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No alcohol ban at VVD Zeeburg party

21 May 2008 - At a dinner party for entrepreneurs organised by the VVD Zeeburg halal food and no alcohol will be served, de Telegraaf reports. The incident would have caused 'great commotion'. Nonsense, responds VVD party leader Dirk Hanke.

De Telegraaf quotes an angry VVD member: "The organiser of this dinner party, the Zeeburg VVD, now finds it necessary for all the Dutch people to have halal meat pushed through their throat. With [former party members] Wilders and Verdonk, apparently liberalism has left the VVD as well, to be replaced by strict Islamic rule. I'm curious when [national party leader] Rutte will oblige women to wear headscarves".

According to Hanke (photo), de Telegraaf is misinformed. It is true that halal food will be served that has been prepared without alcohol, but "people can order a beer or a wine, no problem. And if anyone objects to halal meat, we'll arrange other meat for that person".

He is also surprised that de Telegraaf reports that the initiative would have caused 'great commotion'; he did not receive one complaint. When asked, the Telegraaf journalist who wrote the article says he was approached by one person, but this person would have spoken on behalf of several party members.

The journalist further states that the original invitation did say that no alcohol would be served and that this was confirmed by Eric van der Burg, party leader of the VVD in the city council. He declines to forward the original invitation.

Van der Burg denies having told the journalist that no alcohol will be served. "He said no alcohol would be served and asked how I thought about that. I said that I have no problem with alcohol being served, even though I don't drink it myself".

The VVD is organising the dinner party for entrepreneurs in the Indische buurt, most of them Muslims. "As a good host you serve halal meat in such a situation. If you'd invite the Jewish community, you'd serve kosher food too", Hanke says.

The Telegraaf report has been adopted by populist websites GeenStijl and Fok! However, Hanke says he has not received any annoying responses.

Telegraaf (in Dutch)


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