Dutch supermarket managers face discrimination charges

Mangers at three locations of a popular grocery store in the Netherlands face charges for refusing to employ workers with Moroccan heritage, stemming from a case begun last year. The managers, from Haarlem and The Hague, are charged with professional discrimination and face up to one year in jail.

Dutch Man Cleared in Excision Case

A court has cleared a man on a charge of genital cutting in the Netherlands’ first trial linked to female circumcision. Haarlem District Court judges say there is no doubt the girl underwent female circumcision but there is insufficient evidence to convict her father. The father was convicted of beating and biting his daughter and was sentenced to three months imprisonment.

Excision Case Opens in Haarlem

A 30 year old Dutch man of Moroccan is on trial for genitally cutting his six year old daughter. The public prosecution has requested the sentence saying that the girl has been permanently mutilated by the man. The charges came after the girl told foster parents that her father cut her. Female circumcision is a criminal offence in the Netherlands, but victims often remain hidden, because the cutting takes place in a closed family setting.
The accused man denies the charges and pleads not guilty. His defense lawyer sees the five-year-old daughter’s statement as highly questionable and has applied for a second opinion from a legal psychologist. The girl and her sister have been taken into care.

In coverage of the case Radio Netherlands Worldwide includes a discussion with cultural anthropologist and midwife Dineke Korfker, who says that female circumcision is not originally a Muslim practice. “People often see it as being Islamic and think it’s prescribed by the religion, but the highest Islamic body, the Al-Azhar University in Egypt, has officially distanced itself from the practice and calls on people not to do it.” Korfker also notes that the practice is not found in Morocco.

A verdict for the case, and possible sentencing, is due on September 17

Orange headscarves for Dutch Muslims in Haarlem

Muslim women in Haarlem will celebrate Queen’s Day in Dutch style this year. A group of students plan to hand out 5,000 orange headscarves on April 30th, to promote tolerance in the Netherlands. The orange headscarves allow Muslim women to express their loyalty to their faith, as well as to the queen. Two students initiated the action, and were annoyed by the rabble rousing in politics and society over the garment, and suggested finding a common symbol to merge together.