The Netherlands confronts Muslim tensions

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

If Turkey succeeds in its bid to join the European Union, it would become the most populous state in the EU. But European countries are divided over the issue of allowing a predominantly Muslim country gain such a powerful role. Nowhere is the debate over this more heated than in the Netherlands, where an increasing Muslim population has caused a populist backlash and a string of high profile murders in recent years. We talk to the Dutch Minister for European Affairs, Frans Timmermans, who is in the U.S. to promote the economic benefits of tolerance.

"America is back. And we're so happy that America is back, and we want to build our future coordination with the Americans because only with them we can solve the big problems we're facing."
—Frans Timmermans, Dutch minister of European affairs, on America's meeting with Turkey

This 2008 news report from Russia Today documents the increasing divide over the growth of Islamic communities in The Netherlands.


Frans Timmermans


Jim Colgan

Comments [1]


Is this really only about Islam? Is it not also about other details, with the obvious feature becoming the hook upon which all others are then strung up?

Is not the awareness that some Dutch citizen might become endangered as a result of someone's remarks a tacit admission that this is also about education and values?

Sorry, but as a liberal of some sort, I find it to be the case that some liberals do seem to make the mistake of thinking that issues of faith and belief are not matters of life and death to some, that they deceive themselves that these issue are just the tedious and boring manipuliations of sign and symbol that they take them for, cossetted as they are in some cocoon of a presumptive rational, such that they fatuously regard themselves as being above. What's the one word I am looking for here? Wrong.

I guess that I am tolerant but only tolerant to a point. I am tolerant of all things, but a suicidal tolerance.

Apr. 07 2009 12:57 PM

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