Radio Netherlands: The Netherlands Muslim Party has announced it will be fielding candidates in local elections next year in five towns and cities, including Amsterdam and The Hague.
Party chairman Henny Kreeft says he is also in discussion with party branches in at least a further five municipalities on whether they will field candidates. In June Mr Kreeft said he hoped party representatives would be standing in twenty districts. The NMP will launch its election manifesto after Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting, which this year ends on 19 September.
If it is successful, the NMP will not be the first Islamic party to be represented in Dutch local politics. The Islam Democrats have held a seat on the local council in The Hague since 2006.
NMP chairman Henny Kreeft is a Dutchman from the small polder town of Emmeloord, northeast of Amsterdam. He converted to Islam in the 1990s, and established the NMP in 2007. The party aims at bridging the gap between Muslims and non-Muslims in Netherlands, and giving Islam a more positive image. Its board includes both men and women, and people of both Dutch and non-Dutch ethnic backgrounds.
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