Thursday, March 02, 2017
Why some immigrants in the Netherlands plan to vote for the 'Dutch Donald Trump'
It's Saturday — market day — in the small, blue-collar Dutch town of Spijkenisse just outside Rotterdam.
The snow is coming down thick and fast, but that hasn't stopped people from gathering in the main square to buy local vegetables, cheese, meat and fish for the week ahead.
One of the shoppers is Leonard, a Surinamese man in his 60s who has lived in the town ever since he left the former Dutch colony 25 years ago. He didn’t want to give his last name. Leonard prays weekly in the Protestant church here, and like many of the locals, he thinks Dutch politician Geert Wilders, known for his anti-Islam, anti-immigrant positions, is onto something.
Leonard, a Surinamese immigrant who's lived in the Netherlands for decades, plans to vote for Geert Wilders. "He has some good points about immigration and terrorism." Credit: Venetia Rainey "He has some good points about immigration and terrorism," Leonard says with a shrug. "Sometimes you have to face reality."
Wilders' version of facing reality is a harsh one. Often described as the "Dutch Donald Trump," he courts controversy constantly, calling for all mosques to be closed, the country's borders to be sealed and the Netherlands to pull out of the European Union. Last year, Wilders was convicted of inciting discrimination in a speech where he called for fewer Moroccans in the country.
Such policies may seem at odds with the liberal stereotype of the Dutch, but Wilders' PVV party is set to do better than any other come election day, March 15. Part of the reason is his long-standing argument that Islam is incompatible with Dutch culture, something that resonates with people like Leonard.
"You have to accept the norm for this country, you cannot come with your own things here," he says, referring to Muslim cultural practices, such as women wearing headscarves, which he says make him uncomfortable. "You have to accept the law here."
Like Trump — who Leonard also admires — Wilders boasts about saying what's on his mind, openly rejecting the idea of being politically correct. At a recent rally, for example, he called some Moroccans in the country “scum.” For many in the Netherlands, those kinds of comments are racist, plain and simple, but Wilders’ supporters don't see it that way.
"He's not racist," says Dave, a 40-year-old former welder (who also declined to give his last name). "He says what he thinks. And sometimes he says some little things that he [shouldn't] say, but it's things that a lot of people in our country think about but don't want to say."
Dave has been out of a job, he says, since his boss in Rotterdam replaced him with lower-paid workers from Poland several years ago. These days, Dave sells fries out of a truck in the market every Saturday, but he struggles to get by.
He votes for PVV every year and says a large part of the appeal is their promise to put Dutch people first. If Wilders gets into power, for example, he's said he will cut development aid to poor countries (which accounted for about 0.75 percent of the country's gross national income in 2015) and use the money at home instead.
"I have three children ... [who] don't have enough things for school and that sort of thing, because everything is getting expensive," Dave says fiercely. "And then you see that they [the Dutch government] give a lot of money to other countries and that sort of thing to help other people.
"I know they need help also, but first look at your own people and then look at the rest of the world."
Some of PVV's support comes from unlikely quarters, including first- and second-generation immigrants from Muslim countries — the very people Wilders wants to keep out or force to assimilate.
Aylin and her mother sell fruit and vegetables in the market in Spijkenisse. Aylin's parents are from Iran, and they all plan to vote for Geert Wilders. Credit: Venetia Rainey Aylin, who asked to be identified by her first name only, as well, is a 20-year-old university student who works at the market every week with her parents. They’re from Iran. Despite the fact that her parents were not born in the Netherlands, she says she agrees with Wilders' call to close up the border to anyone from Muslim countries — although not completely — and is planning to cast her first-ever vote for him.
"I think the statements he makes and the things he wants for this country will benefit us in the long run," Aylin says, before adding with a laugh, "My parents are also voting for him so I gotta keep them as friends; otherwise I can't sleep at home anymore."
She thinks immigration is the main issue driving support for Wilders in Spijkenisse. One in five locals voted for him in the last election in 2012, much higher than the national average of one in 10, and Wilders regularly holds rallies in the town.
Aylin says she can see that her customers at the market seem uncomfortable with the idea of foreigners in the town, in general, although she doesn't count herself and her family among them. For her, the foreigners are the ones who come to the country to take advantage of the benefit system rather than earn their own money and contribute to society, and those are the people who need to be kept out.
"As you can see, we are working hard for our money," she says proudly. "My parents have been here for the last 25 years, so we have basically become Dutch people."
British feminist politician banned cake, guests and photographs on her wedding day 'to fight the patriarchy'
She's a real misery -- but influential in the British Labour party
Just last week she called for a ban on politicians talking about the importance of marriage. Now Harriet Harman has taken yet another swipe at the institution of matrimony.
The 66-year-old revealed she had no photographs, cake or even guests at her wedding in 1982 to Jack Dromey, in a bizarre bid to fight against what she described as patriarchy.
She claims the couple had tried to avoid getting married, but were forced to when she became pregnant because she feared for her career in politics as an unmarried mother.
‘There are no photos of my wedding, no cake. We saw marriage as patriarchal,’ she said in an interview with The Times Magazine.
‘Jack and I were trying not to get married. We did it because I was pregnant.’ ‘Being a young woman MP was going to be hard enough as it was. But to do that when I was unmarried with a child...
‘I can’t even remember if I told my parents about it. I didn’t invite them or my friends. We just had a bottle of champagne in the garden afterwards,’ Labour’s former deputy leader added.
‘We were fighting against the idea that marriage was the point at which women were handed from the authority of the father to the authority of the husband.’
Last week, Miss Harman called for an end to politicians talking about the importance of marriage in an article for Prospect magazine titled ‘If I ruled the world’.
She wrote: ‘I’d ban them [politicians] from going on about how important marriage is and how damaging divorce is.’
Her comments were criticised by a number of Tory politicians including Iain Duncan Smith, who said her remarks were ‘unbelievable’ and not based on facts.
The former Tory leader said the Centre for Social Justice, which he set up in 2004, had produced research underlining the importance of marriage in keeping children out of poverty.
For example, it showed that 48 per cent of children in low income households lived with one parent, compared to 16 per cent of middle to high income households.
Harry Benson, of the Marriage Foundation, said it was ‘hypocritical’ for married politicians like Miss Harman to play down the importance of marriage.
He said: ‘Harriet Harman is still married after all these years, as are 89 per cent of the current Cabinet and a high proportion of the Shadow Cabinet.
'The real hypocrisy is that nine out of ten of all politicians in the highest income groups are married, but they have spent years telling us that it doesn’t matter.
‘The tragedy is that the poor have been listening, and are the least able to cope when families split up.’
The Roots of Islamic Anti-Semitism
By: Robert Spencer
"Anti-Semitism in Europe is at levels not seen since the heyday of Nazi Germany, and is growing more savage by the moment. Last week, i24News reported that "two French Jewish brothers were briefly abducted and abused by a group of men in a Paris suburb in an incident that ended with the brothers being beaten and attacked with a wood saw." This is the new Europe, the same as the old Europe, because of Muslim immigration: the attackers were "a group of men described as having a Middle Eastern appearance."
A group of men having a Middle Eastern appearance would have every reason, by their own lights, to abduct, beat, and attempt to mutilate two random Jews. The Qur'an depicts the Jews as inveterately evil and bent on destroying the wellbeing of the Muslims. They are the strongest of all people in enmity toward the Muslims (5:82); as fabricating things and falsely ascribing them to Allah (2:79; 3:75, 3:181); claiming that Allah's power is limited (5:64); loving to listen to lies (5:41); disobeying Allah and never observing his commands (5:13); disputing and quarreling (2:247); hiding the truth and misleading people (3:78); staging rebellion against the prophets and rejecting their guidance (2:55); being hypocritical (2:14, 2:44); giving preference to their own interests over the teachings of Muhammad (2:87); wishing evil for people and trying to mislead them (2:109); feeling pain when others are happy or fortunate (3:120); being arrogant about their being Allah's beloved people (5:18); devouring people's wealth by subterfuge (4:161); slandering the true religion and being cursed by Allah (4:46); killing the prophets (2:61); being merciless and heartless (2:74); never keeping their promises or fulfilling their words (2:100); being unrestrained in committing sins (5:79); being cowardly (59:13-14); being miserly (4:53); being transformed into apes and pigs for breaking the Sabbath (2:63-65; 5:59-60; 7:166); and more.
The classic Qur'anic commentators not do not mitigate the Qur'an's words against Jews, but only add fuel to the fire. Ibn Kathir explained Qur'an 2:61 ("They were covered with humiliation and misery; they drew on themselves the wrath of Allah") this way: "This Ayah [verse] indicates that the Children of Israel were plagued with humiliation, and that this will continue, meaning that it will never cease. They will continue to suffer humiliation at the hands of all who interact with them, along with the disgrace that they feel inwardly." Another Middle Ages commentator of lingering influence, Abdallah ibn Umar al-Baidawi, explains the same verse this way: "The Jews are mostly humiliated and wretched either of their own accord, or out of coercion of the fear of having their jizya [punitive tax] doubled."
Ibn Kathir notes Islamic traditions that predict that at the end of the world, "the Jews will support the Dajjal (False Messiah), and the Muslims, along with 'Isa [Jesus], son of Mary, will kill the Jews." The idea in Islam that the end times will be marked by Muslims killing Jews comes from the prophet Muhammad himself, who said, "The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. 'O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.'" This is, not unexpectedly, a favorite motif among contemporary jihadists.
Not just contemporary jihadists, but modern-day mainstream Islamic authorities take these passages seriously. The former Grand Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who was the most respected cleric in the world among Sunni Muslims, called Jews "the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs." The late Saudi sheikh Abd al-Rahman al-Sudayyis, imam of the principal mosque in the holiest city in Islam, Mecca, said in a sermon that Jews are "the scum of the human race, the rats of the world, the violators of pacts and agreements, the murderers of the prophets, and the offspring of apes and pigs."
Another Saudi sheikh, Ba'd bin Abdallah al-Ajameh al-Ghamidi, made the connection explicit: "The current behavior of the brothers of apes and pigs, their treachery, violation of agreements, and defiling of holy places ... is connected with the deeds of their forefathers during the early period of Islam–which proves the great similarity between all the Jews living today and the Jews who lived at the dawn of Islam."
All this shows that leading Muslim authorities approach the Qur'an not as a document rooted in history, but as a blueprint for understanding the world today. Indeed, it is the primary blueprint for such understanding, and yet the one most persistently ignored by authorities. That's why those authorities keep misunderstanding the rising problem of Islamic anti-Semitism, and are woefully ill-equipped to deal with it.
Australia: Muslim fraudster caught but shows no remorse
We are just cattle to be exploited in her Muslim values
A millionaire Muslim woman who posed as a 'battling single mother' so she could live in public housing for 15 years has had her appeal thrown out of court.
Rebecca Khodragha, 44, appeared at Parramatta District Court on Wednesday to fight her three months home detention sentence, hoping for it to be lightened to community service.
The married mother-of-two, whose husband owns an electrical business which rakes in more than $1million each year, was given the sentence in 2016 when she was convicted of welfare fraud.
Rebecca Khodragha, 44, had her appeal thrown out in court on Wednesday and will now be kicked out of her housing commission apartment
The court was previously told that Ms Khodrangha's husband Khaled Sabsabi owned a lucerative electrical contracting business which was registered to the housing commission address.
At the same time Ms Khodrangha was claiming welfare benefits, the couple owned two other investment properties - in Lakemba and Greenacre - which they later sold for a significant profit.
Justice Martin Sides said mother-of-two had an 'absence of remorse' and 'complete lack of insight', and dismissed the appeal.
The court heard that despite the fraud conviction, Ms Khodragha is still living in public housing and receives Centrelink payments.
Ms Khodragha married husband Khaled in an Islamic ceremony in 1991 but their wedding was unregistered and the pair have been in a Punchbowl housing commission unit in the city's south-west since that year, 7News reported.
Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.
American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS and DISSECTING LEFTISM. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here.