Ook pleitte ze voor een Nederlandse imamopleiding, die breder is dan een Nederlandstalige. Het gaat om grondige kennis van de samenleving, ook van de posities van jongeren, vrouwen en homoseksuelen. ‘We moeten met elkaar de radicale elementen isoleren en elimineren', zei Verdonk, ‘en met alle fatsoenlijke mensen in Nederland een vuist maken'.
De Amsterdamse wethouder Aboutaleb (Integratie) voegde eraan toe dat er ook actief moet worden opgetreden tegen discriminatie. ‘We moeten zowel tegen extremisme als tegen uitsluiting strijden.'
Verdonk zag, vergeleken met enige tijd geleden, een verschil in de houding van de moslimorganisaties. Die nemen nu hun verantwoordelijkheid en gaan de dialoog aan. Dat is keihard nodig, aldus de minister. De imams kunnen volgens haar een brugfunctie vervullen tussen de moslims en de bredere samenleving. In hun preken kunnen ze oplossingen aandragen voor de dagelijkse problemen van de gelovigen, aldus de minister.
Aboutaleb drong er bij de imams op aan binnen de moskee alle moeilijke onderwerpen te bespreken. Als we dat zelf niet doen, zullen buitenstaanders ons keihard aanpakken. We moeten het debat op het scherpst van de snede voeren.' Hij hield de imams ook voor goed op hun woorden te letten. ‘Wees bewust van het effect van wat u zegt.'
De Amsterdamse wethouder beëindigde zijn toespraak met een oproep tot de imams, eerst in het Arabisch en vervolgens in het Nederlands. ‘U moet vasthouden aan de hoogste waarden van menselijkheid. Dat wil zeggen: vergevingsgezindheid, dialoog en respect. Moslims moeten een volk van het midden zijn en niet van extremisme en controverse. U moet ambassadeurs van het goede zijn, die oproepen tot een veilige samenleving.'
MIM: As MIM predicted the Imams in Holland would never take the world of a woman and infidel seriously, even if she happens to be a cabinet minister . Minister of Immigration Rita Verdonks visit to the Imam's conference to discuss a course of integration and 'social studies' got off to a bad start when the Imams refused to shake her hand because she was woman. Fifth columnist Aboutaleb made the prerequisite noises and finally mentioned the murder of Theo van Gogh, using the empty rhetoric to tell Muslims to distance themselves from the murder by saying it "was not in my name." Unfortunately for Aboutaleb and the Imams assembled , Mohammed Bouyeri did not slaughter Theo van Gogh in their names - he did it in the name of Allah.
No handshake for the minister - she is a woman
Translation Beila Rabinowitz director MIM
From our correspondent Martin Sommer
This Saturday in Soesterberg Imams were debating over more freedom of speach.Minister Verdonk came to visit. "It is high time that they learn Dutch."
A painful moment. As Minister Verdonk entered the conference room to speak to the assembled Imams, the Islamic chairman from Tilberg, Salam, refused to shake her hand.He is in Holland for fourteen years, with his wife and children His glance is gentle.But to the prime minister he is adamant."I cannot shake a woman's hand". Verdonk saved the situation by curtly remarking, "then we will have more then enough to talk about".
It is nearly three weeks since the murder of Theo van Gogh ,and day by day Holland is going through a period which the Economist called "soul searching".Last week she had to choice between a debate of Turks about "nationality" a symposium about "Islam being held hostage", a meeting in the cader of 'migrants week" and a "brotherhood" concert in Amsterdam.
Both Verdonk and Aboutaleb are going across the country with a message of firmness and reconciliation.
Saturday is the turn of the the neighborhood center Cenakel, formerly a cloister for nuns. There, citizenship and social studies courses are held for clerics. In the former chapel-te deum laudeamus-Mary Magdalena and the arch angel Gabriel look down on a gathering of 50 imams most in traditional garb. Behind closed doors they have debated in six workshops about freedom of speach, and thought about directions to take for solutions.
Then the minister with her usual directness made it known that the Imams would have to learn Dutch.Her words were translated into Arabic, afterwards councilman Aboutaleb said that "he has never felt so bad in this country as during these last two weeks"
Aboutaleb is growing daily in his role as empathetic but strict brother of the Muslim community. In Soesterberg he declared, for the first time he admits, that Muslims must distance themselves from the murder of Theo van Gogh."The murder called upon Islam"."Muslims have to say "no you didn't do this in my name". Not all Muslims are terrorists, but their are terrorists who call themselves Muslim".
On the podium representatives of Muslim organisations spoke about building bridges and that it had to come from two sides. First of all alot of money has to be invested in language courses which are now not adequate. Open days in the mosques are being worked on. ( MIM Note: an opportunity for Da'wa and recruiting of new converts).
That this and other subjects needed to be discussed and invested in was clear as the minister and Muslim representatives withdrew for a half hour to speak in private. One of the Imams who was left behind, Fawaz Jneid of the Al Soennah mosque in the Transvaal quarter of The Hague,who was dressed in a traditional gown and pants,doesnt have a problem with giving his opinion via an interpreter.
"The minister says. we have to fight against radicalism". "What does she mean precisely by radicalism?" "Politicians are saying that the radical Imams are a threat to the democracy". "Who is here the threat?" "Verdonk is herself a radical minister".Her speach at Dam Square was a big attack on the Islamic community" ( MIM Note :The night of the murder of Theo van Gogh 20,000 people assembled in Dam Square and the Muslim community was outraged because it was mentioned that the killer had dual Moroccan and Dutch nationality)."She should do a poll among foreigners"."She is seen by them as a threat".
Imam Jneid asks himself what is meant by intergration.That his daughter has to take off her headscarf at school?' Now she would have to wear a shirt and shorts to gymnastics. That is impossible.Islam doesn't forbid sports, but well clothes which accenuate the curves.'
At the conclusion, discussion was on the Al Tawheed mosque in Amsterdam. According to the media it is a radical mosque because the book "The Way of the Muslim" was found there . (MIM Note: The Al Tawheed mosque is funded by Al Haramain and even had the same mailing address. The book "The Way of the Muslim' advocates female circumcision and throwing homosexuals from buildings to their deaths). 'They want to shut the mosque but they have to go to the writer and the publisher'. According to the Imam there is no such thing as a liberal or radical Islam."There is only one Islam and the difference is as to how much one holds according to the book'. 'Here in Holland people have a totally wrong picture.Islamic punishments won't be put into practice here'.That only happens in Muslim countries'.
On the podium there is a flap about the -in Arabic -discussed subjects. Ljamai the chairman explains: application of the law, specifically the article 147 which deals with blasphemy, labor laws regarding Imams, orientation about Dutch norms and values, and finally intereligious dialouge.
And then councilman Aboutaleb wants to add something to his strong words. What isnt 'criticism of Islam' on the list? Why isn't there any self criticism from Islamic theologians? Imams can no longer avoid painful questions like the position of women.'There is no better way to scratch yourself then with your own nail' 'If you don't do it then somone else will do it for you and that will be extremely unpleasant'.
|maandag 22 november 2004 uur. |
|Geen hand voor de minister; ze is vrouw|
|Van onze verslaggever Martin Sommer|
SOESTERBERG - Imams debatteerden zaterdag in Soesterberg over onder meer de vrijheid van meningsuiting. Minister Verdonk bracht een bezoek. 'Het wordt hoog tijd dat zij Nederlands leren.'
Even een pijnlijk moment. Als minister Verdonk het conferentieoord binnenkomt om de verzamelde imams toe te spreken, weigert de islamitische voorman Salam uit Tilburg haar een hand te geven. Veertien jaar is hij in Nederland, met vrouw en kinderen. Zijn oogopslag is zachtmoedig. Maar tegen de minister is hij onverbiddelijk. 'Ik mag een vrouw geen hand geven.' Verdonk redt zich uit de situatie door kordaat op te merken: 'Dan hebben we nog genoeg om over te praten.'
Bijna drie weken geleden is de moord op Theo van Gogh nu, en Nederland gaat dag aan dag door met wat The Economist 'soul searching' noemde. Afgelopen weekeinde bestond de keuze uit een debat onder Turken over burgerschap, een symposium over 'de gijzeling van de islam', een ontmoetingsdag in het kader van de migrantenweek en het verbroederingsconcert in Amsterdam.
Vooral minister Verdonk en de Amsterdamse wethouder Ahmed Aboutaleb reizen stad en land af met een boodschap van zowel fermheid als verzoening.
Zaterdag is de beurt aan het conferentiecentrum Cenakel, een voormalig nonnenklooster in Soesterberg. Daar worden al 'inburgeringscursussen voor geestelijke bedienaren' verzorgd. In de voormalige kapel - te deum laudamus- kijken Maria Magdalena en de aartsengel Gabriël neer op een stuk of vijfentwintig imams, de meeste gestoken in traditioneel. In beslotenheid hebben ze in zes workshops gedebatteerd over vrijheid van meningsuiting, ze hebben gebeden en nagedacht over 'oplossingsrichtingen'.
Dan laat de minister met haar gebruikelijke directheid weten dat het ook voor imams hoog tijd wordt Nederlands te leren. Haar woorden worden in het Arabisch vertaald, waarna wethouder Aboutaleb verklaart dat hij zich 'in dit land nog nooit zo rot heeft gevoeld als de afgelopen twee weken'.
Aboutaleb groeit dagelijks in zijn rol van meevoelende, maar strenge grote broer van de moslimgemeenschap. In Soesterberg verklaart hij - naar eigen zeggen voor de eerste keer - dat moslims openlijk afstand moeten nemen van de moord op Theo van Gogh. 'De moordenaar beriep zich op de islam. Moslims moeten zeggen: nee, je deed het niet uit mijn naam. Niet alle moslims zijn terroristen, maar er zijn nogal wat terroristen die zich moslim noemen.'
Op het podium spreken de vertegenwoordigers van moslimorganisaties over bruggen slaan en het moet van twee kanten komen. Voorts moet er nog heel veel geïnvesteerd worden omdat de taalopleidingen tot nu toe niet toereikend zijn. Aan open dagen bij moskeeën wordt volop gewerkt.
Dat er inderdaad nog een en ander besproken en geïnvesteerd moet worden, blijkt als de minister, de wethouder en de moslimvertegenwoordigers zich een halfuurtje hebben teruggetrokken. Een van de achtergebleven imams, Fawaz Jneid van de As-Soennah moskee in de Haagse wijk Transvaal, gekleed in traditionele pij en kalotje, is niet te beroerd om via een tolk te vertellen wat hij ervan vindt.
'De minister zegt: we moeten strijden tegen het radicalisme. Wat bedoelt zij eigenlijk met radicalisme? Politici zeggen dat radicale imams een bedreiging zijn voor de democratie. Wie is hier een bedreiging? Verdonk is zelf een radicale minister. Haar toespraak op de Dam was één grote aanval op de islamitische gemeenschap. Ze zou eens onderzoek moeten doen onder allochtonen. Daar wordt zíj gezien als een bedreiging.'
Imam Jneid vraagt zich af wat er met integratie wordt bedoeld. Dat zijn dochter op school haar hoofddoek af moet doen? 'Nu moet ze weer met een shirtje en een kort broekje naar gymnastiek. Dat kan niet. De islam verbiedt geen sport, maar wel kleren die haar rondingen accentueren.'
Tot slot, over de al Tawheed-moskee in Amsterdam. 'Volgens de media een radicale moskee, omdat daar dat boek De weg van de moslim is gevonden. Ze willen die moskee sluiten, maar ze moeten bij de schrijver en de uitgever zijn.' Volgens de imam bestaat zoiets als een liberale of een radicale islam helemaal niet. 'Er is maar één islam. Er is wel verschil in de mate waarin men zich aan het boek houdt. Hier in Nederland heeft men een totaal verkeerd beeld. Islamitische straffen zullen hier niet worden uitgevoerd. Dat gebeurt alleen in moslimlanden .'
Op het podium staat een flap-over met - in het Arabisch - de besproken thema's. Dagvoorzitter Ljamai legt uit: toepassing van de wet, en met name van het inmiddels veelbesproken godslasteringsartikel 147; de arbeidsrechtelijke positie van de imams; de oriëntatie op Nederlandse waarden en normen en tot slot de interreligieuze dialoog.
Dan wil wethouder Aboutaleb nog één ding toevoegen aan zijn eerdere stevige woorden. Waarom staat in dat rijtje niet: kritiek op de islam? Waarom is er geen zelfkritiek van islamitische theologen? Imams moeten niet langer om pijnlijke kwesties als de positie van de vrouw heen draaien. 'Er is geen beter middel om jezelf te krabben dan de eigen nagel. Want als je het zelf niet doet, gaan anderen je krabben en dat kan buitengewoon vervelend zijn.'
Dutch Politicians Continue To Question Muslim Dedication To Western Ideals
Washington, DC - PipeLineNews - Underlying the size of the chasm between rhetoric and action, Dutch VVD party member Rita Verdonk's outstretched hand was rejected by the Imam she was seeking to greet at a meeting involving over 50 Muslim religious leaders.
The Imam declined to shake her hand on the grounds that, in his view, Muslims do not shake hands with women.
The incident follows one of the most violent periods in the modern history of Holland which has divided the country along religious and sectarian lines.
The riots which have taken place in Amsterdam and other large Dutch cities, after the murder of Theo Van Gogh by a radical Muslim, seem to represent a growing feeling that the country can no longer accommodate the presence of those who simply refuse to be tolerant of the majority culture.
As Verdonk pointed out after the incident, the Imams that she met with were not conversant in Dutch and seemed uninterested in ever becoming so.
Ratcheting emotions up even further, moves are being made by the Dutch legislature to amend or even eliminate the so-called blasphemy laws, which up to this point – though little used - have placed a politically correct muzzle on those who seek to criticize the religious practices of others.
Under these laws, violators could face jail terms of up to three months and/or a fine for insulting a person's religious beliefs, either orally or in writing. They were last used extensively in 1968, but their presence looms large nonetheless and is getting increasing support from members of the World Court in the Hague.
MIM: Geert Wilders the cabinet member of the VVD who plans to start his own party to prevent the Islamisation of Holland is one of the few politicians, who together with Deputy Minister Zalm, understands what is at stake if Holland does not fight the Islamist threat.
Quotes from an Associated Press interview with Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders.
"The Netherlands has been too tolerant for the intolerant people for too long."
"I would stop the immigration immediately for the next five years for non-Western immigrants. Not because I have anything against foreigners or people from non-Western countries, but we have huge problems with integration."
"We have a problem with the Islam in the Netherlands. We have a huge problems with radical Islam in the Netherlands. If we are not allowed to say it, we will never start working on a solution."
"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."
"They are centuries behind us and I believe this is a good way to look at it. ... If they take 1,500 years to come so far in the Middle East it's their problem, but not here on our soil."
"The problem we have with the integration is that 10 percent or 100,000 Muslims — imagine over a population of 16 million it's huge — have already chosen for the radical Islam and we should try to help these people."
"We have our own norms and values. If you chose for radical Islam you can leave, and if you don't leave voluntarily then we will send you away. This is the only message possible."
"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."
MIM: The spokesperson for the Islamic Council in Norway, Zahid Mukhtar showed the integration in that country has also failed abysmally and revealed the true attitude of Muslims in Europe to the Van Gogh murder. He was asked if he understood that some Muslims become so provoked that they killed and replied;" I understand that even if there is no statutory authorisation to do so".
What is even more disturbing then his remark is the reaction and abject dhimmitude displayed by Jan Stoltenberg of the Labour party. Instead of showing outrage and demanding an investigation of the spokesman and the Islamic Council he represents, Stoltenberg expressed concern that Mukhtar's remarks "to a large degree injures the Muslims in Norway and the work for increasing tolerance ". (!)
Islamic Spokesperson sympathise with murder
"Dr. Zahid Mukhtar, spokesperson for Islamic Council in Norway, stated that he sympathize with reason why the Dutch film director Theo van Gogh was murdered.
Mukhtar made the statement at the Norwegian debate program Holmgang Wednesday. Program leader Oddvar Stenstrøm asked if he understood that some Muslims could become so provoked that they killed, answered Mukhtar, "I understand that, even if there is no statutory authorization to do so."
Jens Stoltenberg, leader of the Labor Party, demands that Mukhtar retracts his statements.
"I want to ask Muslim leaders in Norway in the most urgent manner to clearly and unmistakable condemn such violent acts as the murder of van Gogh," Stoltenberg said to the Norwegian daily Aftenposten.
Stoltenberg stressed that Mukhtar's statements to a large degree injures Muslims in Norway and the work for increasing tolerance.
Erna Solberg, minister of local government, did not participate in the program, but stated to Aftenposten that it is important to stress that no one in Norway must show understanding for the murder of people like van Gogh.
"It is one thing to understand what has happened. It is something entirely different to have understanding for the action," Solberg said.
Don't do it. Don't do it. Have mercy,» the 47-year-old film director Theo van Gogh reportedly called out before he was shot eight or nine times on an open street in Amsterdam.
van Gogh had received death threats before because he through his work criticized and made fun of Islam.
A 26-year-old known Muslim fundamentalist was last week arrested for the murder.
MIM: Islamonline the Islamist propagation news service 'explains' to their readers what Muslims present as the 'repressive anti Muslim measures' which the Dutch are taking to help them integrate into the society and improve their situation.
Imams Compelled to learn Dutch language customs
Islam Online article from 2002 describes ' compulsory Imam schools at Dutch goverment expense for 600 hours of lessons on Dutch language and values'
By Khaled Shawkat, IOL Holland Correspondent
AMSTERDAM, December 3 (IslamOnline) - Dutch Immigration and Integration Minister Hilbrand Nawijn asked Imams and preachers in mosques across the country to use the Dutch language in their sermons.
He also pressed them to convince members of the Islamic minority to comply with the values and customs of the Dutch society.
Imams play a major role in rectifying the negative image of Islam and are steering the Islamic community to merge into the Dutch society, added the minister.
The statements of Nawijn, a member of the far-right List Pim Fortuyn (LPF) party, came Tuesday, October 1, during his inauguration of a school for training Islamic preachers and Imams to only use the Dutch language for their religious sermons.
According to an article published on the Islamic Al-Resala website, the new school will give the preachers and Imams intensive courses as well as lectures on the principal values of the Dutch society, including tolerance, religious freedom, and freedom of expression.
The school will also address some controversial issues such as Hijab and crimes of honor.
The Immigration and Integration Ministry, a newly introduced one, asserted that joining the school is compulsory for all new Imams.
Imams will not be given work permits unless obtaining a graduation certificate from the school, it added, stressing that failure in the school exam or drop-outs would prompt expulsion from the country.
A ministry spokeswoman said that if Imams fail to attend school lectures or refuse to come to the school, this would mean they are not welcomed in the country and would be expatriated.
According to her, the new law applies to new Imams while it would not affect already serving Imams.
She underlined, however, that the government works to convince old Imams to join the school and benefit from its courses.
According to Al-Resala website, 33 scholars have already been registered in the new school, mostly of Moroccan and Turkish origin.
They will be forced to get 600-hour lessons on Dutch language and values and foot the bill, it added.
The Immigration and Integration Ministry only promised them compensation for half the cost, if graduating, said the website.
The new school will be administrated by veteran Muslim activists known for their close ties with the Dutch government circles and their enthusiasm for merging Muslims into the Dutch society.
According to some Muslim activists, the school is a chance for Muslims to rectify misunderstandings inside the small Muslim community and help its members abandon extremists tendencies.
Most Muslims, however, were dumb founded by Nawijn's statements that only Dutch must be used in Holland 450 mosques.
In a related development, Yassein Hartough, a spokesman for the Islam and Citizenship Organization, deemed Nawijn's statements an intervention in religious affairs.
Religious organizations should be given freedom to organize themselves in the way they want, he said.
The new changes in Holland come on the backdrop of the Sept 11 attacks on New York and Washington as well as anti-Islam statements by the far-right opposition leader Pim Fortuyn who was assassinated in May be an environment advocate.
Holland was among the very first western countries to recognize the special nature of the Muslim minority and tried to organize Muslim groups and recognize Muslim schools.
These tolerate stances changed drastically after the arrival of a far-right coalition to the helm of power in Holland.
Islam Online waxes hysterical over Pim Fortuyn and lauds the fact that he was removed as head of his party for what they claim were his remarks saying "Islam is a deteriorated culture". The writer of the article could use government financed Dutch lessons and refers to Pim Fortuyn as 'Bem Fortown' and the Volkskrant newspaper as' De Folks Grant.'
THE HAGUE, Feb. 13 (IslamOnline) -
The rightist Holland party has decided to dispose its head Bem Fortown for his declarations to De Folks Grant newspaper on Saturday, February 9, in which he said, " Islam is a deteriorated culture".
The disposition of Fortown was decided in an emergency meeting on Sunday, February 10. The decision came after three months of continual provocation against Islam and Muslims as well as showing his hatred for the Muslim minority and emigrant Arabs.
Fortown was elected in November 2001 as the head of the party. His extreme racial declarations about Islam and his mixing religion and culture added to his deviation from the party's program which confirms the rightist nature of the party and not the racial one.
While some of the political analysts in Holland said that the declarations of Fortown to De Folks Grant news paper were but a cause. The leaders of the party, which has a majority of business men, felt that the extremist racial trend of Fortown has formed a real danger on their interest and reputation as well as the fear that they might not be able to get rid of him easily in the future, if they let him freely on his way.
Bem Fortown was turned in the last period to a political and media super star. All the public opinion surveys showed that his party will take 20 places in the coming parliament. It will turn to be the second or the third force in the parliamentary elections in May 2002.
In the declaration which caused his disposition that he would work to terminate the right of political asylum to Holland if he passed elections. He said that 16 million Hollanders are enough in the country and there is no place for others.
Fortown added that he wanted to change the first chapter in the Holland constitution which prevents racial discrimination between citizens because of color, race, religion, gender or any other aspects.
The political leader and a lecturer in Erasmoth in Rotterdam said in the article that he is not against foreigners in general. But he is specifically against Muslims and if he was to handle it he would have prevented them from entering Holland.
"I do not hate Islam, but I find it deteriorated," he stated. "As I have traveled to different countries in the world, I discovered that each time when Islam is controlling, the conditions are intolerable."
Fortown is known for being perverted and boast about it on public and different media. According to Holland sources, he chooses his friends of foreign origin.
His disposition caused a great relief in the political arena, especially in the official diplomatic circles of the big parties for which he was a dangerous rival.