'Lock up Islamic men in asylum centres' says Dutch MP


The Hague (AFP)

Outspoken far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders Monday called for all Islamic male refugees to be locked up in their asylum centres, saying women needed to be protected on the streets.

He made the comments in a new video for his Freedom Party (PVV) in the wake of a series of New Year's Eve sexual offences in Cologne, Germany.

As the refugee issue polarises the Netherlands, the PVV is riding high in opinion polls suggesting if elections were held now it would win the largest number of seats in the Dutch parliament.

Denouncing the attacks in Germany in which hundreds of women were groped and robbed by a throng of mostly Arab and North African men, Wilders said it was "sexual terrorism, sexual jihad."

In the video released in both Dutch and English, he repeated calls for the Netherlands to close its borders to all "asylum-seekers from Islamic countries."

"But as long as this doesn't happen, as long as our women are in danger from the Islamic testosterone bombs, I propose that we lock the male asylum seekers up in the asylum centres."

As Europe grapples with the worst migrant crisis since World War II, the Netherlands took in a record number of asylum-seekers in 2015, receiving more than 54,000 by the end of November.

The next parliamentary elections are not due until 2017. But the latest polls collated by the Dutch public broadcaster NOS on January 9 said the PVV would grab some 36 seats in the 150-seat Lower House if they were held now.

That would be the party's best showing ever, and well up from the 12 seats it currently enjoys, giving it the upper hand in trying to form a coalition government.

Wilders's views have already proved controversial. He is expected to go on trial in March for inciting racial hatred after pledging in local elections that he would ensure there will be "fewer Moroccans" in the country.

In another provocative move, the PVV is planning to hand out fake pepper spray to some women at a weekend rally planned in the town of Spijkenisse on Saturday. Carrying pepper spray is illegal in the Netherlands, but Wilders has said it should be legalised.