Ugbaad Kilincci, who is running for a council seat in Emmen as a member of the Dutch Labour parry (PvdA), was repeatedly verbally harassed on Saturday while campaigning in the Drenthe city.
Kilincci, who was born in Somalia and came to the Netherlands when she was one, is a Muslim woman and wears a headscarf. The local labour party candidate was the target of racist remarks from several different people while campaigning in the Noorderstraat in Emmen this weekend.
“Piss off back to Africa”
According to Dagblad van het Noorden, she was called a “black monkey” and “towel-wearing retard.” Kilincci says that she was told by at least one person that she should “piss off back to Africa.”
“I remained friendly with them and told them that I don’t agree, and I told them to have a good day. But eventually, it got to be too much”, says the Emmen resident.
Kilincci, who is the 12th place candidate on the PvdA’s list in Emmen, says that she is regularly the target of discriminatory comments. She says that harassment tends to stem more from the fact that she is Muslim and wears a hijab rather than the fact that she is black.
“Public comments being made by certain parties encourage this kind of behaviour,” she says. “Wearing a headscarf is so often mentioned in the same breath as repression of women. But the only people who are repressing me are the ones making those comments. They make me feel that I can’t just be myself.”
Bouke Arends, a PvdA alderperson in Emmen, says he deeply admires his fellow party member Kilincci and is furious that she has been treated this way. “It’s unbelievable that it has come to this in in this country, in this municipality.”
Emmen mayor Eric van Oosterhout tweeted on Sunday that he was saddened that Kilincci was the target of racist remarks.
Two weeks ago, a protester in Emmen threw eggs at right-wing, anti-Muslim PVV leader Geert Wilders while he was campaigning in the city for the seven PVV candidates running in the municipal elections in the city next week. Emmen is the only municipality in Drenthe where the PVV has candidates up for election.
Photo source: PvdA Emmen