1 Feb 2012
Education minister van Bijsterveldt has appealed to the country’s imams to speak out against homophobia. Recent comments from the Dutch Institute of Psychologists (NIP) and the country’s Moroccan-Dutch Alliance (SMN) organization have drawn attention to the difficulties that Moroccan homosexuals, particularly youth, face. The organizations commented that although there is “progress” with respect to homosexual acceptance, gay Moroccan youth are more likely to suffer from psychological problems.
Van Bijsterveldt declined to impose mandatory attention to homosexuality in elementary schools, saying that it is up to the school to determine curriculum in that respect. However he did call upon the country’s imam’s to support gay rights, as “It must really come from inside one’s own community.”
18 July 2011
Farid Azarkan, head of the Moroccan-Dutch Association SMN has commented that PVV parliamentarian Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam statements contribute to graffiti and threats against mosques, AD reports. Azarkan claims that people ‘feel strengthened’ by the anti-Islam political message, which “manifests itself in calling on the streets to tag mosques with the exact slogans that come out of Wilders’ mouth”.
September 19, 2010
The Cooperation Association of Moroccans in the Netherlands (SMN) has said that the national Justice minister’s action program against discrimination should pay more attention to incidents against Dutch Moroccans and Muslims. The program does not deal specifically with discrimination and violence against Dutch Moroccans and Muslims.
The SMN is further critical of a police letter attached to the report outlining that discrimination against gays and Jews rose sharply in 2009 but omitting the information that the biggest category of incidents of discrimination are based on ethnicity and origin- including those against Dutch Moroccans.
“This bias in the presentation of the research ultimately influences the images formed in society” explains SMN’s Farid Azarkan. The SMN says that they are against all forms of discrimination, and Azarkan calls the fact that Jews and gays are increasingly targets of discrimination a “sad and alarming development”.