Dutch MP Angered at Welcome for Mecca Pilgrims

26 November 2011

The Schipol Airport’s practice welcoming pilgrims returning from Mecca with a small room providing mint tea and sweets has angered MP Hero Brinkman of the PVV Freedom Party. Brinkman contrasted the practice with an apparent lack of Christmas decoration at the airport. A Schipol spokesperson explains that due to the upcoming festival of Sinterklaas the airport is not yet decorated for Christmas, but will soon “go all out”. The airport emphasized it is a tradition of many years to welcome pilgrims returning home from Mecca “out of a spirit of hospitality”.

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.