German lingerie ad targets Muslim niqab clad women

The spot begins with a dark-haired woman stepping out of the shower. With vaguely Middle Eastern music playing, she applies mascara, steps into high heels, slips on black lingerie and garters and spins in front of the mirror, clearly admiring her body and the lingerie she’s wearing. Up to this point, it’s typical lingerie commercial fare, but then the ad leaps from the mundane to the surprising: the woman quickly flips a niqab over her head. With only her mascara-ed eyes visible, she gazes out of a window. Then the tag line appears: “sexiness is for everyone.”

Of course, this ad is not meeting with approval from every corner. Islamineurope.com discusses a Norwegian television interview with religion historian Hanne Nabintu Herland, who criticized the commercial because it “links the Arab dress with sexuality, and not to morals and virtue.” Well, Liaisons Dangereuse is in the business of making money by selling naughty undergarments, so it’s unlikely their marketing plan called for promoting “morals and virtue.” Herland says the ad unnecessarily “trample[s] the cultural dress of Muslims”.

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Dutch government recruitment campaign shows veiled woman

A recruiting campaign by the Dutch government aimed at attracting young workers will picture a veiled Muslim woman with the slogan “working for the government, if you think ahead”. The image is juxtaposed with a photo of a woman with a lip piercing, alongside a series of other supposedly contrasting images including a construction site and greenery.

Questioned by the VVD regarding the meaning of the advertisement, the Ministry of Internal Affairs says that the campaign illustrates issues facing the government. “This shows that there are differences in culture of young Dutch, with which as government you have to deal with,” reports Telegraaf.

Dutch Muslims surprised by anti-Wilders ad

The statements of right-wing Dutch MP Geert Wilders are on the same level as anti-Semitism. That’s the thrust of a full-page advertisement that Dutch-Jewish television producer Harry de Winter placed on the front page of Monday’s edtion of newspaper de Volkskrant. Dutch Muslims have reacted with surprise. The text of the advertisement, which has also been signed by two Dutch Jewish organisations, reads: “If Geert Wilders had said the same things about Jews (and the Old Testament) as he has now reeled off about Muslims (and the Qur’an), then he would have been ostracised a long time ago and accused of anti-Semitism.” Michel Hoebink reports.

Netherlands: Immigrants discriminated in driving schools

Dutch driving schools reject immigrant students in order to keep a high success rate. That’s according to Trouw newspaper on the basis of visits by 25 driving schools. The schools’ success rate is advertised on the internet and a lower success rate is a bad advertisement. Eighteen of the twenty five driving instructors confirmed that immigrants who didn’t know the language so well were discriminated against. Four didn’t recognize the stories and three refused to comment.