Post-election spate of hate crimes worse than post-9/11, experts say

What may seem like a dramatic rise in the number of hate harassment and hate incidents happening across the country in the wake of Tuesday’s general election is not in anyone’s imagination, experts say.

There indeed has been a spike in the number of reports of such incidents, say representatives for two organizations that track such occurrences. A representative for one group, in fact, said the rise appears to be even worse that what was took place immediately after the terror attacks in 2001.

“Since the election, we’ve seen a big uptick in incidents of vandalism, threats, intimidation spurred by the rhetoric surrounding Mr. Trump’s election,” Richard Cohen, president of the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., told USA TODAY. “The white supremacists out there are celebrating his victory and many are feeling their oats,” Cohen said.

Dutch-Turkish Woman Stands as Candidate for Dutch Labour Leadership

4 March 2012

 

Following the resignation of Labour Party (PvDA) leader Job Cohen, five candidates are vying for leadership of the party in the Netherlands. One of the five is Turkish-born politician Nebahat Albayrak. Albayrak moved to the Netherlands as a baby. Her successful political career includes service as a Member of Parliament for the Labour Party from 1998-2007, when she became the Netherlands’ State Secretary for Justice. (2007-2010).

British Muslim and Jewish Groups Object to Labeling of Ritually Slaughtered Meat

19 December 2010

About 10 million turkeys are expected to be eaten in the UK over Christmas with most people unaware of how the bird on their plate was killed. All that could change under proposed EU legislation that would require the labelling of unstunned halal and kosher meat, to the chagrin of Muslim and Jewish groups.

All meat and meat products “derived from animals that have not been stunned prior to slaughter ie have been ritually slaughtered,” would have to be specified as such under amendment 205 to the EU food information regulations.

The stated aim is to allow consumers to make an informed choice, consistent with their ethical concerns, but opponents argue it is discriminatory.

“If you are only labelling meat provided for Muslims and Jews you are discriminating against Muslims and Jews,” said Shimon Cohen, campaign director for Shechita UK. “There is no conclusive evidence to show our method of animal slaughter is anything but humane.”

Right wing party trumpets ‘Cost of immigrants’ in Netherlands

Geert Wilders has publicly announced that the influx of non-Western immigrants to the Netherlands is costing Dutch society 7.2 billion euros per year. Wilders, leader of the far- right Freedom Party, bases his claims on a research report commissioned by the party from the Nyfer economic research unit. Nyfer concluded that immigrants to the Netherlands rely more o public services and are paying fewer taxes than the average native Dutch person. Non-Western immigrants are also less likely to use subsidized child care or become involved in higher education, and have smaller state pensions because they do not meet the 50 year residency requirement. The figure was derived by calculating the net contribution of immigrants to the public sector, and does not include effects on the labour or housing market.

Wilders called the results ‘shocking’and claims that the figures confirm a need for measures restricting immigration from Islamic countries and elsewhere. Labour leader Job Cohen responded to the report by stating he would “never take the costs of a human being, whether immigrant or native, as a starting point for any policies”. The report is released in the runup to national elections scheduled for June 9, 2010.

Right Wing Party Trumpets ‘Cost of Immigrants’ in Netherlands

Geert Wilders has publicly announced that the influx of non-Western immigrants to the Netherlands is costing Dutch society 7.2 billion euros per year. Wilders, leader of the far- right Freedom Party, bases his claims on a research report commissioned by the party from the Nyfer economic research unit. Nyfer concluded that immigrants to the Netherlands rely more on public services and are paying fewer taxes than the average native Dutch person. Non-Western immigrants are also less likely to use subsidized child care or become involved in higher education, and have smaller state pensions because they do not meet the 50 year residency requirement. The figure was derived by calculating the net contribution of immigrants to the public sector, and does not include effects on the labour or housing market.
Wilders called the results ‘shocking’and claims that the figures confirm a need for measures restricting immigration from Islamic countries and elsewhere. Labour leader Job Cohen responded to the report by stating he would “never take the costs of a human being, whether immigrant or native, as a starting point for any policies”. The report is released in the run up to national elections scheduled for June 9, 2010.

Cohen advocates reduced welfare for burka wearers

Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen says women who will not remove their burkas in order to get work should not receive welfare. Telegraaf reports that national politicians, including representatives from the CDA and PvDA parties, support this proposal. In 2006 Diemen local council attempted to introduce such a ban on benefits, but the decision was reversed by an Amsterdam court in 2007. There is every indication, De Telegraaf reports, that a vote on the issue would now get a majority.

Cohen said in an interview with Trouw that he opposes a general ban on the burka as he believes it is an expression of religious belief. However, he believes the burka is an obstacle in situation where contact with others is necessary, including work and school. There, women should choose a less restrictive head covering.

Why Obama Should Visit a Mosque

Fear-mongering about Islam is a global industry. Barack Obama has a unique power to break the cycle, not least by emboldening moderate Muslims to denounce terror. I’ll admit it: I’m thin-skinned about the kinds of slurs and innuendo about Muslims that have accompanied Barack Obama’s presidential campaign. Years of being subjected to them while I covered the Bosnian war did that. We heard the whole gamut back then: how the European Muslims of Bosnia and Kosovo were really Turks engaged in a demographic genocide (through high birth rates) against Christians, and how they were engaged in a plot to establish a Muslim crescent looping up from Turkey through the Balkans, and how they roasted enemy prisoners alive on spits. All the while, of course, said Bosnian Muslims were being herded by Christian Serbs into concentration camps that were centers of torture and systematic killing of a cruelty Europe believed it had forever banished. Roger Cohen reports.

Roger Cohen, Why Obama should visit a mosque

In an op-ed to the International Herald Tribune, Roger Cohen explores Islamophobia in the United States, and why he believes it is important that Senator Obama reach out to America’s Muslim community, and visit mosques, just as he has visited churches and synagogues to reach out to their faithful. While Cohen is aware that Obama’s middle name of _Hussein’ has and will continue to draw suspicion from opponents and the fearful, he argues that Obama’s multi-cultural background may put him in a unique position to present, from his own knowledge and experiences, that Islam is not a monstrous specter. More on Cohen’s opinions can be read at the link below.

Mayor Cohen pleads in favor of tolerance in Van edge district lecture.

On Saturday, the Mayor of Amsterdam issued a reminder to the cities population of the importance of tolerance in the Dutch society. Cohen’s lecture, titled ‘Freedom and Identity,’ urged unity in disunion as a strategy appealing to respect and self-interest. He suggested that intolerance will only alienate foreigners, especially Muslims. Dutch citizens have a responsibility and interest in making the Netherlands a supportive environment for Muslims while relying on other forces to combat radicalism: individualization, democratization, globalization, and secularization. He made a critiqued the increasing reliance on claims for freedom by bigots to justify their acts of intolerance and condemned the climate of common shouting, impertinence and flawed respect for others. Cohen posed a choice to the audience: do we want a society that excludes minorities, or that incorporates them with respect for their differences?

Dutch Virtue Of Tolerance Under Strain

By Roger Cohen AMSTERDAM In the Dutch interiors painted by the great artists of the Golden Age, all appears in order: the ruffs of white linen and polished surfaces speak of a luminous calm. But often a furtive glance caught in a mirror, or a keyhole view of another world, suggests a charged tension behind the elegance. The Netherlands today can still offer a picturesque tranquillity, with its swarms of straight-backed bike riders and its canals reflected in the handsome windows of gabled homes. But cut a keyhole through Dutch decorum and violence appears: a filmmaker shot and stabbed by an Islamic fanatic, politicians in hiding from jihadist threats, a newspaper columnist menaced into silence, people living in fear. Immigration, particularly of Muslims, has long been an issue in Europe, a challenge to overburdened welfare systems and to the self-image of countries where every village hoists a church spire to the sky. But what was once a subject of worthy debate is now more a matter of survival. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Netherlands, where a familiar European combination of troubled history and quiet hypocrisy, wrapped in a veneer of tolerance, has yielded unexpected bloodshed. “We see that our much-vaunted tolerance toward immigrants was often just indifference and we are left wondering: What have we become?” said Job Cohen, the mayor of Amsterdam. The murders, in 2002 and 2004 respectively, of the taboo-trampling politician Pym Fortuyn and the Islam-bashing movie director Theo van Gogh have left the Dutch bereft of certainties. They are not alone in their questioning. Islam is now of Europe, a European religion. But Europe, after terrorist killings in Madrid and Amsterdam and London, sees more threat than promise in the immigrant tide from its Muslim fringes. Geert Wilders is a rightist member of the Dutch Parliament living in a secret location under police protection because Islamic radicals say they will kill him. That, in what was until recently the placid Western democracy par excellence, is extraordinary. “All non-Western immigration must be stopped,” Wilders said. “Pure Islam is violent.” Other politicians, like Cohen, see the solution more in building bridges than barriers. They argue, like Tony Blair and George W. Bush, that a perversion of Islam, not Islam itself, threatens the West. But nobody, even in laid-back Amsterdam, is indifferent to immigration any longer. That Europe needs immigrants, and that they will seek to come from adjacent North Africa and other poor Muslim areas, is evident. It needs them to do jobs, from asparagus picking to care of the elderly, that others do not want to do. […]