Complaint Launched Against Netherlands by Dutch Moroccans

17 November 2011

Three unnamed Dutch Moroccans have filed a complaint against the Netherlands on the grounds that the state has not protected them against incitements to hatred instigated by anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders. The three have taken their case to the UN commission for human rights. Last year Wilders was taken to court for discrimination and inciting hatred but was acquitted after the public prosecution department called for charges to be dropped. A ruling from the UN human rights commission ruling, which can take years, is not legally binding.

Dutch Moroccans Want More Attention for Discrimination

September 19, 2010

The Cooperation Association of Moroccans in the Netherlands (SMN) has said that the national Justice minister’s action program against discrimination should pay more attention to incidents against Dutch Moroccans and Muslims. The program does not deal specifically with discrimination and violence against Dutch Moroccans and Muslims.
The SMN is further critical of a police letter attached to the report outlining that discrimination against gays and Jews rose sharply in 2009 but omitting the information that the biggest category of incidents of discrimination are based on ethnicity and origin- including those against Dutch Moroccans.
“This bias in the presentation of the research ultimately influences the images formed in society” explains SMN’s Farid Azarkan. The SMN says that they are against all forms of discrimination, and Azarkan calls the fact that Jews and gays are increasingly targets of discrimination a “sad and alarming development”.

Gay Men Approaching Minors Extorted by Dutch Moroccans

Trouw reports that Moroccans who extorted money from gays in the area of Bergen op Zoom targeted men who had initiated contact with minors in internet chat sites, threatening them with police action. When confronted with printouts of the chats targeting 16 year olds, the men handed over cash, watches and phones in values up to 750 euro. The men were wary of reporting the extortion because of the illegality of the initial online contact with minors.

Dutch Moroccans “Feel at Home”

According to a poll reported in newspaper NRC, Moroccan Dutch in the Netherlands feel more at home than Moroccans in other European countries. The poll, which canvassed 2,600 people aged 19-34, indicates 81% of young Moroccan Dutch feel at home in the Netherlands, compared with an average of 76% among Moroccans in other European countries. It was conducted in the Moroccan city of Irfane, at a conference bringing together young Moroccans living in Europe. The poll canvassed the opinions of participants regarding family life, language, culture, and their experiences in Morocco and Europe.

Hockey Academy for Dutch Moroccan Youth

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.

Right Wing Parliamentary Calls Dutch Moroccans “Guests”

Dutch Member of Parliament Hero Brinkman addressed a group of Dutch Moroccan youth as “guests” in the Netherlands during a discussion at an Amsterdam youth centre. AFP quotes the MP, representing right-wing Freedom Party, saying, “You are guests here. We have a Dutch culture and we want to keep it. We do not want all sorts of influences eating away at it and that is not going to happen either,” which provoked angry responses from the audience.

Moroccans compensated for speaking with Rotterdam mayor

Telegraaf reports that 100 to 150 Dutch Moroccans in Rotterdam received compensation for speaking with mayor Aboutaleb. The payment was compensation for participation in meetings of approximately 2.5 hours during which individuals shared their success stories or problems with the mayor as a part of five “Moroccan tables” (meetings). Recently Antilleans in Rotterdam received the same compensation for similar discussions.

The municipality explains its payment as compensation for the time that individuals give up in order to participate in the meetings, including allowing for childcare and travel expenses. But Telegraaf quotes others, including Ronald Sorensen of Leefbaar Rotterdam, who are against compensating citizens for what should be considered their “moral duty”.

Dutch-Moroccans publish manifesto on youth criminality

A group of 38 Dutch-Moroccan professionals and organizations has published a manifesto calling for the cessation of criminality among Moroccan youths, intended to break the passivity in their community regarding crime among young Dutch people of Moroccan descent.

The group says it wants to increase awareness of the high crime rate among young Dutch-Moroccans being a major social problem for which their own community needs to take responsibility. The manifesto states that “our society is increasingly confronted with crime and violence committed by young Dutch-Moroccans…The criminal behavior of these young people has led to Dutch people of Moroccan descent increasingly being regarded as second-rate citizens, who more and more often are merely being tolerated, rather than accepted. In addition, the violent behavior of these young people is taking on ever more serious forms and claiming an increasing number of victims.”

The signatories plan to meet regularly to advise organisations and policy-making officials. Social worker Ibrahim Wijbenga says: “We want to emphasize that Dutch-Moroccan juvenile delinquents are not just our problem, they are a burden on society as a whole but receive too little quality attention… We lose more young people to crime than to Salafism.”

Four Dutch Citizens Arrested in Belgium on Suspicion of Terrorism

Four men have been arrested in Belgium on a Dutch warrant following their expulsion from Kenya. The men were detained last Friday at the border of Kenya and Somalia. “They are alleged to have been on their way to a jihadist training camp”, the prosecution service in the Netherlands said in a statement. An investigation has been launched in the Netherlands regarding their “possible involvement with terrorism” and connections to the group al-Shabab. Police have searched the homes of two men in the Hague, and authorities have requested their extradition to the Netherlands.

The suspects’ backgrounds remain unclear: while the Dutch foreign affairs ministry identified the suspects as three Dutch citizens and a Moroccan with residency status, the prosecutors cited by AFP identified all four as Dutch nationals. News agencies also vary in their profiles, as Dutchnews.nl “reports them to be three Dutch Moroccans and one with a Somali background; NRC Handelsblad reports ‘three Dutchmen and a
Somali with residence in the Netherlands’”. There appears to be consensus that all four are aged 21.

Moroccan Foreign Minister: Dutch Moroccans should integrate

Morocco’s Foreign Minister Taleb Fsi Fihri told his Dutch counterpart – Maxime Verhagen – that Rabat does not want to stand in the way of the integration of Moroccans living in the Netherlands. Fihri said that Rabat wants to help the Moroccan integration into Dutch society, and call on called Moroccans living in the Netherlands to aim for full integration. Both FM’s have also signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation on issues of illegal immigration, terrorism, and drug trade.

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