Today, May 4th, we commemorate the men and women who died or were murdered in violence of war or during peace operations, since (and including) World War II. A short ceremony is held on “The Dam” in the center of Amsterdam, the national war monument. A short speech, about how we can commemorate, how freedom is not something that should be taken for granted. Sometimes a personal note. Then, the Queen lays a wreath, and at 8PM the country stops for two minutes. Silence. Trains halt. All networks broadcast the same, the ceremony, the silence. Impressive. Then, a few more wreaths are laid by veteran organizations, the administration, etcetera. An emotional moment as the commander in chief laid the wreath on behalf of the joint armies; his son was killed in Afghanistan less than 3 weeks ago.

May 4th, The Dam, Amsterdam

I cannot help but think about the insane anti-islam politician who scooped 10 seats in parliament. A few notable things he said:

  • “The core of the problem is the fascist Islam, the sick ideology of Allah and Mohammed as enshrined in the Islamic Mein Kampf: the Koran.”
  • And the Koran is the Mein Kampf of a religion that seeks to eliminate others [...]“
  • “I have enough of Islam in the Netherlands: no moslim immigrant anymore. [...] I have enough of the Quran in the Netherlands: prohibit the fascist book. “
  • “If Muslims want to stay here, they should tear out and throw away half of the Quran.”
  • “The borders closed, no more Muslims in the Netherlands, many Muslims Netherlands, denaturalisatie of Islamic criminals.”
  • “Islam is a violent religion. If Mohammed lived here today, I would mark him as an extremist, who would have to be tossed out of the country drenched in tar and rolled in feather.”

It’s not even funny his party is called “Party for the Freedom”. Indeed, freedom is not something that should be taken for granted.