Stop playing victim, Forum tells Moroccans

21st January 2005, Comments 0 comments

21 January 2005, AMSTERDAM — As mourners marched on Friday to commemorate the death of a Moroccan man during an alleged bag snatch, multicultural institute Forum urged Moroccan immigrants in Amsterdam to stop portraying themselves as victims.

21 January 2005

AMSTERDAM — As mourners marched on Friday to commemorate the death of a Moroccan man during an alleged bag snatch, multicultural institute Forum urged Moroccan immigrants in Amsterdam to stop portraying themselves as victims.

Forum spokesman Halim el Madkouri said Moroccans are not victims and should stop blaming the rest of Dutch society for everything, newspaper De Volkskrant reported.

His comments came after El B. was killed on Monday night after he and an accomplice allegedly stole a bag from a woman's car. The motorist reversed her car to try and reclaim the bag, but collided with the mens' scooter and crushed the victim up against a tree. 

Outrage erupted in Amsterdam East around the scene of El B.'s death as many people from the immigrant community claimed that the 43-year-old woman killed the 19-year-old on purpose. They claim it was evidence that Moroccans are victims of serious injustice in the Netherlands.

"Nonsense, of course, because the woman who crashed into him did not really think: 'Hey, a Moroccan. I'm going to kill him'. Moroccans are in a vicious circle of frustration and dissatisfaction. They continually feel they are a victim," El Madkouri said.

A spokesman for the Koepelorganisatie van Marokkaanse Moskeeën (a Moroccan mosque association) blamed the emotional outbursts by Moroccans after El B.'s death on negative publicity in the media.

"But some of them have contributed to this picture themselves. It is time Moroccans looked into the mirror and recognised their own faults," he said.

The Netherlands is currently in the midst of a drive to force newcomers to integrate and a crackdown on alleged Islamic extremists. In turn, this has led to social tension mounting between the native and immigrant communities. Immigrants have been accused of causing social problems by not integrating into Dutch society.

Monday's tragedy occurred just 50m away from the spot where Theo van Gogh was killed last November. A Dutch-Moroccan, Mohammed B., 26, has been arrested for the crime, which sparked retaliatory vandal and arson attacks on mosques and churches.

El B.'s death has only served to heighten the tension in a city that is already feeling the strain of what some commentators have dubbed the "clash of cultures".

[Copyright Expatica News 2005]

Subject: Dutch news

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