A former member of Geert Wilders’s anti-immigration Freedom Party has converted to Islam.
Arnoud van Doorn, who until December 2011 was vice-chairman of the PVV group on The Hague’s city council, announced his “new start” on Twitter.
He also posted a tweet in Arabic declaring that “there is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet,” in accordance with one of the five pillars of Islam.
The 46-year-old has continued on the council as an independent candidate since splitting with Wilders’s party. He declined to comment on his reasons for his conversion, saying only that his religion was a “private matter”.
In January Van Doorn (pictured, right, with Dutch Iranian politician Ehsan Jami in 2010) was questioned by prosecutors about an article in the Hague edition of the Algemeen Dagblad newspaper based on confidential papers that he leaked to a journalist.
The leak was discovered during a wiretapped phone call while Van Doorn was being investigated over allegations that he sold soft drugs to children aged 14 and 15.
Van Doorn said the allegations were the result of a misunderstanding and that he had been involved in an undercover operation to unmask drug dealers in central The Hague. He admitted he had not properly considered the risks involved.
The articles concerned plans to sell the World Forum, an international conference centre in The Hague, which was discussed during a closed session of the council.