20 May 2013
Claim by newspaper Trouw that part of The Hague’s Schilderswijk district is so dominated by orthodox Muslims that they are dictating what people should wear and how they should behave, have been denied by both police and local politicians.
Under the headline ‘Hague district is orthodox Muslim territory’, Trouw said ‘short skirts and dresses are not accepted on the street’. The paper said the area, with a population of some 5,000, is known by locals as ‘The Sharia Triangle’. ‘Very slowly, the rules in the area are beginning to change,’ the article said. ‘The norms of the majority are beginning to take over.’
But locals were quick to describe the article as exaggerated. ‘We know the area is dominated by Muslims, yes,’ said local Christian Democrat leader Gert-Jan Bakker. ‘But we have never noticed that they are in control.’ Local police chief Michel de Roos told broadcaster Omroep West claims by Trouw that the police allow locals to solve their own problems is not true. The police presence in the area has been strengthened and local beat officers have a strong local network, he said.
Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher and MP and anti-Islam campaigner Geert Wilders both paid visits to the district. Wilders spent 15 minutes walking through the area and did not speak to any locals, RTL news reported. ‘This is a part of the Netherlands where our norms and standards apply,’ Wilders told reporters during his stroll.
February 15 2011
Christian Democrat leader Maxime Verhagen has announced that he believes multicultural society has failed. He claims that the Dutch no longer feel at home in the country, and that immigrants are also unhappy, and called for the Dutch to be prouder of their country, as they are in the United States.
October 15 2010
As the new Dutch government is installed this week, considerable attention focuses on its policies towards Islam and immigration. The minority government coalition, consisting of the Liberal (VVD) and Christian Democrat (CDA) parties, is supported by Geert Wilders’ Freedom (PVV) party, which places Islam at the top of its agenda. New prime minister Mark Rutte denies a focus on Islam in the government, but the policy for the coalition has already been agreed upon, and Wilders’ influence is evident in the coalition’s plans to tighten immigration controls. Meanwhile, new defence minister Hans Hillen notes that Dutch diplomats will have to work harder to explain the country’s good intentions in Muslim countries, stating that “It will be our task to present an image…. that this cabinet isn’t biased or prejudiced in any way against Islam.”
12 October 2010
Politicians too show a weakness for the periodic departure from reality, particularly when there are votes to be gained — and, as recent experience has shown in Germany, particularly when the subject is the integration of Muslim immigrants. The most recent example was provided by Horst Seehofer, who is not only governor of Bavaria, Germany’s most economically powerful state, but is also the head of the Christian Social Union, a party which is tightly allied with Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrat Union (CDU) and has three ministers in her cabinet.
“It is clear that immigrants from other cultures such as Turkey and Arabic countries have more difficulties (with integration),” Seehofer intoned in an interview with the newsmagazine Focus published on Monday. “From that I draw the conclusion that we don’t need additional immigration from other cultures.” The statement, predictably, drew all manner of protests from Germany’s opposition, particularly from the center-left Social Democrats and from the Green Party.
As it happens, there is no Muslim immigration to Germany to speak of. In 2009, a total of 721,000 foreigners immigrated to Germany according to the German Federal Statistical Office — and 734,000 moved away. Of those who arrived, a mere 30,000 were from Turkey, roughly equal to the average number of people of Turkish origin who have left Germany annually in recent years. The rest of the Top Five source countries for immigrants to Germany were Poland, Romania, the United States and Bulgaria, hardly countries known for their outsized Muslim populations.
Opportunities will increase for German Muslims to invest their money in a “halal” way. So far, Islamic banking is not available in Germany, although well established in the UK, where there is a smaller Muslim population. Now the banking supervision Bakin recently organized a conference on Islamic banking, and the first licence has been given out to an Islamic bank in Mannheim that will open in January.
Christian-Democrat local politician Reinhard Löffler praises the initiative. A believing Christian, he considers Islamic banking a potential third way between capitalism and socialism. The “ethical dilapidation” of the current banking system calls for innovative solutions.
Placing immigrant integration into society at the center of state policy after years of denial and neglect, the German government is finally dedicating time, money, and energy for progress on this still unresolved matter, the Turkish Daily News (TDN) wrote on Monday.
The diagnosis of the “disease” by the coalition government led by Germany’s first female chancellor, Angela Merke – a Christian Democrat elected in 2005 – is seen by Turkey as a significant turning point after years of implementing a so-called denial policy. The German government has long ignored the parallel societies arising from differing social, cultural, and religious traditions of the Turkish immigrants that began arriving in the country in the 1960s under the guest worker scheme. Turkey may also be to blame for failing to develop strategies to help its citizens integrate into German society, considering them sources of capital flow back to the country.
Full text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)
Conservative MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali says her party, the VVD, wants to see stricter legislation governing Islamic schools. The conservatives claim these schools are teaching children to discriminate against women, homosexuals and the indigenous Dutch population. She made her remarks during a parliamentary debate on a new integration bill put forward by Immigration Minister Rita Verdonk. Most parties support the minister’s plans, but the left-wing opposition has criticised a proposal that would make migrants pay part of the cost of their integration courses. They argue this will force many people into debt. Controversy About Islamic Schools In The Netherlands Continues Christian Democrat Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven has criticised a proposal by the conservative VVD party to monitor Islamic schools. She says the proposal breaches an article in the constitution guaranteeing educational freedom. VVD member of parliament Ayaan Hirsi Ali has called for an end to government support for certain Islamic schools. She says they promote intolerance towards homosexuals and Jews, and are opposed to equality for women. The Lower House debate on Islamic education in the Netherlands has further intensified. Education Minister Maria van der Hoeven, a Christian Democrat, has rejected a Conservative proposal to set additional requirements to such schools. The minister has not yet vetoed the motion of Conservative parliamentarian Ayaan Hirsi Ali, but she did say it violated article 23 of the constitution, which provides for freedom of education. The minister also opposes the Conservative’s request that all board members of Islamic schools have Dutch nationality. The other house factions also reject the motion. Although Ms. Hirsi Ali’s resolution has thrown Conservatives themselves into a commotion, the party is not withdrawing it. The house debate will continue next week.