March 1 2013
Habibi Ana, an Amsterdam café which bills itself as a Muslim gay bar, is shutting down March 2 2013. The closure is not due to the club’s demographic or status as a Muslim gay bar but rather due to breaking noise regulations. RNW provides a profile on its history and the role it played in the city’s social landscape. The club opened in 2001, complete with participation in the city’s Gay Pride Parade. Founder Atef Salib explains that he did not feel welcome in Dutch gay bars and wanted to create an establishment for Arab homosexuals with a particular atmosphere. The bar is closing after having broken civic licensing regulations more than three times.
14 July 2011
Radio Netherlands Worldwide carries a feature on upcoming elections in Egypt this fall, describing the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the country as ‘the party to beat’. It follows the attendance of two party representatives at a workshop, given by the Dutch consultancy bureau BKB at the Dutch embassy, which was based on discussing election campaigning. The feature describes the Muslim Brotherhood as transitioning from underground movement to political party; representative Al Abadi’s notes the techniques for photographic campaigning learned. RNW notes the success of the Muslim Brotherhood in 2004 and increasing organization and recognition, but also that the organization “has some way to go before working openly”
November 25 2010
Radio Netherlands Worldwide carries a profile of the work of Petra Slipsteijn, professor of Arabic language and culture at Leiden University. Slijpstein works with papyrus manuscripts which are the only remaining historical source contemporary with the life of Muhammad. Her research suggests that the texts “largely confirm the official Islamic version of events”. The RNW’s profile frames Slijpstein’s work as disproving the assertions of “skeptical scholars” who claim that “Muhammad did not exist and that Islam is a fabrication made up in later centuries”.
August 11 2010
Radio Netherlands Worldwide carried a feature this week of several sites created to cater to the needs of young Dutch Muslims seeking “to combine Islam with living in a secular country like the Netherlands”. Featured websites include Polder Mosque, an online mosque for young people which treats Islam as part of Dutch society, and Maroc.nl, a popular discussion platform for Dutch-speaking Muslims. The RNW coverage emphasizes the confusion which can result from the many voices represented in the busy marketplace of internet forums. Mohammad El Aissati, founder of Maroc.nl, suggests that an authoritative voice emerging from the fray would most likely belong to “an imam who speaks Dutch, understands the questions of young Muslims in the Netherlands and advises them via the internet, the digital Mecca of this generation.”