April 16 2013
Dutch security service AIVD has said in a briefing to MPs that it passed information on to foreign security services which helped foil an al-Qaeda attack. According to the briefing the information gathered at the end of last year led to the “arrest of three al-Qaeda terrorists who were sent to Europe to carry out the attack”. In a statement to parliament, Home Affairs Minister Ronald Plasterk gave no further details. “We have to protect our sources and cannot go public with our successes” a spokesman told the broadcaster.
Dutch opposition party SP has asked the government to prevent training institutions from implying that they grant university degrees. Seven institutions of the Hague have recently been registered by the Chamber of Commerce. At the Free University in the Hague all teaching is in Arabic, and students obtain training in various subjects including political science, philosophy and law. However the Netherlands does not recognize their diplomas as university degrees. Parliament has asked the government to make “university” a protected title to clarify the
granting of degrees. Minister Ronald Plasterk has promised to investigate.
Dutch Education Minister Ronald Plasterk confirmed extending a proposed ban on the face veil – also known as the niqab – from schools and universities, and the ban applying to students, teachers, and service providers. “It will forbid any kind of garment that covers the face. The intention is to ensure that all people who communicate with each other are able to look each other in the eye, to see each other’s faces,” said the minister.
The ban would apply to all women who enter the gates of such educational institutions. Presently, all schools could make their own decisions regarding the face veil.
Full text article continues here. (Some news sites may require registration)
Education, Culture, and Emancipation Minister Ronald Plasterk is hoping that Muslims would take a similar view to that of many Dutch Christians, in that everything in their holy books ought not to be taken literally. Citing the Bible’s creation stories and his own Catholic upbringing, Plasterk is encouraging Muslims in the Netherlands to have an open world-view. “If you have to take everything literally, you go mad in our times. I therefore wish Muslims the same as what happened with Protestants and Catholics he said. Plasterk made the comments in the Hague’s caf_ during a dialogue in intercultural issues.