In the following of last week’s elections in the Netherlands, Al Jazeera reflects on the victory of the far-right FvD party, looking into what led to its recent rise in popularity.

Our co-founder Diederick Van Der Wijk says that FvD plays on people’s fears, adding that the Netherlands should address how immigration is discussed in public debate. He adds that the “Forum voor Democratie’s rise is a big punch in the face for immigrants of first, second and third generations who work hard to make a contribution to Dutch society and climb up the ladders in their professional careers. Posing the question ‘Does Islam have a place in the Netherlands?’ in our national political debate shows that questioning elementary rights of immigrant communities has become mainstream.”

Anas Ragheb, an alumni of our programs and a social entrepreneur, explains that “there is too much talk in the media about refugees being jobless and staying on welfare for longer than four years,” and that the consequences of this victory will be huge in the newcomer community. He predicts that “the hate speech and Islamophobia will increase and society will be polarised.”