We’ve written here a number of times about the issue of Somali refugees who have been resettled in the United States, particularly in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Other countries — notably Sweden and Norway — have experienced similar problems with Somali refugees, including endemic violence, gang behavior, rape, vandalism, and chronic unemployment.
In the Netherlands, the traditional “problem groups” are the Moroccans and the Turks. But there are Somali refugees in Holland, too, creating the same problems they have brought to other countries. By the government’s own admission, nine out of ten Somali men are unemployed, which is a sure recipe for disaster.
Below is the translation by our Flemish correspondent VH of an article from Trouw. VH included this prefatory note with his summary of the situation:
A decade or more ago there were a lot more Somalis in the Netherlands. Most of them left for the UK later, though. They were selling qat from the boot of their cars near the station in those days.
Dijsselbloem is a PvdA [Labour] representative, and might want to spread the attention from Moroccans to other immigrant groups. Labour went down in the polls a number of weeks ago, to the same level (of the slowly rising) PVV. That scared them off and since then they pretend to have a harder stand on immigrants, only to gain in the polls. If there ever were populists, they are the Socialists. This might be one of their attempts to re-attract runaway voters. Of course all Muslims and immigrants are susceptible to radicalization, as the Somali immigrants are. But the Moroccans (descendants of the slave traders and the colonizers of Spain) are a different piece of cake, and many of them are already radicalized, and the Moroccan government sees the Netherlands as one of their provinces already. The Turks (ex-Ottomans) have so far a more stealthy way of Islamizing the Netherlands: with the help of the Turkish Government and Mili Gorus they try to build Mosques and achieve important positions in the government.
And now his translation of the Trouw article:
After problem-Moroccans, there are now also problem-Somalis
“This group should be helped immediately”
Photo caption: In a basement in the south of Rotterdam a “qat-house” has been arranged. Local residents have already complained.
A small group of Somali youth are causing a concern. They risk to slide down and become the successors of Moroccan problem youth.
Their parents are not integrated, have other concerns, and are not involved in the education of their children. The school dropout rates among Somali youth is great.
PvdA [Labour] member of Parliament Jeroen Dijsselbloem is going to insist on a “tailored approach” to problem groups in the discussions on the integration budget for next year. He notices that the government [PvdA, CDA -Christian Democrats, CHU -Christian Reformed Union, leftist Christians] is making hardly any progress in recent years concerning those groups and wants politics “not to be color blind”. Dijsselbloem is not only concerned about the integration of large immigrant groups such as the Moroccans, Turks and Antilleans [from the Dutch colony in the Caribbean], but also about Somalis. “Nine out of ten Somali men are unemployed. The group has a lot of drug problems and their women are being disadvantaged.”
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The Dutch General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD) shares the concerns about young Somalis who suffer from problems such as drug addiction, homelessness, dropping out of school, and isolation in loneliness. According to the Security Service they are susceptible to radicalization.*
“Everywhere you read about problems with the large immigrant groups such as Moroccans, Turks and Antilleans. A small group like the Somalis is overlooked,” says Alexander Borst of the foundation of the Church’s Social Work (Kerkelijk Sociaal Werk, KSA) in Rotterdam — an organization for ideological social outreach.
There are around 20,000 Somalis in the Netherlands. “The first group that arrived here is poorly integrated and barely participates,” says Borst. “This warning is no panic-play. This group of Somalis really needs to be helped urgently. The problem is that they are barely organized and therefore difficult to reach. Being a nomadic people, they operate in clan-related connections.”
The Somali community includes relatively many divorced mothers, who are on their own to raise their children. Older Somali men in turn often suffer from loneliness and have problems with the psychedelic drug Qat. “In the intake we also see many Somali men with severe alcohol problems. This has implications for these families,” according to Borst.
Somali parents haven’t got into in the Dutch school system and show little complicity in the education of their children. There are parallels with the Moroccan community here. Borst: “With their adolescent children the school dropout rate is high. And we know what kind of trouble bored children sometimes cause. Many of those Somali youngsters join groups of troublesome Moroccans.”
Notes from VH:
* The AIVD information might be derived from their annual report. See the most recent report (pdf, in English).
The same article also appeared in other media under the title: “Somalis are the new Moroccans” (see for instance Allochtonenweblog).