From Dutch Concerns:
Saturday, July 14, 2007
The bad news from Holland
by R. Hartmann
"Unbelievable as it may seem, the Dutch 'Minister voor Wonen, Wijken en Integratie' (Residence, Neighbourhoods and Integration (I'm not making this up)), Ella Vogelaar, today has declared in an interview that The Netherlands will be Islamic at some point in the future. She feels that The Netherlands should adapt to Islam, and subsidise Islamic institutions. What will emerge, according to her, is a "Christian-Jewish-Islamic culture". As if Christianity and Judaism aren't 100% opposite to Islam's teachings."
From Gates of Vienna:
According to an article in Saturday’s Trouw, the people of the Netherlands will just have to get used to increasing numbers of Muslims in their midst. Many thanks to Yorkshire Miner for the prompt translation:
Vogelaar: Islam is a part of our culture
“Stop this fear of Islam”
The Islamic culture has nestled so deeply in Dutch society that in the long term the Netherlands can be described as a land with a Jewish-Christian-Islamic tradition.
Wilders strongly criticized minister Vogelaar over her comments about Islam
“Muslims are not going away,” said Ella Vogelaar (PvdA) [Dutch Labor Party] today in a interview with Trouw. The Minister for Housing, Neighborhoods, and Integration hoped to end the negativism and fear of Islam. “I want to help Muslims feel at home here. Islam and Muslims must be able to put down roots here because Muslims are also citizens of this land.”
Vogelaar has no problem if the local government financially supports religious organizations of the new Netherlanders. “As long at it is social aims you subsidize, and not religious activities. Otherwise you cross a line.”
Vogelaar sends with her pronouncement a completely different signal to the Muslim groups than have the politics of the last few years. Since the beginning of the Balkenende Cabinet in 2002 the policy was for immigrants to adapt to the Dutch norms and values.
Although the minister will not remove the obligation for assimilation and learning the Dutch language, she speaks of a mutual process whereby the cultures influence and stimulate each other. “It is important that such a large group root themselves in our society and become a permanent part,” said Vogelaar
The Minister made a comparison with the assimilation of the Jewish people in the Dutch culture. “Centuries ago the Jewish people came to the Netherlands and now we say, ‘the Netherlands is a land formed through Jewish and Christian traditions.’ I can picture a similar process with Islam.”