- Category: News
- Created on Thursday, 12 January 2012 12:39
- Written by Amsterdam Herald
Pictures of the queen visiting the Great Mosque in Abu Dhabi with a red scarf wrapped around her black hat prompted members of Geert Wilders’s Freedom Party (PVV) to claim that she was endorsing Islamic ‘suppression of women’.
Beatrix’s choice of words - ‘echt onzin’ - was unusually strong for a monarch who has an active role in the formation of coalition governments, but is supposed to remain politically neutral.
PVV members attacked her choice of headgear this week in Parliament, asking ministers if they ‘were aware that the head of state is legitimising the suppression of women in this way’ and describing her appearance as a ‘sad display’.
Ironically the party’s remarks came while Beatrix was in Abu Dhabi, one of the Islamic world’s most emancipated states, where two-thirds of university students and 70 per cent new business owners are women.
Beatrix told reporters she was unsurprised by the commotion, but has insisted throughout her visit that she was merely respecting the traditions of the country, as she does elsewhere.
Wilders has been strident in his demands that the monarchy should no longer be involved in politics, but this is the first time the queen has responded so directly to the PVV’s remarks.
Last September Wilders called for the monarch to be given a ceremonial role, commenting: ‘In the year 2011 a hereditary monarchy is no longer compatible with membership of the government.’