What is happening to Holland that once stood as the shining light of tolerance and religious freedom? A country that the entire world admired for its courageous protection of Jews and other persecuted people during World War II?
It would appear that Holland has forgotten its own history.
In a series of attempts to discourage immigration from Third World countries, the Dutch have introduced a legislative proposal that would require some potential immigrants to take an examination to prove that they have an understanding of the Dutch language and culture. This applies to individuals who marry a Dutch citizen or who have family members already living in Holland.
It does not apply to people from the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan or the United States.
This exam will require 350 hours of study and will cost each applicant $468.
One of the most disturbing elements of this program is a video that these individuals must watch. The video describes the essence of Dutch life. In the video are images of windmills and tulips but there are also scenes of a homosexual wedding and topless women sunbathing - elements that are clearly offensive to Muslim people.
There are about one million Muslims living in Netherlands. This represents six percent of the total population. They migrated to Holland mostly as "guest workers" from Morocco and Turkey from the 1960s through the 1990s.
According to Andre Krouwel, a political scientist at Amsterdam's Free University, Holland encouraged these workers to maintain both their linguistic and cultural identities. The Dutch governments assumed these workers would eventually return to their native homes. Some did but many did not. It was in essence a miscalculation.
Now, the Muslim population in Holland is trying to become part of that country with all the rights and privileges the Dutch enjoy. However, there are a number of native Dutch who are against the absorption of these immigrants into their society. A recent poll showed that 50 percent of the voters support tighter restrictions on immigration and asylum and some elected officials are using this issue for political gain.
One such official is Parliamentarian Geert Wilders.
Wilders is building his political strength on a platform of anti-immigration and what many observers call bigotry. He calls immigration the biggest problem that Dutch society faces today. "We have been so tolerant of other's culture and religion," he says. "We are losing our own. Europe is losing itself. One day we will wake up and it will be too late. Immigration will have killed our country and our democracy".
He calls mosques "houses of terror and recruitment" for jihad. He describes Islam as "dangerous" and "fascist".
He warns the Dutch about not learning from the lessons of Pim Fortuyn, an anti-immigration activist who was killed by a deranged animal rights activist in 2002.
What is dangerous is that many of the people in Holland are listening to Wilders.
After the assassination of Pim Fortuyn his political party went on to win 26 of 150 seats in the Parliament.
Last November, when the anti-Islamist crusader Theo van Gogh was killed by a Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent on a street in Amsterdam, the sentiment against Muslim immigrants rose sharply.
Wilders who had been isolated in the Parliament suddenly had 19 other members of that body supporting his ideas on immigration issues, such as a five-year moratorium on all non-Western immigration.
Just a few days after the Van Gogh killing, Fortuyn was named one of the most important persons in Dutch history, outpolling Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt, two world famous Dutch painters.
Wilders' rhetoric is inflammatory and often inaccurate. He claims that the immigrant population has grown from 160,000 to 1.6 million - a 1,000 percent growth.
What he does not say is that the number includes second and third generation children of immigrants, children born in Holland, who are legally Dutch.
He excites his audience by stating that 90 percent of the prison population is foreign. The Netherlands' Central Statistical Office shows that number to be about 50 percent. While this is a high percentage in relation to the total population, as Andre Krouwel has stated, Holland increasingly finds itself divided into two societies, a relatively affluent and educated Dutch "in-group" and a mainly Muslim under-skilled "out-group".
Disenfranchised members of any society are often found in higher percentages among prison populations. The underlying elements that men like Wilders and Fortuyn appeal to are dangerous and inhumane. With Dutch women having 1.7 children and their population living longer, economists predict their extensive social-welfare network will go bust without the influx of new, young workers.
True, some Dutch express concerns about losing their culture, about their disappearing heritage.
The answer should be in managing their immigration system, not in dismantling a major part of it. It is a shame that this country has reached such a sad state of affairs that they are looking at the ethnic background or religionist beliefs of would-be immigrants.
Perhaps, they should reflect upon the idea that the complexion of the Dutch people is changing, which is inevitable as it is for most Western nations. Their Muslim population can make great contributions to this new Holland, if they refuse to hear the voices of anger and prejudice.
Adrienne McPhail is an American journalist located in Yokosuka, Japan. He can be reached at [email protected]
Source: Arab News
and for a country that is talked about so negatively from muslims etc and that still choose to live there is yet one of the most popularist country visited because of the admiration of the dutch lifestyle. you dont see arabic countrys be over populated by dutchmen let alone white men you whould be worrying about the same thing. And for people who dont even live in the netherlands or never will why are you even concerned about there lifestyle and about there last resort to save the true dutch population, because THEY ARE being rub out of there own homeland and THEY HAVE the right to do something about it while they still can, like what the one guy said "its self defence". and if your gunna complain about the dutch militia killing most likely muslims who desered it
why dont you complain about the other countrys that are actually abuseing there powers.and if the dutch are so worthless, pathetic and such ruthless people look at the dutch crime rate and i mean the DUTCH crime rate not the immigration crime rate and look at all the inocent crimes the dutch commit even if we do commit crimes we dont go to some other country that we try and tell them whats wrong about there country and blow up there buildings for religious beleifs
attack me. Looks like you can dish it out as
long as it's anti-Amer. or anti-Jewish but
heaven forbid anyone critcizes Islam or offers
another viewpoint. Listen to you! Some angry
ninny named "David" has developed an entire
life for me; including a religion, a state for me
to live in, how much I've traveled and my
educational level. I get it now: Some of you
don't want to discuss -- you just want your own
comfortable beliefs reinforced and not
challenged. OK - go ahead and keep feeding
your rage -- it's your funeral in the end. To the
other wonderful, intelligent, open-minded
people who comment on this site - keep up
the good work. I enjoy the challenges.
# Jewish priests raised Balaam [Jesus] from the dead and punished him in boiling hot semen.(57a Gittin)4
# She who was the descendant of princes and governors [The Virgin Mary] played the harlot with a carpenter. (Sanhedrin 106a) [Jesus] was lowered into a pit of dung up to his armpits. Then a hard cloth was placed within a soft one, wound round his neck, and the two ends pulled in opposite directions until he was dead. (Sanhedrin 52b)
So you see I se you Israeli Jewsish people discriminate against us even if we are Jews or Christians.
No country on this planet has a history with no blood on their hands. The history of humanity has been one of people invading and enslaving other peoples.
You must understand we are concerned that members of our religion are being discriminated against, and that there is a very real threat of the discrimination being legitimized.
I'm not going to go into an angry tirade with you or recite some inane litany of America's misdeeds; that doesn't accomplish anything positive (plus, I am an American and love my country); thus, I appeal to your sense of good, justice and equanimity to reevaluate your views about us.
Islam is a very good religion, Laurie. You just don't know it. But that's okay, we can't expect you to know what hasn't been taught to you. Stay around; study the religion, I think you will like what you find. I would like to add that I appreciate your presence here and truly feel that many like you are really seeking an understanding, and no one can fault you for that.
Actually, to me his death sounds more like a case of "assisted suicide without consent" than a hate crime. Seemingly, it was only a matter of time until he upset someone as unstable as himself. Admittedly, it turned out to be an "unstable someone" carrying something more threatening than a camera.
But may there be sustainable peace nonetheless.
proving that you are worthy of respect and you
shall be respected. That goes for individuals,
religious groups, countries, any organization.
Respect is earned. Tolerance cannot exist in
a violent state or country and all of you on the
site darn well know that's true. You can't
scream "Respect me, respect me" and expect
the world to do so and close it's eyes to the
murders, kidnapping, etc... And yes, all my
raging friends, it goes for the U.S. and Israel
and all the other countries on earth. Bush
does not respect others and in turn he
receives no respect. U.S. is not immune. No
one's horrific actions are excused just
because "other people do it." Grow up.
Articles like this are written all the time.
Instead of addressing the true problems that
both sides (Dutch and Muslims) are
experiencing in a fair and balanced way, it just
goes on and on about the intolerant, racist
Dutch and how they terrorize their immigrant
population. To what end does this serve? To
further divide the world in an "us against
Theo Van Gogh was just a filmmaker
expressing a viewpoint in a free country. He
wasn't making policy or law. It's no more
offensive that the anti-Jewish/Christian blather
on this site. So that gives the killer the right to
murder him in cold blood because his
sensibilities were offended? What kind of
religion excuses that? Or condones
murdering the British woman in Iraq who
dedicated her life to helping Iraqis? Notice
there was no article about THAT on this
website was there?
Got an answer for that angry boys???
In Islam, as in other religions, the message: "What you sow, so shall you reap" makes a lot of good common sense.
The Dutch always had an outward faade of tolerance - but have always been a very racist people, for the most part. They would tell their kids, for example, not to mix with "Catholic" people. The South African Apartheid policy was again the Dutch settlers racist ways. The disdain they had for the local inhabitants of their colonies such as Indonesia is well documented. The new generation of Dutch are mostly freeloaders and most of the time spaced-out and living on government welfare vouchers and handouts. They even hate their own parents and grandparents, because they don't have the housing and other "goodies" that their parents or grandparents might have.
The other reality on the ground in Holland is that the percentage of Dutch older folks is increasing whereas, the younger ones has shrunk to an alarming rate. Had it not been for the immigrants and non-Dutch citizens, Holland would be one big village with tulips, wooden shoes and windmills and nothing much in-between. And now to ask these 2nd and 3rd generation non-Caucasian citizens to get lost is tantamount to asking the African-Americans to ship out back to Africa.
Among the Europeans, the Dutch for the most parts are a morally loose and dysfunctional bunch. Some of these true colors are only now showing more vividly to those who are not well acquainted, thanks in part to the Internet.
always preaching about it - now practice it.
Stop the whimpering and the intolerant, racist,
ignorant comments about Jews, Christians,
USA, and generally the rest of the world. It
seems that all you guys do is find someone to
blame. First it's the USA and Israel. Now, it's
time to blame the Netherlands because a
murder in the name of Islam was committed
and instead of being ashamed of yet another
murder, you're accusing the Dutch of being
Xenophobic, so that you can excuse this
disgusting act. As barbaric as the Christian
world can be, I've never encountered anyone
who would slice a person's head off in the
name of that religion. That's a Satanic
practice and it's people like that who equate
Islam with Satan. I'm calling it as I see it.
Instead of pointing fingers, send your kids to
school. Work on medical research. Study
economics so you can help others become
self-sufficient so they don't have to depend on
the US,Great Britain and the other devleoped
nations. Put all this rage to good use!!
"The biggest story of our time, of Israel spying on all branches of the government, on all our intelligence agencies - in the CIA [Central Intelligence Agency], the DEA and the White House itself, is not picked up by the leading newspapers like the New York Times and the Washington Post."
So you see Dan you need to really open your eyes and not be sweet talked by your governments or thse raving Evangelists who are preaching one day and sodomoszng little boys the next.
The Dutch have always been racists. Read their history. But then again I can not expect you to read anything, as even your own president does not believe in reading by his own admission.
Furthermore by CNN's own admission, the video CNN used of Palestinians dancing in the streets was taken from a video from 1991 and had absolutely nothing to do with 9-11. The CNN footage of the Palestinians dancing in the street was shot in 1991, Get It, not 9-11-2001 ? CNN stated that it assumed it was correct as that footage was forwarded to it by the Associated Press and Reuters, and it was dated Sept. 11, 2001. Here read the following link.
You Americans choose to selectively believe what you want to believe. Truth takes a back seat. The country sleeps on. Blind, deaf and dumb, There is no hope for you people. Next time before you throw wild acusations remember people accessing the net are fairly smart and unlike Americans use the net constructively. I know in the US the biggest use of the net is pornography.
sense,although I do doubt that people in
Queens were openly celebrating the 9/11
attack unless they were also suicide/homicide
jihadists. But the point is made: either accept
the culture that you willingly immigrate to or
don't bother immigrating at all. Holland is a
free country - a concept that Muslims seem to
have a hard time with. Dutch people are
tolerant but they're human beings too and you
can't murder people in the name of religion
and then condemn them for not being tolerant
of your religion, folks. Whether this is true or
not: the belief in the non-Muslim world today is
that the Koran says it's ok to commit murder
and other acts of violence under certain
conditions. The Muslim world is in crisis and
the religion is under fire. It has become a
religion of the disenfranchised, the hopeless
and the angry. Yes, I know everyone is not like
that, but perhaps we don't see enough
evidence of that. If you doubt it, take a look
back in the Islamicity archives and look at the
comments from post 9/11 and see how many
psychos say "The Jews commited the attack"
"We celebrated here in Singapore." It's
alarming how many Muslims are so
consumed with their own self-loathing that
they cannot see the bigger picture. As to
Xenophobia; Holland, like the USA has had
enough of getting slapped in the face and
having their social services bled dry by people
who show no willingness to work with the rest
Now then: my wife strongly believes in God, is entirely of Dutch descent, has visited the Netherlands and assures me that the God-fearing among the Dutch left the Netherlands long ago. Effectively, "the religion" of the Netherlands appears to be agnosticism (which is an uncertainty about whether God exists). If you were looking for a country in which to establish an Islamic paradise here on earth then my suggestion, with regard to the Netherlands, would be to keep looking.
On the bright side, "the cause" of the Dutch appears to be tolerance. Granted, the Dutch appear committed to preserving their cultural identity. Beyond that, however, the Dutch appear quite wary of embracing phobias - including nudophobia, homophobia and (who knows?) perhaps even Islamophobia.
another inflammatory "anti" article -- similar to
all the anti-USA articles on the site.
The Islamic population of the world is once
again closing it's eyes to the truth, making
excuses and rationalizing murder. If Van
Gogh had been murdered by a Danish
person, or if 9/11 was committed by Icelandic
terrorists, then the countries would be
anti-Danish or anti-Icelandic. Why, tell me, is
that so hard to comprehend??? If you murder
in the name of Islam, then other people in the
world will become anti-Islam and will not want
you in their midst. Don't the Islamic countries
want to keep their people "pure?" Don't they
want non-Islamic (or "Infidels") to leave the
country?? Of course they do!!!
Don't start criticizing the Dutch just because
they want to start minimizing immigration, or
start questioning their tolerance. The Islamic
world could learn a lot about tolerance. The
Dutch have welcomed Islamic people for
years -- I lived in Amsterdam in an Islamic
neighborhood. But a cold-blooded murder
like Van Gogh's makes the country turn
against people who would take a life just
because he made a movie that offended
them. The author is trying to twist the crime
because he is so ashamed that an Islamic
person committed this horrible crime.
This is what is happening and it is scaring the living daylights out of them. So they try to force their ways on us. Now immigrants do need to accept some of the ways of the countries they immigrate to. The democratic norms and the freedom of speech, freedom of the press and a lot of other such ideals are commendable qualities to be adopted and practiced. But to make people adopt the attributes which may have contributed to the present state of affairs in their countries(homosexuality for instance)just seems plain stupid, obtuse and obstinate. Some people never learn.