19 November 2011
The Moroccan Women’s Association Netherlands and the Support Re-emigrants Foundation have reported that around 80 Moroccan Dutch women a year report being stranded in Morocco during a visit from the Netherlands. The women, who previously emigrated to the Netherlands and obtained Dutch residency through marriage, are taken to the country under false pretenses by their husbands and then left behind without passport or residence permit. Often they are accompanied by their children. The reporting organizations suspect that the number of cases is higher than reported; there is currently no law under which the women can appeal to the Moroccan police for assistance, and the Dutch police are unable to intervene in Morocco.
9 November 2011
Moroccan Dutch politicians recently gathered in Utrecht to hold a debate regarding their work as political representatives and the position of Muslims in the Netherlands, NOS reports. The debate was an initiative by Labour councilor Latif Hasnaoui. Topics included those which will impact Muslims in the Netherlands, such as the proposed bans on ritual slaughter, circumcision, and the headscarf. The debate also involved conversation about the balance the politicians strike between speaking for Muslim supporters and adhering to their party’s political line.
4 August 2011
A new lifestyle magazine, Hoda, has been created in the Netherlands to cater to Moroccan-Dutch women in topics such as beauty, travel, and cooking. Hoda Hamdaoui, the magazine’s chief editor, explains that Hoda carries articles aimed at Moroccan Dutch women whose interests and customs are different from other Dutch women. For instance, she notes, the style of makeup and clothing for work and school differs from that for Moroccan parties, information lacking in existing magazines.
February 15 2011
Dutch News reports that Turkish Dutch women have poorer health than other immigrant women in the country, which has contributed to fewer jobs among this segment of the population. Only half of Turkish Dutch women are employed, compared with 72% of Dutch women. Moroccan Dutch women, the article reports, also face higher unemployment and poorer health.
November 1 2010
Radio Netherlands Worldwide this week considers the frequency of homophobic incidents in Utrecht. The article itself describes several descriptions from gay Dutch men who have been targeted in homophobic incidents by young Moroccan Dutch. However, it also notes that “there are no reliable figures showing an increase in homophobic violence” in the country despite their increasing media coverage. One young Moroccan man cited in the article suggests that the violence is committed by teenagers who are reacting to the anti-Islam rhetoric of Geert Wilders. “He’s fighting against Islam so they want something to fight against too. So they pick gays, because Geert Wilders stands up for them.”
According to a poll reported in newspaper NRC, Moroccan Dutch in the Netherlands feel more at home than Moroccans in other European countries. The poll, which canvassed 2,600 people aged 19-34, indicates 81% of young Moroccan Dutch feel at home in the Netherlands, compared with an average of 76% among Moroccans in other European countries. It was conducted in the Moroccan city of Irfane, at a conference bringing together young Moroccans living in Europe. The poll canvassed the opinions of participants regarding family life, language, culture, and their experiences in Morocco and Europe.
Haaglandenvoetbal.nl has investigated and debunked claims by the former treasurer of the GSC ESDO football club that the board faced a ‘coup’ by Moroccan Dutch members. According to its investigation, Moroccan football players joined the club several years ago and ensured an increase in the membership – which prevented the termination of the rental contract – and also made the club more competitive. “More people came to watch the game, and members from the Moroccan community announced their candidacy for board members. These candidates did well for the club, spoke fluent Dutch (some were born in the Netherlands), and were active in social issues”.
The new board was voted in during a general meeting on November 2009, a month after the former board broke up. As the new board says on their website, every member was able to apply for the vacant positions. The report also discredits claims by that alcohol will no longer be served at the club, and notes that they “were present when several of the old-time ethnic Dutch members’ were thanked for their efforts” on the board and given gifts for their efforts in the recent season.
An internet video launched on October 20, 2009 envisions a world in which everyone of Moroccan descent has left the Netherlands. The 8 minute film, titled Kop of Munt (Heads or Tails), appears on the website www.munt.nu. The film’s creators describe themselves as “socially engaged Dutch-Moroccan young people bursting with energy and creativity”. But exactly who they are remains unclear, as the makers of both film and website remain anonymous.
In the world of Kop of Munt, Rotterdam has no mayor, taxis are stranded without drivers, and newspapers go undelivered. “Worst of all”, as Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports, “in a country with no Moroccans at the center of controversy, the Dutch press is struggling to fill its pages. An empty newspaper opinion page desperately appeals to its readers for material.”
The makers claim to show that “Moroccan Dutch people are an integral part of society.” However a poll conducted on right wing news website geenstijl.nl in reaction to Kop of Munt was rushed by respondents welcoming the idea of a “100 percent Moroccan-free” Netherlands.
Telegraaf reports that 100 to 150 Dutch Moroccans in Rotterdam received compensation for speaking with mayor Aboutaleb. The payment was compensation for participation in meetings of approximately 2.5 hours during which individuals shared their success stories or problems with the mayor as a part of five “Moroccan tables” (meetings). Recently Antilleans in Rotterdam received the same compensation for similar discussions.
The municipality explains its payment as compensation for the time that individuals give up in order to participate in the meetings, including allowing for childcare and travel expenses. But Telegraaf quotes others, including Ronald Sorensen of Leefbaar Rotterdam, who are against compensating citizens for what should be considered their “moral duty”.
Moroccan-Dutch have expressed desire to impose a national curfew for all children under the age of 9, in addition to a homework duty for young vandals and their parents. SMN (Association of Moroccans in the Netherlands) manager Farid Azarkan said that parents who let their children roam the streets after 8pm ought to be fined, to prevent delinquent behavior. The comments come after a report released by Statistics Netherlands said that many Moroccan-Dutch youth begin criminal behavior most often in youth. Azarkan added: “We must be creative and come with effective punishments. The way it is now, it doesn’t work. Also these young children are drawn into street groups and so somewhat later in life get involved in crime.”
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