Dutch Christian Democrats welcome Muslim texts

A new book of spiritual meditations was unveiled by the Dutch Christian Democratic Party, and includes meditations from both Christian and Islamic materials. The book, called Reflections for political meanings will be distributed among the CDA regional branches. According to CDA spokesperson Jo-Annes de Bat, the Muslim meditations were included to take into account non-Christian CDA members. It is a common CDA tradition to open meetings with a meditation. But we noticed that branches sometimes found it difficult to find an appropriate text (as not all CDA members are Christian). That is why we put together the collection, said de Bat.

Morocco strengthens ties with Moroccans in the Netherlands

The Moroccan government is aiming to strengthen ties with Moroccans abroad, and wants the Arabic language and Moroccan culture to be propagated more among Moroccans living abroad. According to Volkskrant, Rabat now wants to create stronger ties with emigrants by stressing their Arab identity. The Hague responded with concern We have difficulty getting Moroccan youth that have gone adrift to take part in the society… I’m not happy about Morocco exercising pressure in the opposite direction said Madeleine van Toorenburg, CDA MP. The Moroccan government has aims to double the number of emigrant children learning Arabic and becoming familiar with Moroccan culture. About 80% of Moroccans in the Netherlands speak one of the Berber languages; Arabic is just as much a second language as Dutch for many Moroccans in the country. Labour MP Khadija Arib, who is of Moroccan descent, argues that Moroccans in the Netherlands should focus on their lives here, so they can get ahead.

CDA wants to find way to close radical mosques

The Christian Democrats are searching for a way to close down mosques in which radical imams preach hate, says CDA MP Madeleine van Toorenburg. The initiative is supported by the Liberals (VVD) and Geert Wilders’ anti-immigration PVV party, reports ANP news agency. However, it is unlikely that a parliamentary majority would support such a move, says ANP. The ChristenUnie, Socialist Party and centre-left D66 have expressed their opposition to the proposal. The CDA and the ChristenUnie are members of the coalition government. The position of the third partner, Labour, is not known. An earlier attempt by the CDA to close down radical mosques in 2005 failed. The new proposal comes in the same week as Geert Wilders’ call for a ban on the Koran which continues to attract widespread condemnation. Socialist Party leader Jan Marijnissen is the latest to add to the criticism of Wilders. On his weblog, Marijnissen calls the proposal to ban the Koran _stupid and unpleasant’.

National Moroccan Council chairman: it’s time for a Muslim political party

Mohamed Rabbae, chairman of the National Moroccan Council (LBM) says that it is time for an Islamic party in the Netherlands – similar to the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). In an interview to Sp!ts magazine about Wilders’ film ‘Fitna,’ Rabbae said that he missed parliamentarian contribution with a Muslim background. He added that he sees himself as just a possible adviser for such a new Muslim party, asserting his loyalty to the GrownLinks party, but nevertheless stressing the importance of Muslim presence in Dutch parliament.

Muslims Feel Rejected By The CDA

CDA MP Nihat Eski fears that his party hasn’t done enough to distance itself from Rita Verdonk, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Geert Wilders. Other CDA members and activists agree that Muslims at both the national and local levels are increasingly alienated from the governing Christian Democratic Appeal. {(continues below in Dutch)} ,De emotie, de commotie is groot, zegt hij in een interview met Trouw. ,,Moslims zouden geen incasseringsvermogen hebben, islam en democratie zouden onverenigbaar zijn en het islamitisch geloof zou een achterlijke cultuur zijn. Deze uitspraken hebben moslims diep gekwetst. Het zijn onzinnige en vooral polariserende uitspraken. Uit de moslimgemeenschappen kreeg ik sterke signalen dat ze vonden dat het CDA stelling moest nemen tegen deze uitspraken. Dat is onvoldoende gebeurd en de rekening daarvan kregen we bij de gemeenteraadsverkiezingen.” Eski staat met zijn kritiek niet alleen, wel is het bijzonder dat hij als CDA-kamerlid en moslim nu, vier maanden voor de kamerverkiezingen, zijn kritiek uit. CDA-voorzitter Marja van Bijsterveldt verwoordde in mei tijdens het partijcongres haar zorgen over de kloof tussen het CDA en de moslimkiezer. ,,Er is sprake van pijn en gevoel van miskenning.” Ze riep op tot een andere toon en houding van haar partij. De oud-voorzitter van het CDJA (de jongerenorganisatie), Ronald van Bruchem, zei eerder in een interview dat zijn partij een ‘mega-probleem’ heeft in de grote steden, omdat het contact met allochtonen verloren lijkt.

Adults in Netherlands have Strong Opinions about Muslim Integration

Many adults in the Netherlands hold strong views on the way Muslims adapt to the European continent, according to a poll by Motivaction released by GPD. 63 per cent of respondents believe think Islam is incompatible with modern European life. In September 2004, Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders quit the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD). Wilders criticized Muslims in the Netherlands for failing to properly integrate to society, and openly opposed Turkey’s accession to the European Union (EU). In November 2004, controversial filmmaker Theo Van Gogh was murdered. Van Gogh directed a short motion picture that depicts a husband’s abuse on a Muslim woman. Death threats to Wilders and other former VVD members were left at the crime scene. On May 15, Dutch officials revealed that Somali-born VVD lawmaker Hirsi Ali provided false information when she applied for refugee status, and then when she sought citizenship. The next day, the lawmaker announced that she would leave the Second Chamber immediately. Hirsi Ali confirmed that she intends to move to the United States and work at the American Enterprise Institute. In the January 2003 election, the Christian-Democratic Appeal (CDA) elected 44 lawmakers to the 150-seat Second Chamber. CDA member Jan Peter Balkenende has acted as minister president since July 2002. In early 2003, Balkenende established his second coalition government with the VVD and Democrats 66 (D66). The next legislative ballot is tentatively scheduled for January 2007. Polling Data Do you think Islam is compatible with modern European life? Yes 37% No 63% Source: Motivaction / GPD Methodology: Interviews with 1,200 Dutch adults, conducted in May 2006. Margin of error is 3 per cent.

Verdonk Zet Drie Imams Het Land Uit Van Onze Redactie Politiek

THE HAGUE – Three radical imams from Al-Fourkaan Mosque in Eindhoven have been declared undesirable aliens. Minister Verdonk van Vreemdelingenzaken wants them to leave the country because they incite hatred and permit jihadists to operate in their mosque. It has not been determined whether more imams will be declared undesirable. The General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) has been watching ten radical mosques. Just like in the Al-Fourkaan mosque the ideology of Salafism is promoted, a strict movement in Islam that fights against Western society. Verdonk decided yesterday after consultation with minister Remkes (home affairs) to withdraw the residence permits of the two imams. They have rejected the application for lengthening of the permit of a third imam. The imams will be declared undesirable aliens, because they pose a danger to public safety and/or national security. {(continued below in Dutch)} Volgens de Algemene Inlichtingen- en Veiligheidsdienst (AIVD) laten de imams duidelijk hun afkeuring blijken over de westerse samenleving en dragen ze bij aan de radicalisering van moslims in Nederland. Daarmee zetten ze moslims ertoe aan om zich van de Nederlandse samenleving te isoleren. Een van de imams is afkomstig uit Bosni_, een ander uit Kenia en de derde persoon zou uit Egypte komen. De Tweede-Kamerfracties van VVD, CDA, en LPF zijn opgetogen over het ongewenst verklaren van de imams. ,,Dit is goed nieuws, hier zaten we na 2 november (de moord op Theo van Gogh, red.), op te wachten”, aldus LPF-Kamerlid Joost Eerdmans. ,,Dit is uitstekend”, reageert CDA’er Van Fessem. ,,Eindelijk laat het kabinet zijn tanden zien”, stelt VVD-woordvoerster Griffith. Burgemeester A. Sakkers is ,,verrast” door het voornemen van Verdonk. Tot nu toe heeft hij geen enkel signaal van mogelijk gevaar ontvangen. ,,De uitzetting en afwijzing moeten op stevige feiten berusten, wil de minister voor deze maatregel kiezen”, aldus Sakkers. ,,Kloppen de feiten inderdaad, dan is het in het belang van de moskeegemeenschap in Eindhoven dat deze maatregel genomen wordt.’