Leftwing Green (GroenLinks) leader Femke Halsema has, unusually for her, expressed criticism of Islam. This religion is "of course a problem," she said yesterday in an interview with free newspaper De Pers.

Confronted with the statement by the newspaper that the 'progressive' GroenLinks does not campaign against orthodox Islam, Halsema reacted dismissively. "We do (criticise it). I am one of the few that criticises Saudi Arabia, along with (Geert) Wilders, for the violation of women's rights. I will always campaign fiercely against any suspected introduction of the Sharia."

Asked next when she last made a vigorous attack, Halsema said this was three years ago. "The Budget Debate of 2006." At the time she characterised "fundamental Muslims, fundamental American Christians and the Roman Catholic Church" as "an axis of religious evil," because they oppress women. "That is my most famous attack. I got in a lot a trouble."

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