Interior Minister Guusje ter Horst has proposed that police and judicial authorities be allowed to register the ethnic background of criminals. At the moment, only the nationality or birthplace of suspects are registered in the Netherlands. Ter Horst said that she believes that this would not create or propagate stigmas of certain ethnic groups, but would point to important and realistic trends. “If you want to solve a problem you have to know who is causing it. And if in Amsterdam it’s mostly Moroccans, then you have to give it a name. Otherwise you lose information. Moreover, you can also get the Moroccan community involved” said ter Horst. The Social and Cultural Planning Office is currently studying the need for ethnic backgrounds in registrations; in December, it will report to the Integration Minister on the idea.
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AMSTERDAM – Moroccan and Turkish groups in the Netherlands have set up a new action committee named “Genoeg is genoeg” (enough is enough) to organise a campaign against the Dutch government’s tough immigration and integration policies. The organisers are calling for a national demonstration on 17 September in Amsterdam. Two spokesmen for the new organisation outlined the plans for the demonstration during a press conference in the Moroccan capital of Rabat on Monday. Dutch Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk arrived in Rabat for an official visit on Monday. She toured the Dutch embassy where modifications have been made to house the new integration tests that are to be introduced for would-be immigrants to the Netherlands. While there was news on Monday that other European countries are interested in the immigration policies being pioneered by Verdonk, the spokesmen for the new action committee described her policies as discriminatory and racist. “These policies are creating a greater rift between ‘us and them’, one of the representatives said. The ‘Genoeg is genoeg’ group wanted to hold a demonstration in Rabat to coincide with Verdonk’s visit but the authorities did not grant them a permit to do so. The group says there should be no difference between the treatment of Muslims and non-Muslims. It argues that the Cabinet’s integration plans as well as limitations on family reunification and dual nationality hits at the principle of equal rights for all dutch citizens. “We don’t want a separate policy for one group as that leads to Apartheid,” one of the spokesmen said.
AMSTERDAM — Immigration and Integration Minister Rita Verdonk promised the Dutch Parliament Thursday the government would raise the issue of anti-Semitic broadcasts with Arab countries. A majority of parliamentarians voiced concerns that the Netherlands is being flooded with anti-Semitic propaganda by Arab television stations popular with Middle Eastern immigrants.