Ms. Ismaili is a city councilor from the Labor Party (Partij van de Arbeid, PvdA) representing the district or Charlois in Rotterdam.
Yesterday our Flemish correspondent VH sent us some additional material on Ms. Ismaili’s predicament, drawn from an article and video found via Het Vrije Volk.
VH has translated the article’s text, and has transcribed and translated portions of the video itself:
PvdA representative’s double mistake
By Denis van Vliet; Video by Eric Borsje and Ali Haselhoeff
ROTTERDAM — The Rotterdam city councilor Bouchra Ismaili seems to have signed her name to a petition of the muslim organization Hizb ut-Tahrir.
This movement rejects democracy and advocates bombings. Nevertheless Ismaili is allowed by her party [the PvdA, Social Democrats] to stay on as city council member in Charlois [a Rotterdam neighborhood], as was revealed last night during an special debate on her conduct.
With exception of Leefbaar Rotterdam [“Livable Rotterdam”, the party with which Pim Fortuyn had a major local victory with in 2002, a few months before his assassination], all other parties accepted the excuses Ismaili offered for her misconduct. “Because of my behaviour, the Dutch Muslim community has been embarrassed and that should not have happened,” says Ismaili, who still has not offered apologies to the man whom she told in an email that she wished to die.
Ismaili signed the petition of Hizb ut-Tahrir with the phrases “It is about time to discharge a culture that damages our Islam and to proclaim the true beauty of Islam. Only in this way will we grow in our Islam.”
Peter Diepenhorst, chairman of the local CDA [Christian Democrats], finds the fuss these last few days about Ismaili so much exaggerated that he said to be ashamed of being a Dutchman.
The video contains the speech by Bouchra Ismaili, and confrontation with the Hizb ut-Tahrir documents from 01:24.- - - - - - - - -
It’s from the journalist Denis van Vliet for Algemeen Dagblad the second largest newspaper in the Netherlands:
Ronald Sorensen, Leefbaar Rotterdam: “This is a disgrace, but we support freedom of speech, so this lady certainly is allowed to express her anti-democratic feelings, but I find it weird that her party, the PvdA, offers her a platform to do so.”
Ronald Tol, Leefbaar Rotterdam: “Look here, it is not just anything she says, she threatens somebody who sent her a few quotes, nothing more than that. If she herself is being told to … well … you can fill this in yourselves, I won’t repeat that … but that is not what this man does, he just sends her two quotes, and that makes her mad, and that is not done.”
01:16 [subtitle: “Ismaili reading an explanation …”]
Ismaili: I hereby distance myself from the email that I sent in answer to the repeated provocations. I feel sorry for the damage that I caused with this. The tone and content of my mail don’t connect at all with the principles I advocate. Those are: freedom, equality, and justice.
01:42 [subtitle (in the background excerpts of the Hizb ut-Tahrir petition): “suddenly a controversial petition pops up”]
Voice: To us [PvdA] there is no petition, and also to Bouchra there is no petition known that she is supposed to have signed …
01:48 [Ronald Tol, standing at the microphone, is handed a set of documents]
Voice in the background continues: … and we would like to see it
Ronald Tol: I have it here though.
Voice in the background, PvdA: Well then it would be nice if we all could be able to see it
Denis van Vliet: The debate about the Ismaili case has recently ended. The reason is a petition showed up that Miss Ismaili signed the evening when she supported the controversial Muslim organization. Leefbaar Rotterdam wants a response now from Miss Ismaili of the PvdA for why she did this after sending the hate mail, which is new information, therefore the debate has taken a surprising turn.
Ronald Tol, Leefbaar Rotterdam: … Then just distance yourself form this organisation, simple as that.
M. van Dijck, PvdA: What did I just tell you?! What have I been telling you here? And that is not only the view, again, I like to repeat that because I think my party is powerful, the PvdA will at all times distance itself from extremist and terrorist organisations. How can I say this more clearly?
02:53 [subtitle: “a response from the audience”]
Well, I don’t know a lot about politics, but what I understand of the organisation mentioned, and that she was there denying with a straight face that she signed that petition. Now it seems there are documents proving she did sign it, so this little miss is sitting there lying and lying and lying, as far as I understand, and the chief of her organisation [PvdA], I don’t know his name, but he holds a hand over her head [meaning “protects her”].
Interviewer: What do you think of the situation?
Ismaili: I have no comment on this, I gave my statement, I distanced myself, that must be clear.
Interviewer: Yeah, that’s absolutely clear, but what do you think of the petition, that they came up with it?
Ismaili: I distanced myself from my mail and from the content and from everything that happened that evening, And there… I’m totally done with it. Thank you.
Interviewer: And you just continue on working.
Ismaili: I just continue working.
[Comment by Denis van Vliet]
The outcome of this debate is very unusual; mail showed up with documents that prove that Miss Ismaili the same evening signed a petition of an extremist Muslim organization. The PvdA says we reject the views of that organisation and then the debate is finished without further consequences. Miss Ismaili didn’t answer herself but my feeling tells me this might get a follow up. Because, well, this is really weird, I myself still have to try figure out of how we have to interpret all this.