Ambassador: Friedman

His ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, was branded unfit for the post by five former U.S.  envoys over his “extreme, radical positions.”  Those include support for illegal settlements and annexing the West Bank to Israel.

Friedman also angered many by suggesting that liberal Jews were worse than Nazi collaborators.


Peace Broker: Kushner

Meanwhile, Trump's own son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who has been placed in charge of brokering an Israel-Palestine peace deal not only supports illegal settlements, he was co-director of a foundation actually funding one.

Hoekstra’s deluded positions on Islam may seem to be a source of embarrassment for him, and for the government he represents. However, in reality they are part of the ideology Trump hopes to export to the world. 



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