A Dutch week in 10 bullets: 8

Week 8 in 10 bullets:

  • In Belgium the police has arrested several potential travellers to Syria who are accused of wanting to join the Jahbat al Nusra or ISIL rebels or recruit others for the same cause. The action lasted several days.
  • In a recent press release the Dutch coordinator for Counter-terrorism and Security stated that there are about 100 Dutch ‘travellers’: 70 are still in Syria and more than 20 have returned. Some have fighting experiences, others not. The state has revoked the passports of at least 11 persons who are seen as potential foreign fighters. A passport can be revoked when there are serious suspicions that a person will be engaging in activities abroad that might pose a threat tot he Netherlands, such as joining an Al Qaeda affiliated group. The issue of foreign fighters is framed within a nexus of security, (pathological) radicalization and integration.
  • Lots of attention (among Moroccan-Dutch anyway) for a documentary by Abdelkarim El-Fassi: ‘Mijn vader, De Expat‘ (My father, the expat) about the life and experiences of his father who came to the Netherlands as a guest worker.
  • Marchello Besselsen (14) had a Muslim friend, Mahad. He died a few years ago as a result of heart failure. This has led Marchello on a quest to search for meaning which (for) now resulted in him converting to Islam.
  • The Rohamaa foundation is a charity organization: ‘in a world that centers on individualism they try to bring back the social’. This weekend they have an open house. [youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xqCeuTFhFwU]
  • In Amsterdam women debated their chances on the labor market.
  • The Blauwe Moskee in Amsterdam launched a network of Muslim women with a disability.
  • Dutch television showed a report of how ‘Turkish clientelism’ and the need for the ‘Muslim or ethnic vote’ influence the social democrats.
  • De Moslimomroep (Muslim Broadcasting Station) had lots of attention for the negative image of Islam last week. Lots of attention for the role of media but others also stressed that Muslims themselves are contributing to a negative image. The Dutch collective against Islamophobia and discrimination appealed to minister Asscher and the political parties to recognize Islamophobia as a phenomenon that threatens religious freedom and to take action.
  • In the Hague a group of militant activists (linked to the Syrian travellers) are campaigning against democracy and elections and stating that Islam and democracy are not compatible. According to the reports they have asked one candidate of Islam Democrats to withdraw and some people experience their activities as intimidating.

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