16 January 2012
A member of the Hofstad group has been granted a supervised leave while serving his eight year jail sentence in the Netherlands. Jason Walters, a convert to Islam with an American father and Dutch mother, was convicted of throwing a hand grenade at police while resisting arrest. Walters has since rejected Islam.
January 7 2013
A Dutch artist has failed in his bid to trademark the name “Allah”. Teun Castelein submitted a request to register the name as part of a brand logo with the Benelux Office for Intellectual Property, as part of his goals “seeking out the limits of the free market”. The BOIP’s provisional decision rejects the bid.
January 7 2013
Two men of Moroccan origin were killed in Amsterdam on December 29 2012. Said el Yazidi (21) and Youssef Lkhorf(28), who were known to the city’s police, died in Amsterdam following a car chase and shoot out. Police are examining witnesses to gain more information about the perpetrators, reported to be three or four men driving a stolen car.
In the wake of the deaths newspaper Parool published a column reflecting on crime rates among Moroccan youths in the city and recalling statements made 5 years previously by Amsterdam Police detective unit head. In these comments Willem Woelders in identified Amsterdam neighbourhood Diamantbuurt as a source for youth criminals.
27 December 2013
In an interview with NOS television anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders announced that he will step up his campaign on an international level in 2013. The PVV leader claims he will “fight” Islam “from Australia to America, from Switzerland to wherever.”
3 January 2013
A Belgian tribunal has determined that an outlet of the Dutch department store Hema was wrong to fire an employee for wearing a headscarf. The woman had worked for the store, located in the Belgian city of Genk, for two months wearing a headscarf before her employment was terminated on the grounds that she refused to remove it following complaints from customers. The tribunal ordered Hema to pay the 21- year- old woman six months salary in compensation.
19 December 2012
The potential threatening impact of jihadist activity on the Netherlands remains “limited and indirect”, according to the National Terrorist Threat Assessment provided to the country’s House of Representatives. The main source of terrorist threat faced by the country remains jihad, with the report mentioning conditions in Syria, Egypt and Mali as potential sites of international concern. The Assessment also addresses the possibility of threat within Europe and the Netherlands, noting that the “social assertiveness of the Dutch people – including Dutch Muslim communities – against extremism is as strong as ever.”
25 November 2012
Dutch newspaper Parool last week covered designs for Amsterdam apartments by the Eigen Hard housing corporation which accommodate the needs of some Muslim families. The apartments feature cupboards for shoe storage, additional water taps for ritual cleansing, and dividing doors around the kitchen.
The paper described the apartments as ‘halal homes’, but the housing company stressed that the designs could be suitable for many occupants, also suiting the needs of students and those with a physical handicap.
Home affairs minister Robert Plastkerk commented in response that he has no Robles with housing corporations taking the wishes of Muslim tenants into account during renovations.
30 November 2012
Rotterdam police arrested three Muslim men planning to travel to Syria to engage in ‘armed jihad’. The men’s homes contained weapons, farewell letters, and packed rucksacks. Aged 22, 23, and 33, the men have not been involved in any previous investigations in the Netherlands.
6 November 2012
Dutch Muslims are visiting mosques in the Netherlands at least once a week, according to a survey conducted by the national policy unit SCP. While the previous SCP survey in 2004 suggested a decrease in religiosity among the country’s Muslims, this most recent update suggests that this is no longer the case, particularly among Muslims of Moroccan origin (a population in which the number of mosque-attending individuals rose from 9% to 33% from 1998-2011).
According to the SCP, second generation Muslims who worship regularly feel a stronger bond with their family homeland than with the Netherlands.
1 November 2012
Kevin Abdoelkariem, a Muslim man of Surinamese-Hindustani descent, placed third in the Mr. Gay Netherlands competition. In media coverage surrounding the event Abdoelkariem refers to his identity as a gay Muslim man, noting that he “feels at home in a mosque”. Reflecting on his family’s response to his sexual orientation, Abdoelkariem notes, “my immediate family didn’t have problems with it, but I have relatives who would never accept it”.