March 27, 2008 / 8:08 PM / 10 years ago

CHRONOLOGY-Turbulence in Dutch politics over Islam

March 27 (Reuters) - The Netherlands is trying to contain the fallout from an anti-Islam film made by right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders, which has angered Muslims and sparked protests in many countries.

Following is a chronology of political turbulence in the country since 2002:

March 2002 - Ex-sociology professor Pim Fortuyn forms List Pim Fortuyn (LPF) party on a populist, anti-immigration platform, taking the political scene by storm and breaking the Dutch tradition of tolerance.

April 17 - Labour Prime Minister Wim Kok’s centre-left government resigns after a report on the 1995 Srebrenica massacre accuses politicians of sending Dutch United Nations peacekeepers to Bosnia on an impossible mission.

May 6 - Fortuyn is shot dead by a leftist activist.

May 15 - Fortuyn’s LPF comes second in election behind the Christian Democrats (CDA) and Kok’s coalition is routed. A CDA-led centre-right coalition with LPF and VVD free market liberals collapses after 87 days, making it the shortest-lived Dutch government since 1945.

Jan. 22, 2003 - CDA clinches victory in new election.

May - CDA, VVD and centrist D66 agree to form a government with CDA’s Jan Peter Balkenende as prime minister.

Nov. 2, 2004 - Filmmaker Theo van Gogh is murdered as he cycles to work in Amsterdam. A note pinned to his body threatens politicians critical of Islam including Somali-born lawmaker Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wrote the script for the film.

June 1, 2005 - The Netherlands votes against draft European Union constitution in a referendum, days after France rejected the treaty. Together they effectively kill the document.

July 26 - Dutch-Moroccan Mohammed Bouyeri is convicted of killing Van Gogh and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

May 2006 - Hirsi Ali says she lied on her application for asylum in the Netherlands in 1992. Hardline Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk threatens to strip her of her citizenship. Hirsi Ali says she will resign from parliament and leave the country.

June 27 - Verdonk announces Hirsi Ali is allowed to keep her passport.

June 29 - Balkenende announces his government’s resignation after D66, the smallest coalition member, says it can no longer trust Verdonk because she reversed her position on Hirsi Ali. Elections brought forward from May 2007.

Nov 22 - The CDA is again the largest party after the election but takes 3 months to form a coalition government with Labour and the small conservative Christian Union (CU). Geert Wilders’ newly formed right-wing Freedom Party takes nine seats in the 150-seat parliament, an unexpectedly strong showing.

Oct 11, 2007 - Parliament says it will support the government’s proposal to stop paying for Hirsi Ali’s protection overseas despite heavy international criticism.

Nov - Wilders, whose outspoken remarks on Islam have made headlines all year, announces he is working on a short film about the Koran, triggering a row with the government and agonised debate about free speech which lasts for months.

March 6, 2008 - The Dutch counter-terrorism agency raises the threat level for the Netherlands to "substantial", partly as a result of international anger over Wilders’ film.



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