December 14 2010
Radio Netherlands Worldwide reports that Dutch Muslim women face increasing difficulties in finding husbands. In the article, Naoual Loiazizi of the Netherlands Association of Muslim Women notes that “many girls have a hard time finding a man who shares their outlook on life”. Nermin Altintas of the Yasmin foundation in the Hague suggests that one factor contributing to the difficulty is the decrease in tendency for parents to help a woman identify potential husbands, so that “men and women are increasingly left to their own devices to find potential partners”.
For three years Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali galvanised Dutch society with a frank account of her traumatic past and her conviction that Islam is a violent, misogynous religion. That conviction led to death threats, the murder of her associate, filmmaker Theo van Gogh and, her critics say, the alienation of precisely those she aimed to engage as relations between Muslims and non-Muslims deteriorated as never before. Now almost a year since the former Dutch parliamentarian hit headlines worldwide for admitting she lied to gain asylum in the Netherlands, many of the Dutch-Muslim women Hirsi Ali sought to stir and inspire state bluntly they are relieved she is gone. The 37-year-old now works for a U.S. think-tank, while her international profile as an ex-Muslim critic of Islam soars. “I am glad that Ayaan Hirsi Ali is gone, because now the tone has softened, it has become less extreme and tensions have eased,” said Nermin Altintas, who runs an education centre for migrant women.