Retrial Begins for Woman Convicted of Terrorism Charges in the Netherlands

February 15, 2014


The case of Soumaya S – given a four year jail term in 2008 for terrorism, and about whose conviction there are now serious doubts – is now being heard in an Amsterdam court, according to the Telegraaf. The Supreme Court ordered a retrial of her case in 2011, following claims that justice ministry officials withheld crucial telephone recordings from the defence. Soumaya S’s lawyer claims that the recordings show she was not involved in a plot against Dutch politician as a member of the Hofstadgroep.


Dutch News:

Dutch Immigration Minister Calls to Eliminate Term ‘Allochtoon’

31 January 2012


Immigration minister Geerd Leers has called for elimination of the term allochtoon, a designation connoting “non-native” and widely  \applied in popular use to describe non-western immigrants (particularly from Turkey and Morocco) and their children, up to third generation. Leers commented in a magazine interview, “I want people born in the Netherlands to be called Dutch, plain and simple… I can understand why people who give themselves 100% to society ask themselves why they are being dismissed in such a derogatory way.” Telegraaf reports that Leers’ position is notable, contrasting that of the PVV party in alliance with the minority cabinet, which aims to broaden the scope of the term.

Update: Moroccan Imam Does Not Apply for Dutch Visa

20 December 2011


A Moroccan Imam invited to speak at a conference in Amsterdam did not apply for a visa to enter the country, according to the Telegraaf. Politicians had condemned the invitation and called for his entry to the country to be banned, when it was revealed that the Imam had supported a marriageable age of nine for girls. Foreign minister Uri Rosenthal said that there is now no longer sufficient time for a visa to be granted even if he did apply.

Meal Refunds for Muslim Students at Dutch University Orientation

7 August 2011


Muslims participating at an orientation week at Leiden University are able to receive a refund on their meal tickets, as this year’s activities fall during the month of Ramadan. Muslim students who hand back their meal tickets will receive 30 euros back from their 65 euro registration fees. De Telegraaf reports that most universities are not changing their orientation programs to accommodate for Ramadan, though Utrecht University will ensure that obligatory sessions will not run during the evenings, allowing Muslim students to break fast with their families, while in Maastricht halal meat will be available, as in previous years, during the annual barbecue.


Dutch MP Says Burqa Conflicts with Good Manners

29 June 2011

Dutch Home Affairs Minister Piet Hein Donner announced during the recent parliamentary debate over integration that the burqa is ‘against Dutch norms and manners’. Just as individuals are not permitted to walk around the streets naked, they should be prevented from wearing the burka. According to coverage in the Telegraaf, then, the proposed ban has less to do with public safety that with a “Dutch” value that “in our society you should be able to see each other”.

Dutch Film Directors’ Murderer Included in Al-Qaeda Video

June 4 2011

De Telegraaf reports that a video clip released by as-Sahab, al-Qaeda’s media branch, has featured an image of Mohammed Bouyeri, who killed Dutch film director Theo van Gogh in 2004. His inclusion is unusual in a video which otherwise focuses on depictions of senior al-Qaeda leaders.

Turkish Dutch Students Should “Learn About Honor Murder”

March 14 2011

Turkish Dutch students should learn about domestic violence and honor murder in elementary school, according to Turkish labour union HTIB and Chairman Mustafa Ayranci. According to the Telegraaf, the chairman suggested this education would lead to changing “the mentality among all Turks”. Amsterdam alderman for Diversity and Integration Andree van Es commented in response to Sp!ts that while there has already been some improvement, “the Turkish community is still closed off”.

Dutch Tax Investigation Targets Turkish Bakeries

February 22 2011

The Netherlands’ anti-fraud agency (FIOD) has completed a study of 500 bakeries with owners of non-western origin, and found instances of irregular bookkeeping, illegal employment, tax fraud, or hygiene issues in many of the Turkish bakeries investigated. The tax authority began the investigation last fall together with the justice ministry and welfare authorities. According to the Telegraaf’s coverage of the investigation, 85% of the bakeries investigated were Turkish, and of these 60% displayed cause for concern. Responding to the study, the Turkish business association pointed out the problematic nature of a study which targeted non-western businesses, stating that a study limited to Turkish bakeries “doesn’t make sense”.

Schools May Not Ban Headscarf on Basis of “Values”

Religious schools in the Netherlands may not ban Muslim pupils from wearing headscarves on the basis that it contradicts their ‘core values’. Rather, the ban may only operate if it threatens the pupil’s education. This announcement from the Dutch cabinet responded to questions from the anti-Islam PVV, following controversy regarding a Muslim pupil at a Catholic school in Volendam. The student has subsequently agreed to cover her head only in the assembly hall and school corridors, Telegraaf reports. Education Minister and Home Affairs Minister also dismissed suggestions that wearing headscarves demonstrates gender inequality, stating “fashion dictates all sorts of differences between the way men and women dress”.

February 9 2011

Dutch Muslim Groups Offer Protection for Threatened Churches

Following the mention of three Coptic churches – located in Eindhoven, Utrecht and Amsterdam- on a website considered to have links to Al Qaida, Muslim organizations in the Netherlands have denounced the threat. The Dutch Muslim Council, the Council of Moroccan Mosques in the Netherlands and the Federation of Islamic Organizations have offered protection to the churches in a statement in the Telegraaf. “It is up to us to do so because Al-Qaeda is claiming to act in the name of Islam. Christian Copts, us (Muslims), and all Dutch have the same enemy: the terrorists,” the statement said. “We can’t sleep at the idea that Christian Copts may be attacked here, in the Netherlands.”