Dutch Vice-Prime Minister Lodewijk Asscher and Minister of Security and Justice Ivo Opstelten conducted a meeting on 9 January with representatives from various Muslim communities. The Contact Organization for Muslims and State (CMO), the Council of Dutch Moroccan Mosques (RMMN), the Co-determination Organization of Turks (IOT), and the Dutch Corporation for Refugees (VON) have attended the meeting. The immediate cause of the meeting was the posed threat to Dutch mosques, which has become even more urgent due to current developments.
The attack in France led to feelings of abhorrence and dismay. This was widely expressed during the meeting. There was mutual appreciation of the warm responses and expressions of solidarity from society. However at the same time concern was expressed over the rising tensions caused by the Paris assault, the incidents in Sweden and the anti-Islam demonstrations in surrounding countries.
Due to the increase of incidents against mosques in the Netherlands an appeal was made for an increased attention for Muslim hatred. Concrete agreements were made to improve the registration of acts of Muslim hatred. The Dutch cabinet has expressed their commitment to vigilantly observe the security conditions and, of necessary, take additional protection measures.
January 9, 2014
A Belgian appeal court has found three men from Amsterdam, of Moroccan origin, guilty of membership in a terrorist organization. They were said to have collected money and recruited fighters for Chechnya, though charges of conspiring to launch a terrorist attack in Belgium were dropped.
The men deny any involvement in terrorism. One is a former youth worker in Amsterdam West and was a well respected community figure. The men were arrested in 2010 and deported to Belgium in 2011, where they were among 14 suspects involved in the appeal trial. The lower court had found the men not guilty.
Dutch News: http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2014/01/belgian_appeal_court_jails_ams.php
15 May 2012
A new film tells the story of a Dutch-Moroccan social worker fighting the ills of sex-trafficking within his community. The country’s 2000 legalization of prostitution and sex trafficking was intended to reduce health and exploitation hazards for sex workers, but filmmaker reports in al-Jazeera coverage of the movie that the country has seen a move away from “old style” Dutch pimps and towards the involvement of some members of immigrant communities. The movie is named after these “Lover Boys”
16 March 2012
Radio Netherlands Worldwide this week profiles Salaamworld, a social media platform akin to Facebook which is to debut in June, during Ramadan. The site provides a platform for young Muslims who feel uncomfortable with the content of Facebook, as well as enabling access to a collection of Islamic e-books, products and services. The project is currently headquartered in Istanbul with branches in Russia and Egypt, and an ambitious expansion plan for the coming three years. The site is not the first alternative to Facebook targeting a Muslim demographic, and joins al- Millatfacebook, a Pakistani initiative.
Dutch-Moroccan publicist Mohammed Jabri comments on Salaamworld that while it provides a potentially fruitful, though undoubtedly commercial, enterprise, it does not reply a ‘pure’ alternative to an ‘impure’ Facebook. Jabri predicts that those who sign up with Salaamworld will not revoke their Facebook profiles, as they will not want to lose contacts not shared between the two platforms.
4 August 2011
A new lifestyle magazine, Hoda, has been created in the Netherlands to cater to Moroccan-Dutch women in topics such as beauty, travel, and cooking. Hoda Hamdaoui, the magazine’s chief editor, explains that Hoda carries articles aimed at Moroccan Dutch women whose interests and customs are different from other Dutch women. For instance, she notes, the style of makeup and clothing for work and school differs from that for Moroccan parties, information lacking in existing magazines.
December 5 2010
Radio Netherlands Worldwide this week runs a profile of the stories of four Muslim women in the Netherlands who have experienced sexual abuse, under the headline “Sex Abuse in Muslim families goes unreported”. The accounts, from Dutch Moroccan women victimized by male family members, are accompanied by comments, from emergency shelter Fier Frieslan, that Muslim girls may not always file a complaint in cases of abuse, as well as from a representative for the National Centre for Expertise on Honour-related Violence claiming that “there isn’t a higher incidence of incest in the Muslim community than in the native Dutch community”.
November 14, 2010
The mayor of Dutch town Gouda commented this week that ending trouble caused by Dutch Moroccan children and teenagers may take “at least another generation”. He made the comments during a town council discussion over the unrest caused by a persistent group of Dutch Moroccan youths between the ages of 8 and 15 in the Oosterwei neighborhood. Reports cite a local teacher who blames the unrest on both parents and a ‘culture’ which encourages spoiling young sons.
September 24 2010
Recent research by the University of Amsterdam suggests that some 12% if Dutch Moroccan Muslims consider themselves orthodox. The figure for Dutch Turkish Muslims is one in 20. According to these figures, the country is home to roughly 36 000 orthodox Muslims. Researcher Jean Tillie, while calling the results “bad news for democracy”, as more orthodox survey respondents back a theocray- though they also have confidence in the Dutch government. Tillie noted that orthodox and radical Muslims must not be equated. The report concluded that strictly orthodox Muslims do not pose a security threat to the country.
In response, Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin announced that the threat level in the country would not be raised. At the same time, Amsterdam’s diversity Alderman Andree van Es suggested that ‘enormous numbers’ of women ‘can’t behave as they would want to’ within orthodox Muslim communities.
Researchers for the Tijdschrift voor Criminologie (Journal of Criminology) claim
this week that over half of Dutch Moroccan youths have come into contact with
the police: some 54% of young Dutch Moroccan men, compared with 23% of
young men in the country overall.
The research report was picked up by several newspapers offering differing
commentaries on the results. Dutch News notes that the research does not
indicate how frequently police contact resulted in charges and convictions. The
NIS News, on the other hand, reports that more than half of the Dutch Moroccan
youths “have committed one or more crimes before they reached the age of 22”.
The researchers do not conclude why Dutch Moroccan youth are
overrepresented in crime statistics. They suggest that low socioeconomic status
and cultural factors may play a role, as well as citing Belgian research indicating
that police are more likely to question immigrant youths than white natives.
A Hockey Academy is to be established in Amsterdam for young unemployed
Dutch Moroccans. The training is intended for those aged 17-26 who have
no work, in order to train them for a future with the Moroccan hockey team.
Full time training occurs for 5-6 hours a day, 5 days a week. Ultimately, the
initiative aims to create a Moroccan hockey team to participate in international
tournaments, as Morocco is not yet a part of the African Hockey Federation.