Since February 2009 , this blog and Huib's 3 other Euroblogs are together at:

AT HOME IN EUROPE [EU] (at EURACTIV)
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Monday, April 19, 2010

Urban Legends abour Muslims are a Disaster for the Dutch international Standing (1)

How the Dutch extreme-right wing exploitation of islamophobia is really bad for The Netherlands' international reputation...

Today, three examples of the international echo in English of the actual Dutch obsession with urban legends about Muslims.

1. The US Loonwatch site about Tariq Ramadan.
Ramadan, a Geneva-based Islamic scholar, was engaged by Rotterdam city to teach 'Integration' at the Rotterdam University and to advise the Rotterdam City about how to deal with its immigrants from Islamic countries. Ramadan was controversial at the time of this engagement. The US had banned his entry into the States (2005).

Four years it took the successors of Pim Fortuyn (still an important party in the local council), to find finally a "stick to beat the dog". Tariq Ramadan commented on an Iranian website on Israel. What he said, was not in the least belligerent or out of place. No, the FACT that Ramadan co-operated with an Iranian programme was sufficient. He was sent away by both the local authority and the University.

Tariq Ramadan is a theoretician. Not a civil servant. His family may have ties with the original Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, which was an Arabic intellectual movement for modernization of the Islam. The actual fundamentalist Muslim Brothers are in favor of the contrary: Back to the Roots! They are not in favor of Saudi Wahhabism, but (too) often, they link up with it.

The original Muslim Brotherhood took its inspiration from the Enlightenment. The founders were in narrow contact with the European Freemasons. I.e. the people who helped Christianism to become rational and who invented the Separation of State and Religion. Just like the Founders of the United States of America, when they signed the Declaration of Independence.

That is, what I hear, when I listen to Tariq Ramadan. And that is, what I think, should be the message, our Muslim immigrants will have to understand. You can preserve the whole richness of your religion and culture, provided, you become a decent citizen (if you aren't already) of the Western society that is receiving you in its midst.
It can be argued, that Ramadan's message is too intellectual, too abstract, for Moroccan (Berber) farmers from the Rif region, who constitute the bulk of Rotterdam city's Muslim immigrants. That is not Tariq's fault. For their way of thinking and perceiving, there exist other strategies, that may help to calm the problematic relations with the other cultures that are to be found in the City of Rotterdam. The mayor and his aldermen should have thought about that, five years ago.

Like Ajaan Hirsi Ali, ironically, Tariq Ramadan was ousted by the Dutch, to find a refuge in ... the US. While Ajaan was (during the Bush reign) welcomed by the Neocons of the American Enterprise Institute, Ramadan is going to teach at a Catholic University in the Midwest.

The New York Times, today, has an article about President Obama's tranquil way, to engage American Muslims, after their marginalization and the mistrust they are exposed to, due to the Bush demagogy. Engaging Ramadan, is part of it.

It is a shame to the Dutch, that their country, formerly known as a refuge for original thinkers like Spinoza, Descartes, etc., is sending them away now, tarnishing their reputation.

Like Dutch entrepreneurs and tycoons said before (and who are we, to contradict them on this point?): Mr. Wilders and his supporters are doing a big disfavor to the country.
The country they say they love so much more than us, the "cultural relativists" who continue to open up to new and old contributions to our society.

Here is the first one we'd like to show to you:

Posted at loonwatch.com on 16 April 2010: "Tariq Ramadan, “stealth jihadist,” exposed!"

Tariq Ramadan
As you know, Dr. Tariq Ramadan - Muslim scholar, writer, and thinker - has had his visa to enter the country reinstated, and he used this to his advantage: speaking at various engagements across the United States. We here at LoonWatch alerted our fellow citizens of the arrival of the “stealth jihadist,” coining the terminology of Robert Spencer. Yet, we didn’t want to stop just there. We wanted to report on what this man was saying."
Loonwatch.com had a stealth observer at Tariq Ramadan's Chicago annual banquet speech for CAIR.
The man reported that Ramadan concluded his speech with the following dangerous incitement:
His final words were this: Never forget that you Muslims are American. He urged them to speak about Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine, and do so as Americans, not Muslims. Moreover, Muslims need to institutionalize their presence in America: Muslims need institutions, and they must work with all people. The key is confidence and humility: be confident about your position, but be humble at the same time.
Part 2 and 3 will feature the urban legends that are rocking Holland and Wilders' stealthy way of associating with racist persons and websites.

1 comment:

ESLaPorte said...

Totally agreed with everything you said - and more about Ramadan. A question I have is has Wilders, and Nick Griffin, and other European hatemongers ever been subjected to travel bans to the US?
I know that up on the Southern Poverty Law Center's website, Nick Griffin and friends traveled around the US to gatherings of White supremacists on fund raising stints.

I understand that the Netherlands used to attract religious minorities from around Europe, especially to Amsterdam. It is said that Prince William of Orange, the leader of the revolt against the Spanish, was an advocate of religious tolerance.
Even if Dutch Muslims live in their own communities, why would that be different from "Catholic pillarization?"

I see the supporters of Wilders promoting "Dutchness" as the measure of hate for especially Muslims. "National pride" is no longer "Oranje," but "stopping Islamification," something that is not happening. Sad!

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