Archive for the ‘Netherlands’ Category

Abbie van der Louw, the Dutch nomad whose 9 children were taken away by Child Services because they were seriously neglected and didn’t go to school for almost 3 years, has a new love. A new love who wants to have children.

At the couch in Abbie’s caravan, on the edge of the Western Harbour Area, sits 23-year-old Sara from Germany. She smiles and looks non-stop at Abbie. The couple is still in their honeymoon weeks.

They’ve known each other for 1,5 weeks and got married this week. His bride stood at his doorstep out of the blue, Abbie tells, and she converted to islam.

Van der Louw had 7 children with his first wife, Maryam. When she died in 2005, he got 4 more children with three other women. He is not in touch with these women anymore.

Sara is from Munich. “She wanted to talk with me about religion. About Christianity. People told her I know a lot about faith. We read the Bible together and through the Bible we came to the Quran. We talked intensively. I slept in this caravan and she slept in another one at the beginning. She was free. A friend of us, some kind of imam, married us.”

Sara smiles. “I am a muslim now.”

She’s not wearing a niqab, like Abbie’s daughters and his former wives. “But what did I tell you about covering yourself?”Abbie asks her.
“That I have to decide for myself,”Sara replies. “As soon as I’m ready for it, I’ll do it.”

In Abbie’s caravan – he has a few – there’s a couch, a chair and a television. In the corner there’s a stove. There’s a dog laying on a matrass. His second dog, type fighter, is outside on a chain. “He bites, he has to stay in the car for now.”


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Geert Wilders’ anti-Islam party PVV is sticking firm by its earlier commitment to make a headscarf ban in public buildings a central element in the negotiations to form a new city council executive in Almere.

Raymond de Roon, who led the PVV’s campaign in Almere, is currently holding talks with other parties about forming a new administration for the polder city.

The PVV emerged as the biggest party after the local elections on March 3rd.

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The Federation of Islamic Organizations In Europe (FIOE), representing the Muslim Brotherhood in Europe, has announced that its Dutch member organization has established a new youth and student organization.

According to the FIOE announcement:

The Federation of Islamic Organizations in Holland has established a new organization for youth and students, during a meeting attended by representatives from the edification departments, da’wah and assimilation of new Muslims. All attendees agreed on the necessity of organizing many meetings to discuss the future strategy of the organization and forming its action plan. The first meeting of this series will be held on Saturday March 20th 2010.

The leader of the Federation of Islamic Organizations in Holland (FION) is Yahia Bouyafa who also heads the Europe Trust Nederland, the Dutch branch of the Europe Trust, the funding/endowment arm of FIOE. Previous posts have profiled Mr. Bouyafa, his role as a dialog partner for the Dutch government, his part in a public broadcasting controversy, and his real-estate dealings on behalf of the Europe Trust.

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Moroccan criminal youth are increasingly organizing in gangs which operate regionally and even internationally.

This according to the Dutch National Police (KLPD) in a study on Moroccan criminals in the Netherlands, which had not been made public until now. In total, 14,462 Moroccan criminals were included in the study, in the 181 municipalities with five or more Moroccan criminals. They make up 8.1% of the 177,487 known criminals in these places. The number of ethnic Dutch criminals is 101,437, or 57.1% of the total. Formally, the study is only about suspects: people on whom the public prosecution received a file and for which the police is ‘convinced that they’ve committed a certain crime’.

In absolute number, Amsterdam has the most Moroccan criminals: 2,497 of a total of 14,844 arrested criminals. Taking into consideration the total population, the KLPD made up a classification of the ‘gravity of the Moroccan problem’. Amsterdam is in first place, Gouda second and Utrecht third. Culemborg is in 14th place, Zaltbommel in 35th. Taking into account recidivism (the average number of crimes per Moroccan suspect aged 12 to 24), Gouda has the largest Moroccan problem nationally: the 332 suspects in Gouda commit on average 1.4 crimes a year. Using this classification, Utrecht is runner-up, the Hague is 3rd and Culemborg is in 10th place.

The ‘relative Moroccan activity’ was also mapped out: the percentage of criminal Moroccan of the total population aged 12 and up. Gouda leads here with 0.55% (332 criminal Moroccans out of 59,931 residents 12 and up). Utrecht is 2nd, Amsterdam is 3rd. Based on the KLPD data it’s possible to calculate the percentage of Moroccans among the total arrested criminals. Once again Gouda leads with 31%: almost a third of all those arrested is Moroccan. Utrecht is second with 23.7% and Culemborg third with 22.6%.

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The European Court of Justice has upended the minimum income requirement for foreign marriage partners. More aspects of Dutch immigration policy could be at odds with European law.

The Moroccan M. Chakroun had lived in the Netherlands for two years when he married in 1972. His new wife remained in Morocco, while he worked as a manufacturing employee until he lost his job in 2005. A year later, Mrs. Chakroun applied for a Dutch residency permit so she could be with her husband. The request was denied: her husband’s unemployment benefits were below the required minimum income of 120 percent of minimum wage.

Of all foreign marriage partners.who moved to the Netherland in 2009 (10,000), a third came here to marry a native. Three out of four were women marrying Dutch men, a study by E-quality has shown.

Half of all immigrants are partners of another first generation immigrant. Approximately 14 percent come to the Netherlands to marry a second generation immigrant.

Most spousal immigrants are from Turkey (12.5 percent), Somalia (9 percent) and India (8.3 percent).

The Chakrouns appealed their case, finally ending up in the Court of Justice of the European Union, which ruled in the couple’s favour last week. The minimum income requirement for foreign marriage partners, which is higher in the Netherlands than anywhere else in the EU, is at odds with the European right to family reunifications.as laid down in European Council Directive 2003/86/EC.

After the European court reprimanded the Netherlands for its policy, justice minister Ernst Hirsch Ballin told parliament this week he would be dropping the 120-percent requirement. His department will also stop distinguishing between people who were already married before they came to the Netherlands and people who want to bring a new partner here.

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Dutch crown-prince Willem-Alexander has been working for years on his image, with some success, according to a new biography.

In 2008 and 2009 Willem-Alexander studied Islam for a year and a half. He read various parts of the Koran in the Bible club which has been meeting monthly since 1992, led by Carel ter Linden, the Reverend who conducted his wedding.

In the biography “Willem IV, from prince to king” Tel Linden say: “We read various fragments from the Koran. We watched the movie ‘Fitna’ by Geert Wilders. From time to time Wessels (Prof. Anton Wessels, researcher of religion and Islam) came by to answer the necessary questions. Also imam Abdulwahid van Bommel was our guest one time. We visited a service in the Rotterdam mosque, which was explained by him. That topic kept us busy and the prince also read the necessary book, so that one of us once said jokingly: ‘Why should we ask Wessels, we have Alex, no?’

Prince Willem-Alexander as an Islam expert: this side of the Crown Prince was unknown till now. But with 1 million Muslim subjects, it’s obvious that the future king would also study this religion. At the same time, Geert Wilders can also be happy: the Crown Prince is not bothered also getting to know about his view of Islam.

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The municipality of Zwolle is working on making homosexuality a discussable topic in immigrant circles.  The municipality is working together with the gay integration organisation COC Zwolle and five religious organisations for immigrants.

The aim is not for the muinciaplity to impose from above how the immigrant community will increase the discussability and acceptance.  The proposal by alderman Kenkhuis says that they should have their own movement.. and that this needs to happen patiently and carefully.  “Zwolle asks citizens to work together on living together”.

The municipalty wants to increase knowledge of homosexuality in immigrant circles, and thereby have both immigrants and professionals in Zwolle aware of the problematics.  Professional should also expand their expertise so they could back immigrants with quesitons or problems with the issue.  The municipality sees a role here for key figures in the immigrant community, religious organizations, self-organiztaions and social organizations.

Zwolle aims especially at immigrant under 64, because this group is by far the biggest in the municpality, and the first generaly is hard to reach and is mostly not open to the topic.  The municipality wants to direct and boost the process and to perform an examplary role.  The leading points of the policy are to create a basis and professional roots, information-exchange and guidance, giving out information and bringing the issue up.  “Respect for each ther and dialog with each other are therefore central.”

The municipality points out that it’s a lengthy and sensitive process.  The process should proceed in small steps, they say.  The municipality is planning the policy for the period 2009-2011, and will receive for it 75,000 euro from the state.  In 2011 there will be an evaluation and it would be decided whether to continue the project in 2012.

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