Alliance urged against Islamic extremism
24 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has urged other politicians whose lives have been threatened to band together and draw up a joint policy to defend liberal Dutch democracy against the threat of Islamic extremism.
24 January 2005
AMSTERDAM — Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali has urged other politicians whose lives have been threatened to band together and draw up a joint policy to defend liberal Dutch democracy against the threat of Islamic extremism.
Hirsi Ali directed her plea to Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen, Amsterdam Social Affairs Alderman Ahmed Aboutaleb and right-wing independent MP Geert Wilders. But the proposal met with a cool reaction, with Wilders rejecting it outright.
Both Cohen and Aboutaleb said they would wait "with interest" for Hirsi Ali's formal invitation, but Aboutaleb also claimed the proposal was problematic. Aboutaleb said he was not interested if Hirsi Ali only wanted to exchange ideas, because they were already well known.
Both he and Cohen will discuss the fight against terrorism, extremism and social tension in the Netherlands with the Cabinet on Wednesday, newspaper Het Parool reported. They also said they are already heavily involved in combating extremism in the Dutch capital.
MP Wilders said he already had a clear vision about the Islamic faith and asserted that he had very little in common with Cohen and Aboutaleb and therefore no basis for discussions. "The only thing [in common] is that we are being threatened by the same people and being protected by the same organisation," he said.
Hirsi Ali — who co-wrote the film "Submission" with filmmaker Theo van Gogh — went into hiding after the Van Gogh's murder last November. She has allegedly been threatened with death by the suspected terror network Main City Group (Hofstadgroep) for her continued attacks on Islam.
A Dutch-Moroccan man, Mohammed B., 26, has been arrested for the murder that caused a sharp rift in Dutch society. Tit-for-tat vandalism and arson attacks were reported at mosques and churches across the nation in the weeks after.
Wilders also went into hiding last year after it was revealed that alleged members of the Main City Group were planning his murder also. Cohen and Aboutaleb were allegedly threatened too.
And in the television programme Buitenhof on Sunday, Hirsi Ali urged for greater discussions to ensure that radical Muslims do not drive a wedge between the politicians who are being threatened, news service NOS reported.
"We must rise above ourselves and develop a social vision. Otherwise extremists will drive us apart. That must not be allowed to happen," the Liberal VVD MP said.
Hirsi Ali said Cohen, Aboutaleb and Wilders could contribute to a joint vision. Firstly, there was Wilders' call to place strict borders around Islam, Cohen's ability to hold communities together and Aboutaleb's involvement would show the policy would not be directed against the Islamic faith as a whole as he is from a Muslim family in Morocco.
Hirsi Ali returned to the Dutch Parliament last week and immediately said she would continue challenging aspects of the Islamic faith. She is planning a follow-up film to Submission, where again the oppression of women in the Islam will take centre stage.
[Copyright Expatica News 2005]
Subject: Dutch news