October 31, 2013
The Rotterdam public servant who told journalists that Mosques run illegal boarding schools has been fired by the city council with immediate effect.
Based on confidential documents and interviews, NRC Handelsblad reported last year that mosque boarding schools exist in Rotterdam among other locations which had no licence to have children stay overnight. Fifty girls were living the attic of one of these mosques. The government carried out no supervision of these schools.
The public servant who tipped off the newspaper received a letter of dismissal on Monday in which he was accused by the city council of “serious dereliction of duty.” The letter also says he created a “feeling of unsafeness” at the municipal organisation, by “recording and distributing an internal meeting.”
NIS News- http://www.nisnews.nl/whistle-blower-on-illegal-mosque-schools-sacked.html
Euro-Islam summary for original story: http://www.euro-islam.info/2013/05/22/alleged-mosque-boarding-school-revealed-in-rotterdam/
May 16 2013
A civil servant in Rotterdam has provided information revealing that there are allegedly Turkish mosque-related boarding schools operating in the city. According to his information the Faith mosque has housed girls as a residence, against the fire regulations which would not allow for the mosque to have a housing license. The NRC Handelsblad reports that there are “boarding schools” of the sort in Arnhem, Utrecht, Breda and Amsterdam as well as Rotterdam.
The media attained the information about the mosque from the civil servant, who first gave the information to the city. The Rotterdam city council has sent a letter to the “whistle blower” stating that his job will be terminated with immediate effect because of his dereliction of duty in sharing information considered secret.
May 17 2013
A tip from Dutch security service AIVD led police to stop a 16-year-old girl from leaving the Netherlands to fight in Syria, according to NRC. A police spokesperson says the teenager was stopped in connection with an investigation into people actively recruiting youth to join armed struggle in Syria. The AIVD said earlier this year that some 100 Dutch youth have left the country to take part in “Jihadist missions”, though police confirm that “we know of only six who are definitely in Syria.”
8 January 2012
Considerable press attention has followed an appearance by Queen Beatrix and Princess Maxima in long robes and head coverings during a visit to the biggest mosque in the United Arab Emirates. The Queen tucked a blue headscarf around her hat at the Sheikh Zayed grand mosque as part of the 50th state visit of her reign. Both she and Princess Maxima donned long gowns. Their dress prompted considerable press attention in the Netherlands, of both praise and critique.
Members of the PVV raised the issue in parliament, suggesting that the Queen’s dress legitimized the oppression of women. In an unusual move, the Queen publicly responded to the criticism, calling it “utter nonsense”. According to the NRC it is unusual for the Queen to publicly react to politically sensitive issues such as this. She further said that she had no problem complying with Islamic dress as a mark of respect to the space she visited. Supporting the Queen’s assertion that there is no question of oppression for many women in the United Arab Emirates, Princess Maxima noted that it is rather the region’s young boys who may be at risk.
28 June 2011
In a leaked copy of a speech, Dutch Deputy Prime Minister Maxime Verhagen addresses Christian Democratic Party members with the message that worries about foreigners are ‘understandable’. Verhagen seeks to distance himself from the increasing populism in the Netherlands yet recognizes what drives it. He notes that “People are concerned about churches being replaced by mosques, about the fact immigrants don’t integrate and the risk that they will take Dutch jobs”, NRC reports.
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.
The premier for “Islam Rising: Geert Wilders Warning to the West”, a film by the American Christian Action Network (CAN), has been canceled. Wilders had initially planned to attend the Los Angeles premier but pulled out due anti-gay comments made by one of the film’s backers. The premier organizers have now canceled the event to “avoid creating any false impressions about our agenda and goals, or those of Geert Wilders”, Dutch News reports.
Media attention to Wilders continues with a feature article in the NRC Handelsblad exploring the difficulties teachers face “explaining to their students that anti-Islam politician Geert Wilders is allowed to say things that would not be tolerated in school”. The feature suggests that Wilders’ anti-Islam rhetoric has created challenges for teachers: they must negotiate on the one hand students concerned that they will be made to leave the Netherlands if Wilders comes to power, and on the other those who repeat derogatory rhetoric because they are quoting a prominent politician.
A series of confrontations have erupted in recent weeks between Moroccan and Mollucan communities in the central Netherlands town of Culemborg.
Conflict between youths of the two communities began on New Years Eve and have continued, with police making several arrest, erecting physical barriers between the communities, and banning public gatherings of over three people for a period of two weeks.
Although tensions continue, the city held a march of reconciliation on January 7, which was attended by 250 people.
News reports address a number of sources for the conflict. NRC assigns the responsibility for the “race riots” to competition among young men, while Radio Netherlands Worldwide stresses ethnic divisions, though also noting that most Moluccans in the Netherlands are Christian while the Moroccan community is predominantly Muslim.
A planned trip to Turkey by a delegation from the Dutch parliament has been cancelled. The trip was scheduled for January, and intended as a “fact finding mission” in connection with Turkey’s hopes to join the EU.
Last week a representative from the foreign affairs ministry stated that Geert Wilders, leader of the right wing Freedom Party (PVV) would not be welcome in the country. Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen said his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, was free to refuse to receive the Dutch populist politician Geert Wilders, though the statement did not represent an official position from the Turkish government.
In response to the comment, Dutch MPs voted yesterday to cancel the January trip even though politicians, academics and other interest groups had agreed to meet delegates. “The delegation takes the view it is for parliament to decide who should be in the delegation,” the parliamentary European affairs commission said in a statement.
DutchNews.nl reports that Turkish MPs are disappointed by the cancelled trip. “If a Dutch colleague has preconceptions about our country, the best thing to do is welcome him and change his mind,” Yasar Yakis, chairman of the Turkish parliament’s EU harmonisation committee told the NRC.
A planned visit to Turkey by Dutch members of parliament remains unconfirmed, after the Turkish Foreign Ministry announced the delegation would not be welcome if it included Geert Wilders. Foreign ministry spokesman Burak Ozugergin told AFP that the far-right politician, leader of the Freedom Party and a vocal critic of Islam, is “unwelcome” in Turkey due to his racist views. In response, the parliamentary European Affairs Commission said it would cancel the visit if not all members of the delegation are received by the Turkish authorities.
Wilders has asked Foreign Minister Verhagen to lodge a complaint over the refusal. Verhagen is only willing to point out to Ankara the need for conversations with Dutch MPs and the attending advantages and says his Turkish counterpart, Ahmet Davutoglu, is free to refuse to receive the Dutch populist politician.
De Volkskrant reports that the Turkish government is now embarrassed by the situation as refusing to meet Wilders would allow the controversial politician to accuse Turkey of being undemocratic and unable to take criticism.
NRC Handelsblad reports that while Turkish daily Aksam broke the news of the ministry’s worries about Wilders’ forthcoming visit, the controversy got little attention in other Turkish media. The paper also notes that some secular and religious opinion makers in Turkey who are familiar with Wilders say they would welcome a conversation with the polemic politician, for reasons of their own.