Dutch Robber Fakes Moroccan Identity

A robber in the Dutch town of Hoofddorp used a Moroccan accent in order to mislead police and hide his identity. The 16 year old committed multiple robberies including a gas station, video library, tanning salon and hotels, causing considerable unrest in the town. He has been sentenced to a year of youth detention.

Academic presence of Dutch Muslims growing

Radio Netherlands Worldwide published a profile of the increasing number of Islamic academics in Dutch universities. While Muslim youth remain negatively portrayed in the press, the number of Muslim students and Islamic organizations in Dutch universities is growing rapidly. The Free University of Amsterdam has 2000 Muslim students, ten percent of the student body. Islamic students organizations such as MashriQ are made up of Muslim students from a diverse range of ethnic backgrounds, including Somalia, Morocco, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey, Indonesia, etc.

US interest in Dutch anti-terrorism measures

During a visit to America, Dutch Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin met with Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano to discuss the ways the Netherlands deals with ‘local terrorists’, such as Mohammed Bouyeri. Trouw reports that the American were particularly interested in the ways national security services in the Netherlands work.

Dutch football club wants fewer immigrants

Quick 1888, an amateur football club in the town of Nijmegen is taking steps to cap the number of ethnic minority players on the team. Those supporting the cap claim white players do not feel at home and that minority parents do not provide sufficient volunteer support for the club. The club wants to reduce the number of minority players to 50%, down from a current 80% of players who have an ethnic minority background. Provincial parliamentarian Toine van Bergen stated that he feels the club’s subsidies should be suspended if they carry through with the cap.

Hirsi Ali receives newspaper honor

Ayaan Hirsri Ali, the former Dutch politician born in Somalia, has received a free speech award from Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper which published cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed in 2005. The paper named Hirsi Ali, well known for writing Theo Van Gogh’s film “Submission”, as winner of its Prize for Freedom of Expression. She is now lives in the United States

Study finds no sharia courts in Netherlands

A recent study has found that due to the ethnic and religious diversity of Dutch Muslim groups, the existence of an official legal institute for all Muslims in the Netherlands is not possible, and no Sharia courts currently exist in the country.

The study was conducted by Radbound University Nijmegen for the Ministry of Justice and sent by the ministers of Justice and Integration to Dutch parliament. It notes that while practices of counseling and conflict-arbitration on the basis of Sharia exist in the Netherlands, it does not take the form of settling disputes. Rather, Muslims ask among peers or scholars for advice about issues in which Islamic concepts and life in Dutch society offer choices. The cabinet response admits that the study alleviates concern about the existence of Sharia courts, while restating its position ensuring that there will be no parallel legal orders in the country.

Sharia in Netherlands (Dutch)

A recent study has found that due to the ethnic and religious diversity of Dutch Muslim groups, the existence of an official legal institute for all Muslims in the Netherlands is not possible, and no Sharia courts currently exist in the country.
The study was conducted by Radbound University Nijmegen for the Ministry of Justice and sent by the ministers of Justice and Integration to Dutch parliament. It notes that while practices of counseling and conflict-arbitration on the basis of Sharia exist in the Netherlands, it does not take the form of settling disputes. Rather, Muslims ask among peers or scholars for advice about issues in which Islamic concepts and life in Dutch society offer choices. The cabinet response admits that the study alleviates concern about the existence of Sharia courts, while restating its position ensuring that there will be no parallel legal orders in the country.

Call for Islam classes in Amsterdam

Public elementary schools in Amsterdam’s Slotervaart district attended overwhelmingly by Muslim students face a great need for Islam classes. A study by the Vrije University of Amsterdam reveals that parents favor Islam classes outside regular school hours. Most who want the classes think that curriculum should also be devoted to teaching other religions and life philosophies.

Female administrator for Amsterdam’s Polder Mosque

The Associated Press releases a profile this week of Yassmine el Ksaihi, leader of Amsterdam’s Polder Mosque. At age 24 she is the administrator of the large mosque. AP reports that in appointing a woman to this position, conducting sermons in Dutch, welcoming non-Muslims, and bringing men and women together for prayer (thought they remain segregated), the Polder Mosque is an example of a search for “if not a European style of Islam, at least grounds for coexistence with European norms”.

Netherlands evaluates terror risk during elections

In advance of June 9 national elections Erik Akkerboom, the governments counter terrorism adviser, has reported that the risk of a terrorist attack in the country remains limited though there is a small potential for election based violence. News agencies have reported on Akerboom’s comments from a variety of perspectives.

Dutch News summarizes Akkerboom’s comments as an assurance that the terrorism attack in the country remains limited, quoting his comments to the Volkskrant that “there are ‘no concrete indications that anything will happen”.

On the other hand, Radio Netherlands Worldwide publishes an overview of Akkerboom’s “threat analysis” emphasizing that the Netherlands faces increased risk of internal political violence due to politicized debate over Islam in the country.

Earth Times, meanwhile, reported rather that the Netherlands “fears possible terrorist attacks before elections”. The claim is based on comments from Justice Minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin, who cites Akerboom’s reports in stating that “the current debate about Islam in the country and the number of Muslim immigrants made the possibility of ‘politically motivated attacks’ more likely”.