Fewer Dutch Muslims to Travel to Mecca for Hajj

25 September 2013

 

Newspaper Trouw reports that the number of Dutch Muslims planning to travel to Mecca this year has almost halved in comparison to previous years. 16 travel agencies in the Netherlands are allotted 5,000 visas a year from Saudi Arabia to allow Dutch Muslims to make the journey. This year some agencies still have half their visa allocations left, with the Hajj taking place in mid October. Trouw suggests that the economic crisis accounts for the drop in numbers, with the trip costing between 3,500- 5,000 Euros per person.

Dutch MP Says Third Generation Should Still Count as Non-Native

30 June 2011

The Dutch Freedom Party (PVV) has requested that grandchildren of immigrants to the country remain classified as ‘immigrants’ for the purposes of tracking the progress of their integration. PVV representative Joram van Klaveran made the request of internal affairs minister Piet Hein Donner on the grounds that third generation immigrants cause specific problems in society. As Trouw reports, currently 80% of third generation immigrants are younger than ten.

Ramadan Celebrations Changing in Netherlands

August 7 2010

Trouw reports that the way Muslims in the Netherlands celebrate Ramadan is changing, according to social scientists at the University of Amsterdam and the VU University in Amsterdam. Rituals which were previously internal to the community have come to adapt to the Dutch environment and engage the non-Muslim Dutch.This shift, according to Professor Gerard Wiegers of the University of Amsterdam, is “part of a process of institutionalizing Islam in a Dutch, secular environment”.

Gay Men Approaching Minors Extorted by Dutch Moroccans

Trouw reports that Moroccans who extorted money from gays in the area of Bergen op Zoom targeted men who had initiated contact with minors in internet chat sites, threatening them with police action. When confronted with printouts of the chats targeting 16 year olds, the men handed over cash, watches and phones in values up to 750 euro. The men were wary of reporting the extortion because of the illegality of the initial online contact with minors.

Dutch man sentenced to community service for offending Muslims

A 60 year old from Nieuwegein (Utrecht) was sentenced for insulting Muslims Friday. The court in Utrecht gave him forty hours of community service and two weeks suspended sentence, Trouw reports. The man was also charged for threatening a member of the Amersfoort city council.

In February 2009 the man turned his back on the Muslim woman who attempted to serve him at a pharmacy. He said he thought it was revolting to look at ‘them’, referring to Muslims, public prosecutors claimed. The court decided that ‘offending a group based on religion’ had been demonstrated in this case.

Islamic Schooling Foundation Will Not Be Prosecuted For Misuse of Subsidies

The public prosecution will not deal with a complaint by State Secretary of Education Sharon Dijksma against the Helmond Foundation of Muslim Schools (Stichting Islamitische Scholen Helmond). Dijksma claims that the school administration wrongly spent over 900, 000 euro in subsidies. The claims came following Dijksma’s report to parliament last year which claimed that 90% of Muslim schools are misusing subsidy money. In the case of the Helmond Foundation, Dijksma claims that subsidy money has been used for self payment and compensating “phantom workers”. Prosecution recognized that the money was not spent as intended, but that it was not used for purposes of “grave self enrichment”, Trouw reports. The State Secretary says that she will respect the decision.

18% of Immigrant Men Plan to Leave Netherlands

Trouw reports on a survey released by the national statistics bureau (CBS). According to the survey 18% of immigrant men have plans to live abroad temporarily or for good, compared to 7% among ethnic Dutch men. The number of women with plans for emigration is significantly lower but is twice as high among immigrants than among ethnic Dutch. In the past months the number of people with emigration plans decreased as some families are deciding not to emigrate due to the economic crisis.

Turkish/Moroccan Girls in Netherlands Do Not Seek Help for Assault

Trouw reports on an announcement by the UMC Utrecht that it will offer special services for Turkish and Moroccan girls and young women who have experienced sexual attacks. According to the National Psycho-Trauma Center for Children and Youth, these girls rarely seek professional help. None of the 250 assaulted and raped girls between 13-15 years old who turned to the center in 2005 was of Turkish or Moroccan origin, though sexual violence is as common among this group. The National Psycho-Trauma Center will visit schools, community centers and mosques at the beginning of the school year in order to bring Turkish and Moroccan girls who have been raped to the center.

Dutch Trained Imams Unable to Find Work in Mosques

Imams graduating from Dutch government training programs are unable to find work in mosques, Trouw reports. Three educational institutions offer courses for qualification, an initiative of the cabinet to train imams familiar with Dutch language and culture. However mosques do not have the funds to hire graduates of the program and locally trained imams are not necessarily popular with the older generation of worshippers. To date, no mosques in the Netherlands have hired an imam from the program.