Local Politician Quits After Anti-Immigrant Comments

November 24 2010

Rob Spiegelenberg, who headed the Dutch Labour party’s provincial election campaign in the region Gelderland, has stepped down following comments about Moroccans and Turks. Spiegelenberg is reported to have commented that if Dutch borders are opened, Turks and Moroccans would “breed like crazy” in the country.

Difference in ethnic and immigrant dutch voting opinion

20,000 potential voters in the upcoming national elections filled out an online questionnaire that indicates their position on issues of immigration and integration. The guide, created by Maroc.NL, was filled out by as many ethnic Dutch as immigrants, and results suggest that responses from the two groups vary considerably:  for example, while 68% of Turks and Moroccans completely disagree that “Islam doesn’t fit in a democratic state”, almost half of ethnic Dutch respondents believe Islam is incompatible with democracy.  The most popular parties among non-Western respondents were the Dutch Muslim Party, the GroenLinks (Greens) and the SP (Socialists).

Children of Dutch immigrants less religious than their parents

A survey conducted by researchers at the University of Utrecht reveals that children of Turkish and Moroccan immigrants to the Netherlands practice their religion less rigorously than their parents. The overwhelming majority still see themselves as Muslim. The results stem from a survey of 2000 members of the Turkish-Dutch and Moroccan-Dutch communities and published in the journal Ethnic and Racial Studies, measuring how “vibrant” religious feelings and practices were between the two generations. The younger generation scored lower on both counts.

Other results from the report include the observation that highly-educated Turks and Moroccans describing themselves as Muslims practice their faith more than the lower-educated, which is exactly the opposite among the first generation. Finally, the research suggests that the assimilation of immigrant groups in the Netherlands will take “several generations.”

Muslim Cemetery in Amsterdam On Hold

Construction of a Muslim cemetery in Amsterdam is on hold for the time being due to the costs, ND reports. Three years ago the city of Amsterdam set aside 416,000 euro for a Muslim cemetery to be placed in the Nieuwe Ooster cemetery. Although the process included much deliberation with the Islamic community, a committee reached an agreement in which the municipality and the Nieuwe Ooster cemetery itself contributed to the project. Construction was supposed to start last spring but has been put on hold due to the cost. When the project goes through, the cemetery would serve for at least twenty years, since most of the deceased Turks and Moroccans are buried in their homeland.