Dutch reporters confront Hoekstra on Islam comments
Dutch reporters confront Hoekstra on Islam comments
Hoekstra silent over inaccurate Muslim claims on 1st day as US ambassador to Netherlands
12 January, 2018, 03:20
The new American ambassador to the Netherlands, Peter Hoekstra, refused to comment at his inaugural press conference in Den Haag about his past allegations claiming politicians were set on fire in the Netherlands.
After at least one person had asked the question, Geeraedts followed up to ask Hoekstra about a John Adams quote - Adams was the United States' first ambassador to Holland - that was mounted right behind the ambassador.
"It is not about my personal views anymore".
"Do you now reach the conclusion that you were wrong when you stated that politicians and cars were being burned?" one reporter asked, the Times reported. "And yes, there are no-go zones in the Netherlands", said Hoekstra while discussing the country's minority Muslim population.
"Thank you", Hoekstra said, before trying to call on someone else over the clamor of the reporters in the room. "And I'm not revisiting the issue", referring to a December 23 statement on Twitter. "Is that something you believe?"
"I'm not revisiting the issue", repeated Hoekstra, a Republican former chairman of the House Intelligence Committee. "You have to answer questions", a female reporter said.
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"I didn't say that". He told a reporter with the the Dutch current affairs program Nieuwsuur that they were "an incorrect statement - fake news".
Hoekstra then backtracked after the video of the exchange went viral.
The reporter showed him the exact clip in which Hoekstra had made the remarks about chaos and burning, and said, "You call that fake news?"
The remarks came at a conference hosted by the David Horowitz Freedom Center, where Hoekstra argued the "Islamic movement" had plunged Europe into chaos, the Times reported. There are politicians that are being burned.
The term "no-go zone" is used by anti-Muslim activists and some conservatives to suggest an area where non-Muslims are unwelcome.
In a Twitter message on December 23, Hoekstra said: "I made certain remarks in 2015 and regret the exchange during the Nieuwsuur interview. Please accept my apology". He was confirmed by the Senate in November.
When Hoekstra, who was born in the Netherlands but raised in MI as a staunch social conservative, called for another question, two reporters asked him, "Why don't you answer the question?"
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