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Muslim subculture imperils Dutch way of life.

The Hague -- For around 30 years, the Netherlands has prided itself on being a "tolerant" society par excellence. Abortion, homosexuality, pornography, and, finally, euthanasia have all found acceptance within its laws. What is arguably the superior flipside of these aspects has been Dutch tolerance of immigrants. Arriving originally from former colonies in Indonesia, and now added to by many people from Turkey and Morocco, the majority of new immigrants have been Muslims.

A recently released all-party report from the Dutch parliament states that the "experiment in trying to create a tolerant, multicultural society has failed." Previous governments have permitted children to speak Turkish, Arabic, or Berber in school, instead of learning Dutch. This has been a major factor in the creation of ethnic ghettos within Dutch cities. A further factor preventing the assimilation of these immigrants is that even those young people born in Holland tend to "import" their spouses from the "old country."

Resentment caused by government projects, such as funding for Islamic clubs that are often run by hard-line Muslim clerics, has simmered in the Netherlands for several years. It found voice two years ago in the warnings of assassinated maverick politician Pim Fortuyn, who claimed that the Dutch "way of life was threatened by militant Islam and overcrowding." So far, the Dutch have not come up with any really practical solutions to address the problem. Awareness and recognition may be a helpful first step.

(National Post, Daily Telegraph, Jan. 2004)
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Title Annotation:Netherlands
Publication:Catholic Insight
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:4EUNE
Date:Mar 1, 2004
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