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Thread: The Netherlands: Dutch Immigration Stories [Various]

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    The Netherlands: Dutch Immigration Stories [Various]

    http://www.expatica.com/source/site_...&story_id=9396

    12 July 2004

    AMSTERDAM − There was a large decline in the number of applications for Dutch citizenship in the first four months of this year, figures from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service IND have indicated.

    Amid several incorrect Dutch media reports, a Justice Ministry spokesman confirmed to Expatica on Monday that the IND now expects just 24,000 applications for naturalisation this year compared with 32,000 in 2003.

    The spokesman said the original report published on Saturday in quality Dutch daily newspaper De Volkskrant was correct. But he also said that that the IND cannot be blamed for the fact that journalists of other new services incorrectly reported the figures.

    Despite this, the spokesman said he would contact the various organisations, such as Dutch public news service NOS, to request that the error be corrected. News agency ANP, newspaper De Telegraaf and the website nu.nl also published incorrect figures.

    The 24,000 requests for citizenship is an IND estimation for the full 12 months of this year and is not the total number of lodged applications recorded in the first four months of this year, as stated in several media reports.

    Meanwhile, the IND attributed the decline to the compulsory exam immigrants must pass before gaining Dutch citizenship. The exam has been compulsory since April 2003 and tests an immigrant's knowledge of the Dutch language and society.

    Only those people who have been in the Netherlands for five years may be permitted to apply for Dutch citizenship. For the foreign partners of Dutch nationals, the minimum period is three years.

    The IND also said the reduced number of citizenship applications is due to the fewer applications for asylum. In the first six months of 2004, there were just 4,832 compared with 7,466 in the same period last year, a decline of 35 percent.

    Since tougher asylum seekers regulations were introduced in 2001, the number of requests for asylum has fallen from about 43,500 in 2000 to just 13,400 last year.

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    The New York Times Blames the Dutch for Immigrant Violence

    The Knife’s Message

    Mona Charen, Washington Times, Nov. 23

    As Americans reaffirmed the war on terror by re-electing George W. Bush, Europe was slapped hard across the face by the murder of Theo van Gogh, a Dutch filmmaker and outspoken critic of Islam. Van Gogh, a descendant of the painter, was shot while riding his bicycle to work in Amsterdam.

    The bullets did not kill van Gogh. He survived long enough to stagger toward his office and plead with his attacker not to kill him—just as Nick Berg, Margaret Hassan, Kenneth Bigley and countless others pleaded with their murderers. But the killer, a Moroccan/Dutch jihadist who reportedly converted to radical Islam after September 11, 2001, pulled out a long knife and methodically slit the throat of the 47-year-old van Gogh. He then withdrew a lengthy manifesto from his pocket and used the bloody knife to impale it on the filmmaker’s chest.

    The letter is a screed of terrific savagery, written partly in quite conversational Dutch and partly in Arabic. Much of the vitriol is aimed at Hirsi Ali—a Dutch member of parliament of Somali birth who has renounced Islam and had helped van Gogh make a film, “Submission,” that unveiled the abuse many Muslim women silently endure.

    “There will come a day,” declares the threat letter, “when one soul will not be able to help another soul. A day of horrible tortures and painful tribulations which will go together with the terrible cries being pressed out of the lungs of the unjust. Cries, Mrs. Hirsi Ali, which will cause chills to run up someone’s spine, and cause the hair on their head to stand straight up. . . . Hair-raising screams will be squeezed from the lungs of the nonbelievers.”

    Later the letter warns: “I surely know that you, O America, will be destroyed. I surely know that you, O Europe, will be destroyed. I surely know that you, O Holland, will be destroyed.”

    The response of the editorial board of the New York Times reveals why Western civilization is imperiled. “Urgent efforts are needed to better manage the cultural tensions perilously close to the surface of Dutch public life,” intoned the Times. “The problem is not Muslim immigration, but a failure to plan for a smoother transition to a more diverse society. One very real danger is that the public trauma over the van Gogh murder may lead to a clamor for anti-Muslim policies that could victimize thousands of innocent refugees and immigrants.”

    Right. The problem is not a murderous, totalitarian religious ideology bent on domination of any society with which it comes into contact (just ask the Sudanese Christians, the Israeli Jews or the Hindu Indians), rather it is the Western world’s lack of “diversity.” Good Lord, where are these people’s brains?

    It is perfectly obvious to all but the most obtuse observer, which of course includes the editorial board of the New York Times, that an excess of tolerance is what got the Netherlands and the rest of Europe into this mess in the first place. The Netherlands has leaned over backward to welcome immigrants from the former Dutch colony of Indonesia—to the point where a majority of children under age 14 in the four largest Dutch cities are Muslims. Muslims now comprise 6 percent of the population, but their numbers are surging through large families and continued immigration (about 30,000 yearly).

    Some 300,000 of the 1 million Muslims in the Netherlands fervently support the radical imams and mosques that preach jihad against the Jews, the West and all infidels. The Dutch have prided themselves on tolerating everything from legal prostitution, to euthanasia, to freely available marijuana and other drugs. But in tolerating the intolerant Muslims, they have swallowed a serpent.

    In the wake of van Gogh’s murder, many Netherlanders have come to recognize this. Seventy-five percent told pollsters they support “radical” measures for dealing with terrorists. And Deputy Prime Minister Gerrit Zalm announced the Dutch Cabinet had “declared war on Islamic extremism.” Those who don’t support the Netherland’s tradition of free speech have been publicly invited to leave the country, even if citizens, and the government is preparing to close radical mosques altogether.

    The New York Times would not approve. But sane observers will recognize the Dutch as the first Europeans to display a healthy survival instinct. [Yeah? How long will that last?] It is not too late for the rest of Europe—yet.

    (Posted on November 23, 2004)

    http://www.amren.com/mtnews/archive...knifeas_mes.php

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    The Culture War comes to Holland

    The Culture War comes to Holland

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Posted: November 29, 2004
    1:00 a.m. Eastern



    By Patrick J. Buchanan



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    © 2004 Creators Syndicate, Inc.

    By all accounts, Theo van Gogh, 47, the great-great-grandson of the brother of the Dutch master, was a repulsive character.


    Foul of mouth, given to anti-Semitic outbursts, the film director was described thus by the Wall Street Journal:


    In writings and speeches he made crude jokes about Jews and riled Moslems with scatological insults. A few months before his murder, he attended a debate called "Happy Chaos" organized by students and a leftist magazine. It descended into rancorous chaos when Mr. van Gogh called a Moslem leader the "prophet's pimp."


    In August, van Gogh, known as the Michael Moore of Holland, aired on Dutch television a 10-minute English-language film titled, "Submission." The movie, writes the BBC, "caused an uproar."


    The outcry centered on the stories of four Moslem women who were beaten, raped and forced into marriage, and were asking for Allah's help. It becomes apparent that their chadors and gowns are transparent and their half-naked bodies are visible through their dress. On their bodies are written Koranic verses describing the permitted physical punishments for women who "misbehave."


    "Submission" was to be the first of three installments. Someone else will have to direct the other two. For as Slate's Ronald Rovers describes in detail, Theo is no longer with us:


    On the morning of Nov. 2 in a busy street in east Amsterdam, a 26-year-old Dutch Moroccan named Mohammed Bouyeri pulled out a gun and shot ... Theo van Gogh, who was riding a bike to his office. Van Gogh hit the ground and stumbled across the street to a nearby building. He didn't make it. As the Moroccan strode toward him, van Gogh shouted: "We can still talk about it! Don't do it! Don't do it."

    But the Moroccan didn't stop. He shot him again, slit Van Gogh's throat and stuck a letter to his chest with a knife. He was slaughtered like an animal, witnesses said. "Cut like a tire," said one.


    As the Journal describes it, the letter fulminated against "infidels" and warned, "Hair-raising screams will be squeezed from the lungs of the non-believers." It ended in:


    ... a Dutch incantation in the style of an Islamic verse: "I know for sure that you, O America, are going to meet with disaster. I know for sure that you, O Europe, are going to meet with disaster. I know for sure that you, O Netherlands, are going to meet with disaster."


    What stunned Holland is that Bouyeri was born and educated in that most tolerant of countries, where drugs are done in public and all manner of sex is on sale. Nor was Bouyeri destitute.

    When police went to arrest his friends, they put up a fight. Mosques have since been torched, churches burned, and Dutch leaders who have denounced Islamic fanatics have been threatened with ritual slaughter and beheadings. Dutch police now believe Holland has a sizable nest of homegrown terrorists among its million Moslems.

    Welcome to the New Europe. Twenty million Muslims now reside there and are the fastest-growing minority on a continent where the native-born populations of every country save Muslim Albania are failing to reproduce themselves or have begun to die out.

    Europe faces the dilemma of a post-Christian civilization that has lost all moral certitude – to worship at the altars of diversity and tolerance. As Slate writes: "The Dutch filmmaker believed that insulting people was his right as a free citizen. The Moslem fanatic who slaughtered him didn't agree."

    How does Holland, how does Europe deal with a militant faith that preaches that to do your own thing means to do God's will and punish insulters of that faith – be they a van Gogh or Salman Rushdie?

    As Muslims move toward majority status, why should they not use Europe's democratic procedures to establish Islamic law and make theirs the faith of Europe, as Christians did and secularists have now done?

    To devout Muslims, what Europe offers is godless materialism and hedonism, a life devoid of meaning and purpose, save pleasure and self-indulgence. They prefer to do Allah's bidding in this world to ensure they share his paradise in the next.

    Undeniably, Islam is rising. And, like all rising faiths, it is intolerant. Disbelieving that all religions are equal – "There is one God, Allah, and Mohammed is his Prophet" – Islam does not believe all faiths should be treated equally. Why should they be? If one has God's revealed truth, why should one tolerate lies that lead to the damnation of the faithful?

    In its new constitution, the European Union has declared Christianity a dead relic. What Islam is saying – with its militancy, its soaring birth rate, it steady replacement of dying Europeans with young Muslim immigrants – is: "Christianity may be your past, but we are your future."

    My money's on the true believers.




    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    SPECIAL OFFER: Pat Buchanan's book, "The Death of the West," an eye-opening exposé of how immigration invasions are endangering America, is now available at HALF-PRICE from WorldNetDaily's online store! Autographed edition also available!



    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Patrick J. Buchanan was twice a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination and the Reform Party’s candidate in 2000. He is also a founder and editor of the new magazine, The American Conservative. Now a political analyst for MSNBC and a syndicated columnist, he served three presidents in the White House, was a founding panelist of three national television shows, and is the author of seven books.

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    Muslims file complaint over Dutch TV's airing of excerpts from film by slain Dutch fi

    Muslims file complaint over Dutch TV's airing of excerpts from film by slain Dutch filmmaker

    By Jan M. Olsen

    ASSOCIATED PRESS


    COPENHAGEN, Denmark - Danish Muslims have filed complaints against Denmark's two state-run television stations for having repeatedly shown excerpts of Theo van Gogh's film "Submission" after his slaying last month.

    The 12-minute film, released in August, was sharply critical of Islam and the status of women in Muslim communities.

    Since Van Gogh's killing in Amsterdam on Nov. 2, the Danish Broadcasting Corp. and TV2 have aired excerpts several times during news shows about the death and the debate that followed it across Europe.

    In a letter mailed Saturday to police, Laue Traberg Smidt, the group's lawyer, said the Danish Broadcasting Corp.'s "massive coverage of the case and its repeated use" of excerpts "seems rather an attempt to contribute to a confrontation and whip up a sentiment against Danes of Muslim faith."

    "They understand that it must be shown, but they feel it is being repeated again and again as if it was part of an advertising campaign," Traberg Smidt said Monday.

    Separately, another group of Muslims in central Denmark filed a complaint against TV2 with police. Efforts to reach them were unsuccessful.

    Both channels denied the allegations.

    "When we show excerpts, we do it in the interest of freedom of speech," Danish Broadcasting's news director Lisbeth Knudsen said, adding it was not done to inflame tensions or cast aspersions upon Denmark's Muslim community.

    In his complaint, Traberg Smidt said he represented a group of about 20 Danish Muslims, who wanted to remain anonymous "because they are afraid of unpleasant (reaction) in the current atmosphere."

    There was anti-Muslim violence in the Netherlands after the Dutch filmmaker's death, but no such backlash has occurred in Denmark. About 149,000 people, or 2.8 percent of Denmark's population of 5.4 million, are Muslim.

    While convictions for violating the law on racism occasionally happen in this tolerant country, no one has been sentenced for blasphemy since 1938, when a group of Danes were convicted of slander against Jews.

    A 26-year-old Islamic radical with Moroccan-Dutch citizenship was arrested in the Netherlands and charged in the slaying of Van Gogh, a distant relative of the famed painter.
    http://www.contracostatimes.com/mld/...0357715.htm?1c

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    Threatened Dutch [!?] MP out of hiding

    Threatened Dutch MP out of hiding

    [My little Schnauzer is more Dutch than this Somali.]

    Liberal Dutch politician Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a critic of Muslim fundamentalism who had received death threats, has emerged from hiding.
    The Somali-born deputy returned to her office in parliament on Tuesday amid tight security.

    She wrote the script for the controversial short TV film Submission by director Theo Van Gogh, who was murdered in Amsterdam on 2 November.

    "Mrs Hirsi Ali is in the building," a parliament spokesman said.

    A letter left on Van Gogh's body contained death threats against Mrs Hirsi Ali, Dutch Justice Minister Piet Hein Donner said. It had been pinned to his body with a knife.

    Nine suspects, all believed to be radical Islamists, have been arrested in connection with the murder.

    The film Submission criticised the treatment of women under Islam.

    The letter threatened to bring down "non-believers". It was typed in Dutch and contained Koranic verses written in Arabic and translated into Dutch.


    Story from BBC NEWS:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/h...pe/4183697.stm

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    Putting the fear of God into Holland

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/newspap...8514_1,00.html

    February 27, 2005


    Putting the fear of God into Holland

    By Brian Moynahan

    The Dutch have rejected liberalism in response to Islamic immigration. Some say they are now too hardline. So what can the rest of Europe learn from their crisis?

    Not long ago, Holland prided itself as being the most tolerant and welcoming country in Europe for immigrants and asylum seekers. It had the credentials to prove it. So many have settled there, ethnic "minorities" are often in a majority. In the great Dutch cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam and the Hague, the newcomers already outnumber the native Dutch among under-20-year-olds. They will soon be an absolute majority.

    Although the slump that followed the 1973 oil shock removed the urgent need to recruit labour, the Dutch accepted that the "guest workers" in the country could remain. The policy was to create a multicultural society in which cultural and ethnic differences were accepted and appreciated.

    Some immigrants came from former Dutch colonies. The two largest groups, however, Turkish and Moroccan, had no historic links with the Netherlands. The Dutch nonetheless accepted the reunification of families, and the practice of marrying partners from the country of origin, even though these can have an eight- or tenfold multiplier effect on overall numbers. Asylum seekers then arrived, in numbers that escalated from 3,500 in 1985 to over 43,000 in 2000.

    The figures were pro rata among the highest in the EU. Illegals came, too, mainly after 1990, with estimates running from 100,000 to 200,000. The Dutch supplied funding for mosques, religious schools, language courses and housing. They passed special legislation so Moroccans could have dual nationality, as Moroccan nationality is inalienable under Moroccan law. Political correctness, of the sort that produced Harry Enfield's famously relaxed Amsterdam policemen, reigned. Issues felt at street level — immigration, crime, culture, national identity — were seldom discussed by the political elite.



    No longer. A sea change has taken place. It was evident after the death last month of a young Dutch Moroccan, identified only as Ali El B. Several hundred Moroccans congregated on the street where a driver had run him over, reversing into him after he had stolen her bag. They had made a shrine on the pavement, with flowers and candles, and there was talk of racism and murder. The crowd set off on a march to pay their respects at a mosque not far away. The boys were in a long gaggle at the front. The girls, neater, were in disciplined ranks at the rear. Some had Moroccan flags draped over their shoulders. They chanted in Arabic for a while, and passers-by looked and scurried on.

    The mosque was on the ground floor in a row of old gabled houses, some converted into offices, that looked out over a broad waterway. A racing skiff, a pair, was splashing through the wavelets thrown up by a blustery gale. Television cameramen darted round the crowd as it milled outside the mosque. An elderly Dutchman looked down from his flat at the sea of hoods and scarves and red-and-green flags, with an utterly forlorn expression.

    Nobody doubts that Ali El B would once have become a martyred innocent. Now, attempts to portray him like that were sat on fast and hard. The fiercest comment came from Geert Wilders. The hard line this right-wing MP takes on immigrants and terrorists has made him the fastest-rising star in the political firmament.

    It has also brought threats of beheading from radical Islamists, so he is now shackled to six bodyguards and has secure lodgings on army bases. "All Moroccan troublemakers should be expelled," Wilders says. "The government wants to expel terrorists. The same process should be used for street terrorists like Ali El B. Detain them, de-naturalise them and deport them." Wilders is a firebrand. Rita Verdonk is the minister for immigration and integration, and a mainstream Conservative. She, too, is implacable. "If the boy hadn't stolen the bag," she says, "he'd be riding around on his scooter today."

    But the real pointer to how far Holland has shifted comes from Job Cohen, the mayor of Amsterdam. Cohen is Labour, from the party that personified political correctness and the more-the-merrier, they-can-do-no-wrong approach to immigrants. "We have to admit," the mayor says, "that this was not a sweet and blameless youth, to put it mildly."

    The consensus has shifted across the board. In a country that can still seem a parody of itself — a magistrate ruled recently that an armed robber was entitled to a tax rebate on the cost of his gun as a tool of his trade — even the leader of the Green party has called for it to be illegal for Muslims to import spouses through arranged marriages. Integrated teams, drawn from the police, social welfare and housing offices, are used to locate and arrest illegals. Social welfare knows who is drawing benefit, housing offices have addresses, and police check for criminal records. The number of asylum seekers has been slashed from 43,000 to 10,000 a year, nine-tenths of whom have their applications rejected.

    Multiculturalism is damned. A recent poll found 80% in favour of stronger measures to get immigrants to integrate — and 40% said they "hoped" Muslims "no longer feel at home here".



    How did this happen? The first open shift came in 2001, with 9/11. Frits Bolkestein, the leader of the VVD Conservative Liberals, had struck a chord in the 1990s with his insistence that immigrants conform to western culture, but immigration issues were largely the preserve of "racists" and "crypto-Nazis" on the political margins. Then came reports that the atrocities in New York and Washington had been greeted with cheers in parts of Rotterdam. Forum, the Dutch institute for multicultural development, commissioned an opinion poll of Dutch Muslims. It showed that 48% had "complete understanding" and 27% "some understanding" of the attacks. Overall, only 62% disapproved. Wim Kok, the then prime minister, expressed his shock. The poll was said to be "unbalanced".

    Another was held. This found that, although only a small number of Turkish and Surinamese Muslims supported the attacks, 26% of ethnic Moroccans approved of them.


    This startling fact helped make the brief political career of Pim Fortuyn, an openly gay, flamboyant former Marxist professor turned magazine columnist. He founded his Leefbaar Rotterdam party — "Liveable Rotterdam" — on an anti-multicultural, law-and-order, stop-immigration platform.

    Fortuyn was hard to pin down as a racist, let alone fascist. He was socially liberal, opposed the death penalty, and supported human rights and nondiscrimination. Members of ethnic minorities joined the party. A young, black businessman was No 2 on his national election list. He was often described as a "Dutch Le Pen", as Wilders is now, but both comparisons are facile, and Fortuyn himself said he would not vote for the Frenchman.
    He broke the paralysis that political correctness had brought to immigration. "I'm saying we've got big problems in our cities," he said. "It's not very smart to make the problem bigger by letting in millions more immigrants from rural Muslim cultures that don't assimilate."

    He wanted immigration stopped. "Holland is full," he said, and the Dutch were losing control of their own country. He didn't want to return those already legally in the country, but insisted that they learn to adapt to western culture, and not vice versa. He was also critical of Islam as a "backward culture" that discriminated against women. The enthusiasm of some Dutch Muslims for the New York massacre made his claims hard to dismiss as the ranting of a bigot.

    His party, from a near-standing start, came to power in the Rotterdam local elections in March 2002. He was on track for a breakthrough in the May 2002 general elections when he was shot dead.

    It was the first political assassination in Holland since the 17th century. The impact was deep and palpable. Free speech has a particular resonance in the country, perhaps as a result of wartime occupation. Fortuyn had already been branded a fascist for questioning the status quo on immigration. Now his views had got him killed, by a white, Dutch animal-rights activist. Several of his ideas — compulsory assimilation programmes for newcomers and those with poor Dutch on social-security benefit, and tighter rules on immigrants bringing in spouses from abroad — were to be adopted in any event.

    A third shock came with the murder in November of Theo van Gogh, the film director, columnist and provocateur. He had made a short film, Submission, on the rape and humiliation of women in Islam. It was studiously offensive — he had spun a career out of reckless insults — and featured verses of the Koran written on the thinly veiled body of an abused Muslim woman.

    He made the film with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a petite Somali refugee who is a Liberal MP in the Dutch parliament. Herself a Muslim, she is an outspoken critic of Islam, speaking of genital mutilation, arranged marriages and the turning of women into "baby machines".

    Van Gogh was offered, but refused, protection. He was shot as he cycled through Amsterdam. His murderer then half-butchered him, slitting his throat with a knife, which he then used to pin a letter to the dead man's chest. This claimed that the Dutch were under Jewish control, and called for a jihad against Hirsi Ali, the United States, the Netherlands, Europe and all infidels.



    The murder forced another highly sensitive issue — religion — into the mix. The Dutch were brought face to face with the disturbing fact that a full-blown jihadist group had grown up in their midst, and that it was locally born and recruited. It was, they say, their own 9/11. Van Gogh's alleged assassin, Mohammed B, a 26-year-old Dutch Moroccan, spoke and wrote excellent Dutch. The farewell letter found on him when he was arrested was written in rhyming couplets, in the style that Dutch families send to one another each Sinterklaas (Santa Claus) Day, December 5. He had studied at a well-regarded lyceum before dropping out of a technical institute.

    He then started spending time at the Al-Tawhid mosque in Amsterdam. At some stage he joined a militant Islamic group, the Hofstad group, named after the Hague, where it was based. It was led by Redouan al-Issa, alias Abu Khaled, a Syrian-born geologist turned spiritual leader. Mohammed B's friends included Samir Azzouz, an 18-year-old radical later arrested for plotting to bomb Schiphol airport and the Dutch parliament.

    Slums and poverty played no part in Mohammed B's background. He grew up in pleasant, low-rise housing in west Amsterdam, graffiti-free, with open spaces and playgrounds. When arrested, he was living in good council housing. The street has small, modern houses, with well-tended gardens, the hedges trimmed, and a heron often standing on a rooftop. Lace curtains mark the Dutch houses; satellite dishes are the ubiquitous indicator of immigrants.

    Whether Mohammed B is guilty of this crime or not, the mechanics of how young men such as him are drawn into these groups are well known. "The breeding grounds are websites, prisons and the mosques," says a security expert. The preacher Abu Khaled, suspected of radicalising Mohammed B, was active in mosques in Germany and various parts of Holland. Websites make it possible for extremists to recruit from afar. The young who become interested talk to each other on chat rooms.

    The British would-be shoe bomber, Richard Reid, is one of those converted in prison.


    The "why?" is more complex. Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Dutch Moroccan on the Amsterdam council, is one of several leading politicians — with Wilders ("it's like being caught in a bad B-movie"), Cohen the mayor, and Verdonk, the immigration minister — who have had to live with bodyguards after assassination threats since the van Gogh murder.

    He says that imams with a political agenda and money from the Middle East are active. "Some come from sects that are banned in Egypt," he says, "but the border here is open to money and influence from abroad." The liberal approach includes the police, he notes, who deal with troublemakers with a softness that astonishes their Moroccan counterparts.
    He says, too, that the debate on Islam causes tensions. "Muslims are not used to focusing on sensitive issues within their own religion," he says. "They are very rural populations here. They see the debate as an attack on their personal identity."

    A reaction is seen. "Muslims now have a big urge, a big need to show their Muslim identity — to show it obviously, even," says Karim Traida, a stylish Algerian film director with a nomination for a Golden Globe. "So there is the risk of a clash. The clash is already in the mind. Muslims fear that, if they open up, they'll wind up like the Christians — very decadent. So when Islam looks at Christian history, it's worried by what goes with liberalism. They think of the decadence of European society."

    Islam in Europe, he adds, "has no roots yet. It's unstable, a new phenomenon, and the mosques want to stay secret. Parents are afraid that their children will go into decadent Dutch society, so they bring them back to Islam".

    There is a generational problem. "The confrontation with these boys is because they grew up here," says Ahmed Marcouch, gesturing at El B's friends at the mosque, where he is a senior official. "In the Seventies, the newcomers didn't speak Dutch, so they were more subdued. This generation have more strains on them. There's a clash between the culture they have at home and the one at school and on the street."

    Age, of course, is a factor. "The young are open to everything," says Uzeyir Kabaktepe, the vice president of the Turkish Milli Gorus mosque in Amsterdam. "If you give them pure Koran, they become extremist. All doors close for them. 'Everything else is black,' they think, 'but I'm white and I'm going to paradise.' Those who see black and white think they are angels, they think they are flying. If a Dutchman speaks to them on the street, they think 'he's a Zionist' or 'he's a Satan'. We give the Koran, not pure, but with explanations. We make them debate with each other. We show them that some of the dark ones, the infidels, are religious people too."

    The Moroccans, he says, are different. "They brought their ideas to Europe with them, and they don't budge," he claims. "Democracy for Arabs is Satanic, it's from the West, against God's word. Idiot imams came who said the Dutch and everything to do with them — schools, society — are devils. They said: get a second wife, from abroad, so the devils pay the social money for them. The Middle East plays a big role for the Arabs, it goes into the second and third generation. A child of 10 gets pictures on the internet of Americans in Iraq, mosques burnt down, prisoners. They say, why am I here? As a young Muslim? The internet can do big damage."

    Safiyeh M, a Dutch Moroccan divorcee with two children, says there is "one little group that won't adapt. It's always 'damn Dutch, damn Jews, damn infidels'. They can't do anything in Morocco. They'd get squashed. So they try it here". She carefully checks the websites that her 14-year-old son looks at. "I panicked when I found he'd been on a site that Mohammed B used," she says. "Fortunately it was a big entry portal and he was just using it to talk to friends in Morocco." Like many in the second generation, she thinks that new arrivals are keeping tensions high. "All these 150 nationalities in Amsterdam," she says. "It's ridiculous. There are too many immigrants."

    The media comes in for blame. "They only pick out the things they want, like the man with four wives," says Imam Jatala, at a Pakistani mosque in Rotterdam. "You can have four girlfriends here, but not wives. Prejudice is the biggest problem. A Christian says something about homosexuals, and that's okay. It's only wrong when Muslims say it."



    The debate can be highly sensitive. Ethnic minorities account for 40% of social-security recipients, with a rate six times higher than for the native Dutch. They have a high unemployment rate, and they make up a large majority of the prison population. This is seen as undermining the accepted wisdom that immigrants are vital to the economy.

    It includes marriage patterns. Three-quarters of young Muslims, including those who are Dutch born, marry a partner from their country of origin. "It's often a cash transaction," Wilders claims. "Two-thirds of them divorce after three years — the minimum period for the spouse to get the right of residence."

    This, and family reunification, means that numbers are constantly increasing, some complain, because the marriage pool extends abroad. Neither Turks nor Moroccans arrive with any understanding of Dutch. This means that the second generation problem — since one parent continues to be a newcomer — is made semi-permanent, compounding the problems of integration.

    There is criticism that the Dutch remain liberal where it suits them — society permits euthanasia, same-sex marriage, the use of recreational drugs, prostitution, adoption by homosexual couples — and that it is post-PC only on immigration. Draconian solutions — preventive arrest, deportation where possible — are bandied about for radical Islamists.


    "We have been tolerant to the nontolerant, and we got intolerance back," Wilders says. If the law, EU or Dutch, inhibits security, the law must be changed. "I'm a law-maker as an MP," he says. "I accept nothing that stands against us winning. If necessary, we should change the constitution and European treaties."

    Hirsi Ali is unrepentant on the cultural gap.
    "I take back nothing," she said on a brief return from hiding to parliament. "The essentials of Islam are not compatible with liberal democracy. In the Koran and the Hadith, it says that woman is below man, that nonbelievers have to die, and that people who renounce Islam have to die immediately." She was scathing with suggestions that her stridency was to blame for the threats. "Moderate politicians like Cohen and Aboutaleb are on the Islamists' death lists," she said. "It doesn't matter what tone you take."

    All agree, however, in the new climate in Holland, that open debate is essential. "Hiding is not a good strategy," Aboutaleb says. Traida puts it more bluntly: "I say — say it, now, before the explosion."



    Attitudes have hardened elsewhere in Europe. In Germany, Edmund Stoiber, the Bavarian prime minister, has said that there was no place for "preachers of hate" and oppressors of women. Immigrants must accept German values. "To those who don't accept this," he added, "all we can say is, 'You picked the wrong country.'" Traditional small "l" liberals have changed. Helmut Schmidt, the highly regarded former chancellor, has even said that the decision to invite guest workers to Germany in the 1960s was a mistake. German TV has broadcast a secret recording of an imam in a German mosque telling his worshippers that Germans would "burn in hell" because they are unbelievers.

    In France, which has 5m Muslims, the highest number in Europe, the government has changed laws that inhibit its policy of zero tolerance to radical Islam. When the courts overturned a decision to expel an Algerian cleric who had preached the stoning of women, the law was amended and he was on the next aircraft out.

    Denmark introduced new citizenship rules last year. These delay refugees' eligibility for permanent residence permits from three years to seven years. Spouses who come from abroad are deported if they divorce within seven years. The pair must also be judged to have ties with Denmark exceeding those to any other country.

    These changes can have a direct effect on other countries, Britain included. When the Danes cut back hard on immigrants and asylum seekers — the number of asylum seekers fell from 14,347 in 1993 to 3,500 in 2003 — "pass the parcel" complaints came from Sweden and Norway. Somalis, for example, who say they feel bullied by the Dutch "forced assimilation" policy, have been leaving Rotterdam and Tilburg in numbers and resettling in Leicester and Birmingham.



    In Britain, immigration policy is a mess. That, at least, is how the public sees it. In a poll this month, 77% disagreed that the government had the situation under control, 75% said there were too many immigrants, and 74% did not think the government was "open and honest". It is not surprising that there is confusion.

    One headline this month said that Tony Blair was "to set tough new tests for migrants"; a week later, Charles Clarke, the home secretary, said that "we want more migration, more people coming to study, to work, to look for refuge".

    Public cynicism on figures seems well founded. The Home Office puts the number of Somali "principal applicants" at 18,050 in the three years to 2003, making them the largest national group applying for asylum. The figure applies to the individual making the application, usually the head of the family.

    It gives little indication of the real numbers of Somalis entering Britain.

    Not giving totals and age groups breeds speculation. If the average Somali woman has 6.9 children, and the British 1.66, which they do, does that not mean that the wives of the 18,000 applicants will produce 124,000 children? And if gross domestic product per capita in Somalia is $500 (£265), and in Britain $27,700 (£14,700), which they are, isn't the whole of Somalia going to arrive at Dover? Neither scenario is remotely likely, but lack of openness makes for dark interpretations.


    And what of the EU? "Migration has to be managed at a European level," Aboutaleb says. "But there is no common sense on asylum or illegals," he adds. Because EU passports are recognised throughout the union, the action of one country in accepting — or refusing — migrants affects others.

    Aboutaleb cites Spain as an example. In 2000, it had an amnesty of 250,000 sin papeles (illegals). This month, at a time of increasing controls elsewhere, it announced another amnesty. "Spain has perhaps a million illegals, in agriculture and construction," Aboutaleb says. "The moment they get an EU passport, they can move all over Europe."
    Fears that other countries would be affected have been confirmed. Within a few days, 10,000 illegals from other countries who hoped to benefit from the amnesty, many with false papers showing Spanish addresses, were turned back by Spanish border police.

    EU unity stoops to farce at Oresund, where post-PC Denmark faces still-PC Sweden across a "love bridge". Couples who do not meet Denmark's strict residence requirements live in Sweden, and cross the bridge each day to work and catch up with friends. And where the British government claims its hands are tied by laws and treaties, Bertel Haarder, the Danish minister for refugees, immigrants and integration, says his government is on track to drastically limit the number of immigrants "without having infringed upon international conventions".

    Yet the EU pursues its own agenda. Vladimir Spidla, the labour and social affairs commissioner in Brussels, claimed this month that rising age levels mean that Europe "needs to accept large numbers of economic migrants. Naturally, if you only look at the next two weeks, things look different. But in the EU we have to work on the long term and we definitely need immigration".

    That may make him at one with Charles Clarke. But it puts him at loggerheads with large numbers of Germans, Dutch, Danes, French, and, according to this month's opinion poll, British.

    Opacity is an EU hallmark. Its Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia commissioned a report to analyse who was behind a wave of anti-Semitic attacks in 2002. When it found that most of the perpetrators were young Muslims of Arab descent, and "were only seldom from the extreme-right milieu", its methodology was questioned and it was shelved. Not much stomach for debate there.



    The Dutch may be drawing the wrong conclusions, but they are surely right to be asking the questions. Western Europe is undergoing the largest population shift since the 7th and 8th centuries. This is happening just as the advent of a federal Europe, and the decline of traditional faith, are already straining its old identity.

    Is the EU part of the problem, or should it impose a solution? Some say that it is undermining the validity of the nation state, without creating a coherent alternative. The EU is fine for the elimination of customs barriers, but can it cope with more? "Europe has no cultural or political identity," argues Shmuel Trigano, a professor at the University of Paris-Nanterre. "Nor does it have common values.

    Its capital in Brussels is only an administrative and bureaucratic centre." The crisis in European identity, he has written, is likely to have "unforeseen and profound consequences".

    Confusion abounds on issues with historic implications. The European Commission recently recommended that talks for Turkish membership of the EU should go ahead. Yet Valery Giscard d'Estaing, the chief architect of the proposed EU constitution, opposed this on the precise grounds that it was "incompatible with European culture, which is Christian".

    Or was Christian. Europeans have largely opted out of Christendom at the time of both a new federalism and a Muslim challenge. The number of French who say they attend church regularly has shrunk to 7.7%. Though 90% of Italians call themselves Catholic, fewer than 30% go to Mass. In Spain, only 14% of young Spaniards are churchgoers, a 50% decline in less than four years. Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster, has said that Christianity in Britain is "almost vanquished".

    Cardinal Adrianis Simonis of Utrecht believes that the "spiritual vacuity" of Dutch society has left the Netherlands open to an Islamic cultural takeover. "Today we have discovered that we are disarmed in the face of the Islamic danger," he said recently. He linked this to "the spectacle of extreme moral decadence and spiritual decline" that Europe offered to young people.

    "Political leaders ask whether the Muslims will accept our values," he said. "I ask, 'What values are those? Gay marriage? Euthanasia?'" The cardinal said that the time when Christians "would fight and die for their faith" were long past, but he hoped "tragic acts" like the van Gogh murder "will force us to recover our identity".


    The Vatican has spoken of an "inquisition" taking place against religiosity in Europe. In Spain, José Zapatero's socialist party is engaged in a running battle with the Church. He has made religious education optional, and eased divorce laws, and loosened limits on abortion. A law allowing same-sex marriages and adoptions by gay parents is scheduled to be passed this spring.

    The Pope has accused the Spanish government of promoting "scorn and ignorance" towards religion, and added that its "permissive morality" would damage the "imprint of Catholic faith in Spanish culture and restrict religious liberty". There is an irony to this. Zapatero owed much of his unexpected poll victory to the Moroccan bombers who killed 190 people on Madrid trains last March. Electors rounded on the Conservative government for mishandling the atrocity.
    The bombers claimed their handiwork was revenge, not only for Spanish troops in Iraq, but also for the loss of Al-Andalus (Andalusia) five centuries ago. Zapatero duly withdrew the troops, and granted privileges to Spain's new mosques.

    Is Europe giving way to blackmail? The question was raised in Germany last month by an article in Die Welt, the country's most heavyweight paper, by Mathias Dúpfner, head of the big Axel Springer publishing group. He titled it Europe — Thy Name Is Cowardice. He said that a crusade is under way "by fanatic Muslims, focused on civilians, directed against our free, open western societies" that is set upon the "utter destruction" of western civilisation. This enemy, he said, was spurred on by "tolerance" and "accommodation", which were taken as signs of weakness. Europe's supine response, he said, was on a par with the appeasement of Hitler.

  7. #7
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    And one thing I want to add to this is that, most of the immigrants who has come to Norway is through Holland. And that is scary. Perhaps it is a good idea, that they do this. I think so.

    I don't know how it is in Sweden and Denmark, but here in Norway the "new settlers" have come via Holland, and I don't like that. And Also I think we should learn from them. That would have been good. Perhaps we should also send these negros out as well? Send them out of our country? I think that would have been a good idea, though, I think that some would disagree with me on that. Why? Because the state don't want to use money on sending the foreigners out from here.
    3

    The wind was high, the window shakes,
    With sudden start the miser wakes.
    Along the silent room he stalks,
    Looks back and tremble as he walks...
    Gay's
    The miser and pluthus

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    'It just doesn't feel like Holland any more'

    Its citizens now come in a variety of hues and hold a wide range of beliefs, some of them deeply at odds with the pacifism and expansive liberalism that has long characterized Dutch society.

    [...]

    With their move to Vancouver this summer, they are joining an unprecedented number of people from the Netherlands who have decided, in recent months, to make a new home in what they see as the more comforting and less divisive Canada.

    [...]

    But just as many Dutch immigrants seem to be alarmed that immigration has turned their countrymen into angry, intolerant nationalists.

    [...]

    "The entire society is changing and people are longing for the world of 20, 30 years ago -- some people believe they can only find that by leaving," says Frans Buysse, a former Canadian embassy employee who runs Holland's largest agency for people wishing to emigrate to Canada.

    [...]

    According to the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics, 49,000 people emigrated last year, the highest number since 1954 and a dramatic increase over approximately 30,000 in 1999.

    [...]

    For two computer technicians in Rotterdam, the problem has to do not with immigration itself, but with the Dutch response to it. In the view of Ge-An Van Rossum, 36, and her husband, Bas Rijniersce, 29, Canada is a place where the tension between immigrants and non-immigrants does not exist, because that distinction does not exist.

    [...]

    "Canadians are all immigrants," Mr. Rijniersce said from the austere living room of their flat in a funky corner of Rotterdam. "One or two generations back, they all emigrated from somewhere else. But here in the Netherlands there has been quite a lot of problems with this question -- integration doesn't work so well. In Canada it's worked better, though I don't know why. There's a little bit more tolerance between people than there is here."

    [...]

    "We are only now beginning to understand that now we are an immigrant country, and that we therefore need an immigration law," Mr. Buysse said. "Canada has understood that for a long time, and its points system seems to be a good model for us."

    Dutch-born leaving the country

    1995: 38,507

    1996: 40,365

    1997: 37,849

    1998: 35,778

    1999: 35,785

    2000: 37,414

    2001: 39,380

    2002: 46,631

    2003: 45,946
    I don't know what to say about this. International White flight? I'd love to see the look on the Dutch emmigrants faces when they realize that Canada is just another Holland with respect to immmigrant problems.

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    Canada is a voluntarily, and dogmatically, segregated state.. you can draw lines on a map where the different ethnicities live, with perhaps 5-10% mixing in each of them. Most of that mixing is geographical.. race-mixing here is not common.

    I don't know what they're going to think when they get here either, because multi-culturalism in Canada is a very different animal than everywhere else. It's a mosaic, not a melting pot.

    To be perfectly honest, watching those immigration numbers go up, and up, and up, as I scrolled down.. well: :frown: sums it up best.

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