GroenLinks leader Klaver remains behind the choice for candidate MP Kauthar Bouchallikht. She is number 9 on the candidate list for the March 17 elections. When asked if Klaver dares to put his hand in the fire for her, he says: “She’s on the list. Yes.”
About Bouchallikht has been published in the media for days because she is vice-chair of the Islamic youth organization Femyso. Femyso has been associated with the Muslim Brotherhood by certain sources and researchers for several years. That she holds this position was not stated in the biography provided by GroenLinks.
Klaver says: “We knew she had this position. I’m not going to defend Femyso, but the European Commission is working with them and they receive European funding.” The candidate committee was concerned with the climate positions of Bouchallikht, says Klaver. “She is the figurehead of the green movement.”
The publicist Carel Brendel is the driving force behind the criticism of Bouchallikht’s board position. He writes in his blog on November 12 that Femyso is “the student and youth organization of the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe”. He refers to various public sources.
Brendel and other media ask GroenLinks questions about Bouchallikht’s candidacy and positions, but receive no or only an incomplete answer. Reference is also made to Bouchallikht’s tweet of November 12.
She says in her tweet: “It hurts me to have to respond to this, but I knew that these kinds of suspicions would happen when I applied for GroenLinks. The same tactic every time: guilty by association.”
She declares that she does not belong to the Muslim Brotherhood, but to GroenLinks. She also refers to a 2019 statement from Femyso, in which the Muslim organization denies having any ties to the Muslim Brotherhood. The organization says those allegations come from the far right to undermine the organization.
Bouchallikht receives a lot of support and statements of support, including from Think Member of Parliament Kuzu and party leader Sylvana Simons of Bij1. De Telegraaf and Geenstijl meanwhile publish various critical articles in which the silence of GroenLinks is also denounced.