Suggestive questions in anti-semitic research

According to research by Jonkers-Verwey Institute and Anne Frank Foundation 12% of young Muslims in the Netherlands hold negative views on Jews. However, according to political corresponden Joost de Vries, some critique on the methods of the researchers seems legitimate.

It was for the respondents for example not possible to bring in some nuances in their answers. To the question what they think of Jews, they could only answer ‘positive’, ‘neural’ and ‘not so positive’. Apparently 12% chose the last answer. But ‘not so positive’ says in itself nothing about what the respondents really think and to claim that they hold discriminatory or even anti-semitic views seems premature.

 © ANP
© ANP

Mosques release own cartoons in reaction to Muhammad-cartoons

The Organization of Moroccan mosques in the Netherlands is planning to release a Wilders-cartoon. This in a reaction to the leader of political party PVV, who is known for his harsh anti-Islam standpoints and who himself is planning to show the controversial Muhammad cartoons on television. Spokesperson Aissa Zanzen says that a normal dialogue with Wilders is impossible and the best way to react to his action is with some humour.

Foto: ANP
Foto: ANP

Chances for money making during Ramadan

According to Ali Topal, owner of restaurant chain Meram (in Amsterdam and Rotterdam) and Ahmed Ait Moha, researcher at Motivaction, many owners of for example restaurants and shops, do not realize their chances of money making during Ramadan. They don’t realize the needs and wishes of Muslims, for example for restaurants to extend their opening hours. Partly this may be due to a lack of information, but it might also be that owners hesitate to do something ‘only’ for their islamic customers.

Flickr / raasiel
Flickr / raasiel

‘Face of Moderate Islam’ quits job

Yasin Elforkani, spokesperson for Contactbody Muslims and Government ( and known as the ‘face of moderate Islam in the Netherlands’ is quitting his job as a spokesperson. Elforkani, who is also imam, tried (and tries) to start a debate on extremist Islam and youth leaving to fight the jihad in Syria and Iraq, received several threats in the past which made him to decide to stop preaching temporarily. He is now working again as imam, but has quit his job as spokesperson for above mentioned organization.

© anp. Yassin Elforkani.
© anp. Yassin Elforkani.

Research: Policing in the Netherlands – Ethnic Profiling and “Debureaucratization”

Paul Mutsaers (born 1984) is a researcher in the Department of Culture Studies at the Tilburg School of Humanities and at the Police Academy of the Netherlands. In recent years he conducted an anthropological study of Dutch police behavior towards immigrants.

Employed by the Police Academy of the Netherlands, between 2008 and 2013 he joined numerous street patrols and had hundreds of conversations with officers from various ethnic backgrounds about their experiences within the force and about police work in superdiverse communities throughout the country.

In his thesis, entitled “A Public Anthropology of Policing: Law Enforcement and Migrants in the Netherlands”, he describes both internal and external discrimination: against fellow officers as well as against members of the public. For example, he found that homeless immigrants –legal and illegal – are relatively often victims of police discrimination.

Dutch parliamentary member harshly criticizes minister for remarks on Islamic college

The Dutch parliamentary member and frontman of the new Islamic political movement DENK, Tunahan Kuzu, has fiercely criticized the Dutch Minister of Education Jet Bussemaker for her involvement into the controversy surrounding the dean of the Islamic University of Rotterdam, Ahmet Akgündüz. Kuzu thinks that the minister should not interfere with the academic side of education. With his remarks Kuzu responds to the call from the minister for the dean to resign his position after a series of controversial remarks on Turkish politics.

“This is off course foolish. A minister should never get involved in the academic side of education. Every remark that is discriminating and offensive we condemn but we asked ourselves the question why they do not first start with their own departments. There are enough people involved in governmental services: at the policDutch Parliamente, at the judiciary, teachers in classes”.

“According to a recent report of the Social Cultural Planning Bureau sixty percent of students who experience discrimination pointed to their teacher as its main source. Should you not then start with the teachers in stead of focusing on one man?”

“The minister thinks he should resign, this is not the minister’s role in this situation. The minister should deal with discrimination consistently and start with her own department,” Kuzu said.

Dutch minister wants dean of Islamic college fired

Minister of Education Jet Bussemaker wants the dean of the Islamic University of Rotterdam Ahmet Akgündüz to resign his post. Akgündüz has been in the media spotlight several times for a series of controversial remarks. She will summon the board of directors of the Islamic college to the ministry and call upon them to fire the dean.

Akgündüz has called opponents of the Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan “homosexuals and Armenians”. Earlier the minister wanted the university to publicly distance itself from his “anti-Western remarks”. This is no longer seen as enough. “The dean has an exemplary role and cannot say anything and everything on social media”.

IUR in Rotterdam. © AD.
IUR in Rotterdam. © AD.

The possibilities to deal with the dean are limited because it is a private institution. “This is why I summon the board of directors”.

Dutch government wants to bar unwanted imams from Europe

The Dutch government want to examine the possibility to bar unwanted imams that come from European countries. At this moment only imams who are suspected of hate speech from outside of the EU are being barred. These imams will be on a blacklist but the Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) also wants imams who reside in the EU to be on the list.

Minister of Security and Justice Ard van der Sleur called the VVD proposal “interesting”. It will be considered during a review of policy, a spokesperson said.praying hands

The national coordinator for terrorism has been working for some time on compiling a list of imams who preach hatred. But this is only about persons who have to request a visa. But imams from within the EU are not required to have a visa, thus complicating the VVD request.

Majority of jihadis have mental health problems

More than half of the jihadis travelling to Syria have mental health problems. Often these problems already existed before their traveling and radicalization. In 1/5 of the cases the jihadi suffers from a serious condition, such as schizophrenia.

This is the conclusion of a research on 140 documents. Thereby it is often thought that jihadi’s are intelligent people, but the research concluded that they often received low or now education, have been homeless and come from broken families.

The researcher provides no one-size-fits-all solution. It seems that every individual needs a separate one. More cooperation between police and mental health institutions is preferable.

‘Warn police with worries about a radicalized student’

According to political party VVD a teacher should immediately inform the police when a student expresses radical thoughts. Currently many teachers find it difficult to decide whether someone really has those thoughts or whether s/he is just expressing some ‘rebellious’ adolescent behavior. The police is in a better position to decide on this matter.

VVD finds the current way there is dealt with the problem of youth radicalizing too soft. Now schools are only required to warn the police when a student has real plans traveling to Syria.

VVD member Sjoerd Potters criticizes the way schools are dealing with the problem. According to them they avoid talking about the topic.

© ap
© ap