Anjali — Dutch Right

Topic(s): Holland | Comments Off on Anjali — Dutch Right

compliments of Shobak:
1.Dutch Lawmaker Urges Halting Immigration
3.Hirsi Ali on Koran
The racist spirit of Pim Fortuyn lives on in Holland –
this suggests that all liberal and progressive
attempts to argue that Fortuyn was an isolated
extremist are completely wrong.
Borders, borders and more borders…
Dear Multitudes,
Three articles on recently happenings in the Netherlands that are extremely
scary and saddening… It was to be expected that the extreme right-wing
would appropriate the Van Gogh murder to its own xenophobic ends. And these
right-wing standpoints are far from isolated cases in the Netherlands. Still
today sec school students are taught that the
colonising period was Holland’s ‘golden era’, and that mostly traded
spices. Also Dutch friends tell me that you will still hardly find any
non-white students in the universities, although large percentages of the
Dutch population are from
Turkish, Moroccan and Indonesian backgrounds. And the list of examples can
be continued easily.
With the excuses of ‘free speech’ and ‘democracy’, all these right wingers
it seems think that they can say anything they want, and the larger public
loves the mediagenic bluntness and the fact that they don’t play into
anymore what is seen as ’70s politically correct softness’ – as if they ever
really took that on .
Hirsi Ali’s position is clearly problematic due to her affiliation with the
right and too as it helps “white men ( Theo Van Gogh ) and thus white
society feel as if they are saving brown women from brown men” to quote
popular readings of Gayatri Spivak essays.
Basically the situation that has arisen underlines the fact that Holland’s
Diasporas may have been excluded whilst their Dutch hosts were waiting for
them to integrate and become truly Dutch !! Now the right have a good excuse
to exercise more aggressive versions of Islamophobia… It took a few riots
and fights here in the UK before things changed .. but that was almost 20
years ago …
The first two articles are problematic in terms of their readings of Ali’s
“search for freedom” from her primitive Islamic roots and her discovery of
herself in “liberated” Dutch / western society. As if the only way forward
for an ” immigrant” is to integrate. Frankly Ali seems rather naive … as
if there are no other versions of women’s struggles already within the
Muslim communities themselves. If Islam needs and wishes to change it will
come from within – there are many working to achieve this .. Ali is no
Dutch Lawmaker Urges Halting Immigration
Fri Nov 19, 2:38 PM ET
By ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer
THE HAGUE, Netherlands – One of the most popular
politicians in the Netherlands said Friday the
country’s democracy is under threat and called for a
five-year halt to non-Western immigration in the wake
of the killing of a Dutch filmmaker by a suspected
Muslim radical.
“We are a Dutch democratic society. We have our own
norms and values,” right-wing lawmaker Geert Wilders
told The Associated Press in an interview. “If you
chose radical Islam you can leave, and if you don’t
leave voluntarily then we will send you away. This is
the only message possible.”
In his first interview with the foreign media since
the slaying of filmmaker Theo van Gogh on Nov. 2,
Wilders said his own life has been repeatedly
threatened. He said he has begun living under state
protection and has even had to stay away from his own
Wilders split with the free-market coalition partner
Liberal Party two months ago because it backed the
candidacy of predominantly Muslim Turkey for the
European Union (news – web sites).
He formed his own conservative party, the Wilders
Group, which has one seat in the 150-member
parliament. But a recent poll suggested his
anti-immigrant message was reverberating through the
electorate, and he would win 24 seats if elections
were held today – up from 19 seats before Van Gogh’s
Wilders said that without swift, bold action, Islamic
fundamentalism will topple the country’s democratic
“The Netherlands has been too tolerant to intolerant
people for too long,” he said. “We should not import a
retarded political Islamic society to our country.
There is nothing to be ashamed of to say this. It’s
not Islam. I speak out against the facts.”
In Brussels, Belgium, European Union leaders met
Friday to discuss immigration, one of Europe’s most
pressing and sensitive issues. EU justice and interior
ministers agreed to demand that new immigrants learn
the language of their adopted countries and adhere to
“European values” to guide them toward better
Even as the number of immigrants arriving in Europe
falls due to tougher policies, led by a sharp drop in
the Netherlands, Wilders said closing the borders
isn’t enough. Newcomers should be forced to integrate.
“If in a mosque there is recruitment for jihad, it’s
not a house of prayer, it’s a house of war. If it’s
not a house of prayer, it should be closed down,” he
Wilders, known for his radical positions and
peroxide-blond hair, has been a member of parliament
since 1998. He was born and educated in the southern
city Venlo, near the German border.
“I’m very tough on radical Islam. I have the toughest
ideas on beating this problem and I’m proud of it. I
say nothing wrong. I’m no racist, no anti-Islamist,”
he said.
Wilders and the police took the death threats more
seriously following the slaying of Van Gogh, who had
produced a television drama critical of how women are
treated in some Muslim societies. The filmmaker was
shot and stabbed to death, allegedly by a 26-year-old
suspected Islamic extremist who holds Dutch and
Moroccan citizenship.
The most recent threats were disclosed when two terror
suspects, arrested Nov. 10 after a standoff in which
several policemen were wounded by a hand grenade, were
charged with threatening Wilders and other
politicians, their lawyer said.
The latest video threat broadcast on the Internet – in
Dutch, with Arabic music in the background – condemns
Wilders for insulting Islam and offers the reward of
paradise for his beheading.
Wilders’ style and cause are reminiscent of Pim
Fortuyn, a flamboyant political outsider who put
immigration on the national agenda before the 2002
elections. Fortuyn was shot to death by an animal
rights activist days before the vote, but major
parties since have largely embraced his ideas.
Wilders said he is not opposed to mainstream Islam but
is concerned by studies saying 10 percent of the Dutch
Muslim population – or about 100,000 people – support
radical Islamic views.
He cited a report by Dutch intelligence saying
recruitment for jihad, or holy war, is taking place in
as many as 20 mosques in the Netherlands, and said
they should be closed and their imams, or preachers,
arrested and deported.
“If we don’t do anything … we will lose the country
that we have known for centuries. People don’t want
the Netherlands to be lost, and this is something that
I get angry about and I am going to fight for, to keep
the country Dutch,” he said.
by Chris Cummins
The author has called it the ‘naked truth’. Four dark skinned women,
clearly naked under their transparent prayer gowns, pray to Allah. Verses
from the Koran are printed on their bare flesh. The verses chosen can be
interpreted as an order to Muslim women to submit to the will of their
husbands, fathers and brothers.
Dutch Muslims found the stage directions of the film “Submission”
provocative enough. When the actresses on the screen opened their mouths the
furore was complete. The 11-minute film is Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s
very own “J’accuse” against Islam’s treatment of women. The four women in
her film pray directly into the camera. It is as if the camera, and by
extension the TV viewer at home, is Allah.
The appeals were heart-felt, the stories harsh. One woman has been whipped
for having an illicit love affair, another faces an arranged marriage to a
man who repulses her sexually, a third was beaten by her husband and the
last is pregnant after being raped by her uncle. All in all, it’s a pretty
damning view of the situation of Muslim women.
For several years Hirsi Ali, who wrote and narrated the film, has been
seeking confrontation with her outspoken views against Islam. With
“Submission” she has certainly got it. Dutch Muslim organisations have
condemned the film as worthless and deemed the nudity offensive and
unnecessary. Police have moved Hirsi Ali to a safe house, after she received
death threats and saw her address published on an Islamic web-site.
Yet no-one can deny that Ayaan Hirsi Ali knows a thing or two about the
situation of Muslim women and the ordeals they face. She was born into the
faith 34 years ago and only abandoned the religion in 2001 after decades of
decades of frustration at what she saw as the lack of freedom it imposed on
her. In her native Somalia she underwent the traditional local ritual of
genital mutilation. Later, when her family was living in exile in Canada,
she fled alone to Holland after her father tried to force her into an
arranged marriage with a man she didn’t love. The emancipation of Muslim
women is obviously a very personal battle for Hirsi Ali, who says she made
the film “Submission” to publicise “an injustice that is being ignored not
only in Holland but throughout the world.”
Since arriving in the Netherlands 13 years ago Hirsi Ali has made the
emancipation of Muslim women in Holland her life goal. It has been a unique
path that has led her into the film world, the literary world (she has
written two books about Islam’s harsh treatment of women) and most
controversially in the murky world of politics.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali represents a particular path an immigrant can take
when arriving in a new society. She is a shining example of total
assimilation. When she was first exposed to Dutch society in early 1990s she
says she immediately wanted to become part of it. She wanted to take off her
head scarf, to drink alcohol and most of all she wanted financial
independence. Soon she was very much part of the society she so admired. She
mastered the language and took cleaning jobs to be able to afford to study
at a top university.
For someone with so passionate a cause on her heart as Hirsi Ali, politics
was the next obvious stop on her already tumultuous life journey. She made a
name for herself in the ranks of the left wing Labour Party documenting
thousands of cases of physical abuse of Muslim women. She was a rising star
inside the party until she fell out with her colleagues irrevocably over
immigration policy. Political spats are nothing new but the root of this
squabble certainly was, as Robert Chessel of Radio Netherlands explains:
“She thinks that the Labour Party and its left wing following have been too
soft on immigrants and sort of coddled them rather than making them take
responsibility for their own actions and to become fully fledged member of
Dutch society.”
You have probably heard similar lines before, but not from the lips of
former refugee. It was this disillusionment that led Hirsi Ali to become a
member of the VVD, a right-wing party famous for espousing the line “the
Netherlands is full”. She was wooed by a former Conservative Traffic
Minister Neelie Kroes who told her “if you care about those women so much,
you now have an opportunity to do something about it in parliament.”
Hirsi Ali sees herself as a shining example for immigrants to follow, but
Robert Chessal says that many parts of Holland’s multi-cultural society
reject her. She has been quick to denounce those immigrants who she sees as
slow to integrate and that has landed her a reputation for being
narrow-minded by many of those proud of their traditions. Many women inside
the Muslim community welcome her broad aim of ending abuse but reject her
abrasive style, saying that emancipation has to come from within the Muslim
community itself. Others reject her as a naive political pawn; saying that
having an immigrant woman in its ranks lends credibility to the party’s
tough policy on immigration
Yet whatever you think of her politics, no-one can deny that Ayaan Hirsi Ali
is a remarkable woman. Her battle for the emancipation of Muslim woman has
taken her from Somalia, to Canada, to Holland, to a left wing party, to a
right wing party and finally to hiding in a safe house. Even for a refugee
that is a long, long journey.
Hirsi Ali on Film over Position of Women in Koran
Hirsi Ali Illustrates in Film How
Muslims Justify Mistreatment of Women
Amsterdam – Perhaps it says more about the nature of leadership in the
Muslim community in the Netherlands than what it says about the feelings and
reactions of ordinary Dutch Muslims, but the views of spokesmen of Muslim
organizations over the film Submission shown by the public broadcasting
network VPRO were largely negative. The film was directed by enfant terrible
Theo van Gogh and the scenario was written by Miss Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a member
of the Tweede Kamer (Lower House) for the Liberal Party.
The film was shown in the last section of VPRO’s television summer special,
Zomergasten (Summer Guests), on 29 August. In what was a highly static
presentation, a Muslim woman appeared in the typical dress reserved for a
women adhering to the fundamentalist teachings of the Koran. The woman was
naked under a sheer gown with the exception of panties. Her head was covered
with the exception of her eyes. The public was presented the first episode
entitled Submission. It is the first of what is intended to become a
three-part film.
The body of the women, as well as the bodies of other Muslim women who have
been beaten, were covered with texts from the Koran used by Muslims to
justify their treatment of women. The texts were formulated according to the
interpretation of Miss Hirsi Ali.
Miss Hirsi Ali, moreover, is of Somalian origins. She has also forsworn the
Islam faith and is responsible as spokesman on behalf of the Liberals in the
House for emancipation affairs with emphasis on Muslim women living in the
Netherlands and elsewhere.
The thrust of the film is a protest against the mistreatment of women who
are born into Muslim families. According to Hirsi Ali, “It is written in the
Koran a woman may be slapped if she is disobedient. This is one of the evils
I wish to point out in the film”. The film deals with one woman who was
raped by her uncle, and another who was beaten by her husband.
According to Van Gogh, the film is made as if it were “a pamphlet”. Van Gogh
was first approached by Hirsi Ali and he agreed to produce the film on his
own expense of Euro 18,000. He was supported by the VPRO network with Euro
2,000. Van Gogh hopes the English-language film, once finished in its
entirety, will be “…purchased by Al-Jazeera, the television station in the
Mideast. Since they broadcast films made by Bin Laden, they should have no
trouble with this”.
Hirsi Ali expects to be criticized for her effort to end mistreatment of
Muslim women. “Women are, of course, oppressed everywhere, but the
oppression is justified by the Islamic faith and that is why I wanted to
make the film”.
The film, according to Mohammed Sini of the Islamic and Citizenship
Foundation. is offensive to Muslims. The Muslim leader believes Hirsi Ali
has succeeded in drawing yet further attention to herself. “If there is a
reaction, Theo van Gogh will have to protect her”. Moreover, if the attitude
of the Muslim community is going to change with respect to treatment of
women, “It will have to come from Muslims and not from a domesticated
Mr. Nabil Marmouch, the Dutch representative of the Arab Europe League, an
organization based in Belgium and led by Abou Jahjah from Lebanon, says “I
know what she is up to with this film. She wants extra security and she
wants others to feel sorry for her. She is simply looking for attention”.
Mrs. Khadija Arib, a member of the Labour Party group in the Tweede Kamer
(Lower House) originally from Morocco, says, “I admire anyone who wishes to
point out that the mistreatment and oppression of women is an evil. I
question, however, whether this is the right way to do it. I am truly
concerned that Hirsi Ali simply wishes to be confrontational when presenting
others with this message”. 30 August 2004