An attempt by a controversial Dutch Muslim party to sweeten its image backfired when a Jewish baker who was set to stand for the group refused to stop selling X-rated cakes and was forced to withdraw.
Jolisa Brouwer, a baker from the town of Waalre in the southern Netherlands, was expected to take the number-three slot on the Party of Unity’s ticket for the national election in March. The party has been accused of radicalism and anti-Semitism in the past.
It’s leader, Arnoud Van Doorn – a former right-wing Dutch politician who converted to Islam – said that by bringing in a Jewish person, he wanted to show that his party was inclusive and counter claims by critics, who accuse it of being jihadist and anti-Semitic.
Van Doorn had been critical of Israel on many occasions in the past, infamously tweeting in 2018, “May Allah exterminate the Zionists.” He was referring to one of the deadliest days of the Great March of Return protests along the Gaza border, in which Israeli soldiers killed more than 60 Palestinians on May 14.
However, the union between the Muslim party and the Jewish confectioner was short-lived as she had to withdraw her candidacy earlier this week. Van Doorn and his allies could tolerate the baker’s religious affiliation, but they couldn’t stomach the cakes she made.
To their shock, party members found out that the mother-of-three had been providing pastries not just for kids’ events, but for adult ones as well. She had a whole ‘18+’ section on her website, displaying photos of NSFW cakes with decorations vividly depicting male and female genitalia.
“Had we known this in advance, we never would have placed her on the ticket,” Van Doorn told AD newspaper. “These cakes do not conform to the conservative policies for which we stand.”
In a message posted to Twitter, Van Doorn highlighted that the party stands for “Islamic norms and values.” But it respects the “business and personal life of the person concerned,” and that the candidate had withdrawn following discussions.
Party of Unity announced on Tuesday that Brouwer had been taken off the ticket after she refused to stop selling her pornographic pastries.
The baker said she was surprised that the party hadn’t known about her X-rated cakes, as the confectionery was quite popular and was itself a manifestation of the Dutch values of tolerance. “We live in the Netherlands, not in the Middle Ages,” she said.
The woman told Jewish Telegraphic Agency (JTA) that she had a lot of Muslim clients in Waalre and always got along well with them. The X-rated cakes, which are primarily intended for bachelor and bachelorette parties “have never been an issue,” she added.
According to Brouwer, she decided to enter politics to promote the idea that “people of all religions and non-religious people can just live side-by-side respectfully.” She regretted that the scandal had diverted attention from this message, as the media had only focused on her nationality and explicit cakes.
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