Former far-right activist who called Quran 'poison' converts to Islam while writing book against the religion
A Dutch former member of parliament and far-right activist who once called the Quran "poison" has announced he converted to Islam while writing a book originally intended to be against the religion.
Joram van Klaveren, an ex-member of the notoriously anti-Islamic Party for Freedom (PVV), told Dutch TV show NieuwLicht that while writing his book, he "came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter."
"It feels a bit like a religious homecoming for me," he said in an interview.
PVV founder, right-wing politician Geert Wilders, denounced van Klaveren's conversion following the announcement, comparing it to "a vegetarian going to work in a slaughterhouse," the Independent reports.
Van Klaveren formerly identified as a member of the PVV while serving as an MP between 2010 and 2014. He switched parties following a set of disparaging comments made by Wilder in 2014 about wanting "fewer" Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands.
"I thought that went too far," van Klaveren said at the time, according to Dutch media. He subsequently served out the remaining three years of his term as an independent before losing reelection and giving up politics altogether.
Van Klaveren, who said he is "very sorry that he contributed to giving people a false image about Islam," will now be releasing a book about his journey to converting called "Apostate: From Christianity to Islam in the Time of Secular Terror."