Federal deputy and head of faction Julia Klöckner from the Christian Democratic Party (CDU) has demanded to restrict the full coverage of women in the
public. Underlining her claim for the burqa ban, Klöckner added: “The burqa would not stand for religious diversity but for a degrading image of women”. The State of Hesse was the first German State that banned the burqa from public service in 2011.
Full coverage of Muslim women being employed at schools, kindergartens and hospitals has become a controversial legal and political issue within the last months.
Thomas Marchal, 22 years old, converted to Islam two years ago. Following his conversion he became increasingly zealous in his religious beliefs and left France to live in Morocco “to practice his faith in a Muslim country.” Prior to his arrest he was living in Marrakech working at a call center.
One month ago Moroccan police visited his workplace for questioning. Two days later they returned and arrested him. He was held in custody for thirteen days and was not allowed to contact a lawyer or his family, nor was he given a translator. Marchal said he signed papers written in Arabic under duress without knowing what they said. After being imprisoned for three weeks he finally reached his sister Charlotte by telephone and asked her for help. She has received help from the Collective of French Prisoners in Morocco. She says she “does not understand why her brother was not allowed to have a lawyer or translator,” and has not received word from the consulate about his condition.
Six fresh PhD’s will study the use of social media by Salafis. Approximately 3 to 5 percent of the worldwide Muslim population is an adherent to Salafism, a fundamentalist current in Islam. And since the rise of jihadism both are viewed with suspicion. Under the lead of the Dutch scholar and Professor Herman Beck six PhD students will do research at the Tilburg School of Humanities on the spread of Salafism in Germany, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, and Spain.
The Dutch current affairs program Nieuwsuur (News Hour) has dedicated a special program to Muslim perspectives on integration and Islam in the
Netherlands. Middle East reporter Jan Eikelboom and editor Milena Holdert for several months interviewed Dutch Muslims on issues related to Islam currently debated on in Dutch society.
In Dutch media coverage about Islam the Muslim perspective is seldom portrayed. In an attempt to discover how Muslims themselves think about current issues such as integration and Islamophobia in the Netherlands the program interviewed a wide array of Muslims with different ethnic backgrounds and also Dutch converts to Islam.
The program in addition shows a debate on integration between parliamentary member Malik Azmani of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Nourdin el Ouali, the political leader of the young and upcoming local Islamic Party NIDA.
Nadine Morano is opposed to France’s recognition of the Palestinian state, as proposed by socialist deputies in the National Assembly. On November 28 she
expressed her sentiments about the proposal. She said, “who decapitates westerners? Those that are members of the Islamic jihad, Hamas’s partners. It’s the Jews that are beheading people today? It’s the Jews that decapitated Hervé Gourdel?” Her statement clearly confuses the Islamic State and the Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine (JIP).
The Islamic State wants to establish a caliphate in its occupied territory. The JIP aims to eradicate Israel in order to establish a Palestinian state on the Israel’s current territory. Those who decapitated Hervé Gourdel “were members of the Islamic State.” Its members regularly threaten Western countries that are aiding Iraq’s government in overthrowing the Islamic State. ISIL has executed five hostages in the last three months. Gourdel was killed in September in Algeria by the group Djound Al-Khalifa (Soldiers of the Caliphate,) a group affiliated with ISIL.
A recent research executed by the Social and Cultural Planning Bureau (SCP) among conservative muslims and protestants shows that a majority disapproves of homosexuality. 53 percent of Muslims and 58 percent of Protestants (outside of the mainstream Dutch Protestant Church) believes homosexuality is wrong.
Both groups show little difference in views among youth and elders. The research also shows that seventy 5 percent of conservative muslims and protestants would find it problematic if their children would have a partner of the same gender.
The Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science Jet Bussemaker has expressed the need for more investment into the acceptance of homosexuality. In the Dutch parliament the Labour Party (PvdA) – the party of which Bussemaker is a member – wants to organize a public hearing of experts and consequently hold a debate with the Dutch cabinet.
The research furthermore shows that Dutch natives are more acceptive of homosexuality than Dutch citizens with an immigrant background. 10 percent of Dutch natives see homosexuality as something thats wrong while 50 percent of Dutch citizens with Turkish or Moroccan backgrounds think this is the case.
COC – an interest group for gay rights – believes that change should come from within migrant communities. Gays with a Moroccan or Turkish background could play an important role the organization thinks. The COC did express their opinion that the government should support relevant initiatives from these groups more frequently.
Francois Hollande assured Iraq’s president of his support in the fight against the Islamic State. In a joint statement with prime minster Haidar Al-Abadi, Hollande declared that France is ready to “increase actions” against the Islamic State.
“We will continue to provide military support to Iraq, which is the victim of a full-scale terrorist attack,” he continued. “For three months actions were carried out by the Iraqi army after having received the coalition’s support, and these actions have led to clear progress and military success and therefore political success.”
There are currently nine Rafale and six Mirage fighter jets that are part of the “Chammal” operation. “Baghdad is secure. We are currently moving to free the entire territory that has been occupied by [the Islamic State],” said Hollande. Al-Abadi added, “We believe that liberation is not far away. Today there is more optimism and more hope that Iraq can stay together as one nation, one people.”
The Prime Minister also asked for funding to reconstruct occupied areas. “Reconstruction of areas destroyed by the Islamic State is an important topic,” he added, because “terrorism thrives on the people’s poverty and dissatisfaction with their economic circumstance.” Al-Abaid added that, “the decline in oil prices and in our oil exports have had a negative impact on our budget.”
icalization say that the government should pay more attention to the role of women in recruiting people for the armed jihad in Syria and Iraq. They say this with regard to Shukri F., who is said to have recruited 6 persons for fighting in Syria.
According to researcher Amy-Jane Gielen there should be more focus on their role, but minister Ivo Opstelten (Security and Justice) doesn’t want to distinguish between men and women.
The Dutch political party VVD wants to prohibit travelling to areas where IS is active, to make penalizing of returning jihadi’s easier. Returnees will be automatically arrested, interviewed, kept an eye on and perhaps prosecuted. It also makes it harder for people to actually leave the country. According to party member Klaas Dijkhoff, it is important to not let them leave the country. Because then the problem will just be spread across borders, the jihadi network will be expanded and it also won’t be helpful in deradicalizing people.
This year 29 cases of radicalization have been reported, compared with 20 in 2013 and 16 in 2012, so there has been increase. According to the major, Ahmed Aboutaleb, this doesn’t mean that more youth become radicalized, but persons are more alert.
The newspaper had an interview with Aboutaleb, in which he says that the term ‘jihadism’ can be explained in different ways, but it is problematic when it is characterized by ideas of racism, discrimination or not being able to find a job (in the Netherlands), although religion seems to be the most important factor. The mayor also says that if people reject [the foundations of] the Dutch society, they can leave, but also should hand in their passport.