Joram Van Klaveren, a former member of a far-right Dutch political party who was critical of Muslims announced this week that he has converted to Islam.
Van Klaveren, formerly a politician in the Party of Freedom (PVV), said he decided to convert to practicing Islam while writing a book about the religion, according to Politico.
“During that writing I came across more and more things that made my view on Islam falter,” he told a Dutch radio station.
Van Klaveren left the Freedom Party in 2014 after being a member for four years. The party, led by anti-Islam populist Geert Wilders, is known for its nationalist views.
“It’s like a vegetarian going to work in a slaughterhouse,” Wilders said of Van Klaveren’s conversation, according to the Associated Press.
Van Klaveren previously made harsh and controversial remarks regarding the religion, saying “Islam is a lie” and “The Quran is poison,” according to Politico.
In an interview with a newspaper published in the Netherlands announcing his conversion, Van Klaveren said he was “simply wrong” about his previous views on Islam and noted that when he was a member of PVV, “everything that was wrong had to be linked to Islam in one way or another.”
Another former PVV member, Arnoud van Doorn, converted to Islam earlier and congratulated Can Klaveren in a Twitter post.
“[I] never thought that the PVV would become a breeding ground for converts,” he wrote.
Van Klaveren left politics completely in 2017 after establishing his own party but failing to win a seat in the national election, Politico reported.