Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad today has an interview with Ms Nebahat Albayrak, the deputy leader of the Dutch social democrat party PvdA, the biggest opposition party.
The subject is the mass murder of Ms Albayrak’s fellow social democrats in Norway, and the xenophobic politics in the Netherlands of Geert Wilders (who supports the Dutch Rightist minority government without being formally part of the government coalition).
Translated from NRC Handelsblad:
In the interview with NRC editor Danielle Pinedo Albayrak said that Wilders creates false expectations in his electorate. Many of his proposals are not enforceable by law.
“Some [Wilders] voters understand this; they will settle for a watered down form of his program. But there are [Wilders] voters who do not. You can see where this leads to on their Internet forums: unspeakable. Ethnic minorities – Muslims in particular – get torrents of verbal abuse there.
I have given up counting how often I get abusive emails and threats. “Al-Qaeda cunt whore ‘, things like that.
In the twilight twisted parallel universe of those Wilders supporters, Ms Albayrak, a very secular Muslim woman (like her fellow MP of Turkish ancestry, in the D66 party, Fatma Koser Kaya) is “Al-Qaeda” just because her parents immigrated to the Netherlands from Turkey.
I consider this development to be a direct result of Wilders’ statements. There are people who think that what he calls for can be realized. On that point, he should start to be clear. ”
Albayrak says in the interview that Wilders’ ideology may have an “unpredictable effect” on some individuals:
“Wilders is right to condemn Breivik’s actions now. But to say that there is no connection between his ideology and the ideas of the Norwegian: no.”
Norway Attack: A Week Later, Country Mourns 76 Massacre Victims: here.
Right wingers refuse to accept any responsibility for whipping up the hatred that drove the Norway killer, writes Rory MacKinnon: here.
Oslo, Hip-Hop, and the Fight to Defend Multiculturalism: here.
On the News With Thom Hartmann: Norwegian Terrorist Anders Breivik Got His Weapons From the US: here.
The horrific July 22 terrorist massacre in Norway should be the cause for a lot of soul searching in the West: here.
Married lesbian couple rescues 40 kids during Norway shooting rampage: here.
USA: The New York City Police Department, working in close collaboration with the Central Intelligence Agency, has carried out an unprecedented spying operation directed against Muslim immigrants and Muslim-Americans over the past decade: here.
Galloway faces EDL death threats
POLITICS: A senior member of the English Defence League has used social networking site Facebook to make death threats against former MP George Galloway.
Daryl Hobson, 41, who organises EDL demonstrations and boasted that the group has extensive contacts with Norwegian massacre suspect Anders Breivik, posted a “Kill George Galloway” message and encouraged others to add their comments.
The former MP for Bethnal Green and Bow said: “This is a clear incitement to murder me and I have passed on, through my lawyer, my complaint to the Metropolitan police.”
Breivik planned rampage for years
NORWAY: Mass murderer Anders Breivik was being interrogated for the second time today as Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg led the nation in mourning one week since the bomb and shooting spree that killed at least 76 people.
Mr Stoltenberg attended two memorial services for Mr Breivik’s victims, one hosted by the Labour Party and the other in a mosque in an immigrant district.
Police now believe that Mr Breivik acted alone after years of planning.
He has been charged with terrorism.
25 Jul 2011
Mainstream Muslim-bashing sowed the seeds of right-wing terror
“Far-right organisations across Europe have flourished in the foetid atmosphere that has been created by a decade of imperialist war in the Middle East. The far right takes its violent cues from the racist campaign whipped up against Muslim immigrants by politicians of all stripes. As the global economic crisis has savaged Europe, mainstream politicians have tried to divert anger over bankers’ greed and savage austerity measures by sowing seeds of hatred against Muslims and other minorities. They cannot now escape responsibility for what that hatred has unleashed.”
The murder of up to 100 participants in the Norwegian Labor Party’s youth camp was committed by a right-wing terrorist. But many of the ideas that inform his actions are mainstream. They are printed not simply in self-published manifestos or online fascist forums, but in “respectable” papers with circulations in the millions.
For almost a decade we have been witness to a tireless propaganda campaign, by virtually the entire establishment press, waged against the world’s Muslim population. Those Muslims residing in the West have been vilified variously as a fifth column conspiring to commit atrocities, or an anti-integrationist block who offer at best the ghettoisation of major cities, and at worst threaten total conquest of “the West”.
Racist measures like the criminalisation of the burqa in France, Belgium and parts of Italy; Switzerland’s banning of minarets; and the public attacks on multiculturalism by leading politicians like France’s President Nicholas Sarkosy and British PM David Cameron have been part of a concerted effort to demonise Islam.
Nicholas Kulish, in a vile piece in the New York Times written after Anders Behring Breivik was arrested, inadvertently admitted that many of the killer’s extreme racist and reactionary views are part of the mainstream discourse. After attributing the rise of the European far right to what he calls “liberal immigration policies” and explaining how they have led to a “backlash”, he writes: “[S]ome of the primary motivations cited by the suspect in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik, are now mainstream issues.”
Which of course they are. Vilifying Muslims, cracking down on civil liberties and persecuting migrants are policies pursued with gusto by most European leaders. For example, David Cameron blames multiculturalism for encouraging “different cultures to live separate lives, apart from each other and the mainstream”. . . [T]his [has] resulted in a lack of national identity in Britain which [has] made some young Muslims turn to extremist ideology.”
Such is the effectiveness of the anti-Muslim campaign that “Islamist” and “terrorist” have become virtually synonymous in the immediate consciousness of much of the population. Yet the bare facts do not come close to resembling the picture painted by the political establishment. As US academic Juan Cole noted, “[A]s an actually-existing phenomenon, terrorism in Europe is mainly the work of Christian-heritage people”:
In 2008, only one terrorist attack out of hundreds in Europe was committed by radical Muslims. In 2010, according to Europol [pdf], 7 persons were killed in terrorist attacks. Some 160 of these attacks that year were carried out by separatists. The number launched by people of Muslim heritage? 3.
For anyone who regularly reads the opinion pieces in the mainstream press these figures would come as a complete surprise. The depth to which this connection (Islamist with terrorist) is assumed led to some extraordinary pieces of reporting over the last few days. First, without a shred of evidence, much of the world’s media was happy to speculate that an Islamist group was responsible. When it became incontestable that in fact it was not Islamists but a fanatic driven by his hatred of Muslims who carried out the attacks, some still tried to find a way to blame Islamic extremists.
Brian Fishman, one of Washington’s innumerable and inane army of “counter-terrorism researchers” mused in the New York Times that “if it does turn out to be someone with more political motivations, it shows these groups are learning from what they see from Al Qaeda.” Before al-Qaeda, apparently no-one had even dreamt of using terrorism as a political weapon!
But the New York Times’ most revealing contribution to the debate was the defence it wrote of the paper’s insinuations of Islamist responsibility, claiming that initially: “There was ample reason for concern that terrorists might be responsible.” [Our emphasis] As Richard Silverstein, one of the first to pick up on the ludicrousness of this statement, put it:
How’s that again? Are the only terrorists in the world Muslim? If so, what do we call a right-wing nationalist capable of planting major bombs and mowing down scores of people for the sake of the greater glory of his cause? If even a liberal newspaper like the Times can’t call this guy a terrorist, what does that say about the mindset of the Western world?
As they were forced to accept “Muslim extremists” were not to blame, the attack simply ceased to be an act of terrorism in the media’s eyes. By the time a report appeared in Sydney’s Sun-Herald, it called Breivik a “Lone Madmen”, saying “this is not linked to any international terrorist organisations. . . this seems like a madman’s work.”
This attempt to write off right-wing terrorism as simply the work of a deranged individual is not simply about the media being unable to process the idea of political terrorism if it doesn’t involve Muslims. It is also a means to avoid culpability for creating the cesspit that breeds far right organisations and individuals like Breivik.
Far-right organisations across Europe have flourished in the foetid atmosphere that has been created by a decade of imperialist war in the Middle East. The far right takes its violent cues from the racist campaign whipped up against Muslim immigrants by politicians of all stripes.
As the global economic crisis has savaged Europe, mainstream politicians have tried to divert anger over bankers’ greed and savage austerity measures by sowing seeds of hatred against Muslims and other minorities. They cannot now escape responsibility for what that hatred has unleashed.
PVV councillor thrown out of party for ‘Turkish pig’ email
Friday 13 January 2012
The anti-Islam PVV in Limburg has sacked one of its provincial councillors for describing a Labour party colleague as ‘a piece of sicked-up halal meat made from a Turkish pig’.
The comment was made a year ago by PVV number two Cor Bosman in an email to 20 supporters after Labour councillor Selçuk Öztürk gave an interview to a local magazine.
The decision to sack Bosman was taken at an emergency meeting on Friday morning after news of the email leaked to the local press. ‘We sincerely regret Bosman’s upsetting comments,’ the party said after the meeting in a statement.
According to Limburg media reports, the incident led to the resignation of another PVV councillor last summer. He was angry the local party had not taken action against Bosman, and that local leader Laurence Stassens continued to back him.
Bosman told reporters he had not yet been formally informed of the decision and had a weekend to think things through. The email was meant to be sarcastic, he said. ‘If I had wanted to be insulting I would have written it differently.’
This is not the first time Bosman and the PVV in Limburg have been hit by controversy.
Last year it emerged that Bosman is one of two PVV provincial councillors in Limburg who hires himself as his own party worker. According to the Volkskrant, he earns €13,000 a year for his work as councillor plus €57,000 a year as party support staff.
The PVV became the biggest party in the province after the March 2011 elections with over 20% of the vote.
Bosman’s sacking and the resignation of another councillor means the party now controls eight of the 47 council seats. It is not yet clear if Bosman will leave the council or continue as an independent.
Last summer, PVV MP Raymond de Roon described the Turkish prime minister Recep Erdogan as an ‘Islamic monkey’. And party leader Geert Wilders told a news conference in London in 2010 Erdogan is a ‘total freak’.
Left-wing parties join forces to call for higher top rate of tax
Saturday 14 January 2012
The Socialist Party, Labour (PvdA) and left-wing greens Groenlinks made a joint call for a higher top rate of tax in Saturday’s Volkskrant newspaper.
The tax increase would be part of an investment plan based on solidarity, intelligence and green values, the three party leaders said in an article, without giving any figures.
The current top rate of tax is 52% on income over € 56,491. A 1% increase would generate an extra €400m a year for the treasury, the Volkskrant said.
The people affected by the increase would get ‘a better Netherlands in return’, the party leaders wrote.
The SP is currently riding high in the opinion polls, while Labour has seen its support almost halve since the June 2010 general election.
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