Troubles in the Netherlands - VeggieBoards
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 Old 11-10-2004, 05:37 PM
 
IamJen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,134
Has anyone else been watching the events unfold after Theo VanGogh's murder? Yesterday, even a school was set on fire http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=stor...lands_violence

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
IamJen is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 Old 11-11-2004, 06:48 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Finlay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,935
I was just about ready to loudly complain that I was ashamed of my country and many of my countrymen and -women last night. I decided to wait how things would play out, however. In any case, here's my analysis of the present situation.



The brutal murder of Mr. van Gogh (the sensationalist Telegraaf opened 'BUTCHERED!') catalyzed certain long-present tensions in Dutch society. Arguably, these tensions have been explicit since Pim Fortuyn's rise (and murder) in 2002 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pim_Fortuyn). That is: there are those who feel that immigrants who refuse to assimilate into Dutch society should be expelled from the country.



Now, when I wrote 'catalyzed' above, I meant that there are those who hold 'the Muslims' (all of them) responsible for the murder of Mr. van Gogh (in my view, this includes the extreme-rightist NieuwRechts party). It should be noted that the school that was torched Tuesday night had the text 'R.I.P. Theo' spraypainted on it. These reactions (Mosques were torched/vandalized also) triggered a reaction that spurned other people to torch churches in apparent retaliation. The Dutch were also collectively threatened with terror attacks by an Egyptian terrorist organization 'if violence against Islam does not stop'.



I hope that the government (whose conduct in this has been less than admirable, the PM's visit to the school in question yesterday notwithstanding) manages to get control of the situation again shortly and brings all those involved in this kind of violence to justice. However, I fear that this may not happen swiftly. Mr. Zalm, the vice-prime minister, proclaimed a 'war on terror' shortly after the murder, Mr. Remkes, the minister of the interior critisized his colleague Mr. Donner, the minister of justice for being too soft on terror, and Mrs. Verdonck, the immigration and integration minister, said that she "intents to use harsh measures against those who "abuse freedom of speech to promote political islam".
Finlay is offline  
#3 Old 11-11-2004, 08:46 AM
Beginner
 
klauskubus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 152
How about the announcements of Mr. Doner and mr. Remkes today, Finlay (about closing several mosques)?
klauskubus is offline  
#4 Old 11-11-2004, 09:06 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Finlay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,935
Quote:
Originally Posted by klauskubus View Post

How about the announcements of Mr. Doner and mr. Remkes today, Finlay (about closing several mosques)?



Actually, I would support indicting some of the more radical imams with 'encouraging hate/violence' if they were able to provide solid evidence. I have to add, though, that if they were to do so they should indict some of the more unpleasant extreme-rightist elements too.
Finlay is offline  
#5 Old 11-11-2004, 09:19 AM
Beginner
 
klauskubus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 152
Well, the content of their message is not the main problem, of course. I aimed at the timing, so to say.
klauskubus is offline  
#6 Old 11-11-2004, 08:29 PM
 
IamJen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,134
Quote:
Originally Posted by klauskubus View Post

How about the announcements of Mr. Doner and mr. Remkes today, Finlay (about closing several mosques)?



Because they're promoting violence, or just to calm things down?



Finlay, I'm curious about your description of long-held tensions. Do you mean long-held as in years?



Part of the reason this has caught my attention is that it seems very against the grain of the (possibly stereotypical?) temperament of the Netherlands as a whole. One of my friends spent several years in Amsterdam when he was younger and he too, is surprised. The stories get a lot of play here also, due to having a large Dutch community in the area.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
IamJen is offline  
#7 Old 11-12-2004, 03:52 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Finlay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,935
Quote:
Originally Posted by IamJen View Post

Because they're promoting violence, or just to calm things down?



Supposedly to stop the spread of that form of 'radical islam' that teaches young people to go out and commit acts of terrorism.



Quote:
Finlay, I'm curious about your description of long-held tensions. Do you mean long-held as in years?



During the seventies, loads of immigrant workers came to this country to do jobs that the Dutch wouldn't do themselves. These were Greeks, Italians, Spanish, Turks, and Maroccans, mostly. The former three groups largely returned to their country of origin after those countries underwent a rapid economic development. There was also an influx of people from the (former) colonies (Surinam, the Netherlands Antilles, Indonesia). Ever since they arrived in large numbers, I guess there have been those xenophobic elements of society that'd rather see them leave than come. This was strengthened by the perception that these people were unwilling to learn Dutch and to mingle in Dutch society at large. Anyway, until, let's say, the year 2000, this was all a largely marginal development.



Fast-forward to the rise of Pim Fortuyn and another big news-event in 2001. Pim Fortuyn managed to make electoral gains out of these developments, calling for a stop of immigration and a more proactive assimilation policy. His unrelenting critisism of the previous coalition government and its immigration without presenting any serious policy alternatives also won him a lot of votes. Eventually, he did publish a book called 'the rubble of eight years Purple' (purple being the mixture of blue (VVD 'liberals' and PvdA 'labour'). This was a scary time in Dutch politics and I've claimed to want to leave the country a lot (I do this on a weekly basis, though ). Fortuyn was, unfortunately, murdered before he got his shot at being prime minister. This precipitated a backlash against the 'established order'. Fortuyn's party ended up being the second party, second only to the reanimated CDA (Christian Democrats). The parties could not ignore such a rise and formed a government with the LPF (Fortuyn's party). This government crashed and burned in an amazingly short time.



Under the new (current) government, I guess the people that voted Fortuyn's party into power in 2002 felt that they had lost their voice and spokesman. I daresay that this discontentment has something to do with the current spiral of violence (although I hope I'm wrong and it's just some fringe loonies). Fortuyn's electorate largely consisted of the poor that were apathetic towards the ''Hague-ish'' politics.



Quote:
Part of the reason this has caught my attention is that it seems very against the grain of the (possibly stereotypical?) temperament of the Netherlands as a whole. One of my friends spent several years in Amsterdam when he was younger and he too, is surprised. The stories get a lot of play here also, due to having a large Dutch community in the area.



That's what many people are thinking, actually, ('what, we were a tolerant country, weren't we?'). Perhaps the Dutch aught to lose the 'holier than thou' attitude that comes with the package. Anyway, Mr. Balkenende (the PM) has already characterized the situation as 'un-Dutch'. If the temperament mentioned is stereotypical, then it is a stereotype which is widely held over here too.
Finlay is offline  
#8 Old 11-12-2004, 10:10 AM
Beginner
 
klauskubus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 152
Well, Finlay, you asked me to comment on your essay, if I may call it so . Apart from the fact that most immigrants came to the Netherlands during the sixties (mainly during the cabinet-De Quay (1959-1963), I've got nothing to add, so don't worry .
klauskubus is offline  
#9 Old 11-12-2004, 03:53 PM
 
IamJen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 19,134
Thanks for the posts, guys Here's hoping that cooler heads will prevail soon.

The ones I pity are the ones who never stick out their neck for something they believe, never know the taste of moral struggle, and never have the thrill of victory. - Jonathan Kozol
IamJen is offline  
#10 Old 11-12-2004, 05:34 PM
Veggie Regular
 
Finlay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 1,935
Quote:
Originally Posted by klauskubus View Post

Well, Finlay, you asked me to comment on your essay, if I may call it so . Apart from the fact that most immigrants came to the Netherlands during the sixties (mainly during the cabinet-De Quay (1959-1963), I've got nothing to add, so don't worry .



Ahh, I wasn't quite sure. Somehow I connected them to the seventies this morning. I really ought to read up on the last sixty years of Dutch political history.
Finlay is offline  
#11 Old 11-13-2004, 01:56 AM
Veggie Regular
 
Walter's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Posts: 7,866
That's really sad stuff. I love how Van Gogh makes a movie about the bad side of Islam and then an Islamic radical murders him. Ugh.
Walter is offline  
#12 Old 11-14-2004, 04:44 PM
Veggie Regular
 
chiaraluna's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 3,704
I hope that things calm down soon... We live in a sad world.
chiaraluna is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the VeggieBoards forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off