Muslim Leader: Netherlands Must Defend Dutch Values

THE HAGUE, 13/09/06 - Muslim leader Hikmat Mahawat Khan lashed out fiercely yesterday at the government. Instead of defending Dutch values, it fosters Islamic behaviour that does not belong in the Netherlands. "It is simply unacceptable," he stated in newspaper Trouw.

Khan is "fed up with pointless chit chat, tea sessions, rank-and-file-politics and all kinds of meetings. Hereby I am also referring to events by some immigrant organisation or other, where the local alderman for Integration holds a little speech and draws applause, before hurrying on to another, equally pointless meeting. The Netherlands is on fire and we still think we can continue in the same vein as twenty years ago".

Until recently, Khan was chairman of the Contact Group Islam (CGI). This umbrella organisation of moderate Muslims came into being beside the Contact Body of Muslims and the Government (CMO), a larger umbrella that however represents only Sunnite Muslims. CMO and CGI were intended to merge into a single government dialogue partner. When this failed, the government gave priority to the orthodox CMO, according to Khan.

In the view of Khan, who has since resigned as CGI chairman, the government attempts to boost integration through meetings with Imams and thus strengthens the position of these Muslim leaders, added Khan. "The Imams and the government both want to avoid rocking the boat so they make socially desirable statements instead. They know precisely what the government does and does not wish to hear. They avoid broaching thorny issues. The government does not wish to bring them up either, because that would mean having to solve these problems".

Khan feels the government should demonstrate more clearly that certain matters are unacceptable in the Netherlands. "We should take a look at America. (...) They are harsher and clearer over there. You may rage inside the mosque but not outside. You are free to isolate yourself if you wish, but you will have to reap what you sow."

"If you isolate yourself in the Netherlands, the community is saddled with the financial consequences. You demand the right to apply for a job wearing a burqa and when you fail to get a job you feel you're entitled to an allowance. (...) An Amsterdammer must have the guarantee that Amsterdam will always be Amsterdam, a city (...) where Dutch principles prevail."

"When the Queen did not shake hands with men in the Moubarek Mosque in The Hague, Prime Minister Balkenende said that was fine. Nonsense of course, people shake hands in the Netherlands; that is the custom here. Balkenende is causing a great deal of damage by saying this. The same applies to the cuddling talk of Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen. It is counterproductive."

Khan also criticises the double nationality held by most immigrants in the Netherlands. "Double nationality has a disastrous effect. Especially when MPs and other politicians also have them. It is simply unacceptable".

Khan's conclusion is unambiguous: "Do away with palliative measures. Positive discrimination does more harm than good. It may yield a single immigrant a job but it creates huge annoyance among the indigenous Dutch population".

Source: NISNEWS.NL 13th of September 2006.

In a sense we were helped and warned by the former CGI-chairman (after he had resigned out of absolute frustration) no less then almost 2 years ago.

Very, very intresting article and I was fortunate enough to find it when I was checking the sources at the wiki page "Islam in the Netherlands"