Our expatriate Dutch correspondent H. Numan has translated the following article from Algemeen Dagblad. First, a prefatory note from the translator:
Remember the nation that was most vocal in the battle for equal rights? Against apartheid? It seems it is still in the forefront of the battle. This time for unequal rights.
And the translation from AD.nl:
Separate chairs for Mohammedan women are ‘no problem’
ROTTERDAM — Separate chairs for Mohammedan women who do not want to sit in a the theater next to a man should be possible. Thus, the municipal government of Rotterdam.
No visitor to the theater can take offense, replied the mayor and aldermen to questions from Leefbaar councilor Anita Fähmel.
Fähmel wanted to know if the 50 reserved seats (front row) for Mohammedan women only in Theater Zuidplein are acceptable. “According to our western values, the freedom of people to live their lives according to their own values is a great good,” thinks the municipality.
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With this official reply the municipality does not agree with minister for integration affairs Van der Laan. He thinks it unacceptable that seats were reserved for women only during the performance of the stand-up comedian Salaheddine in the theater. According to the minister, this is contradictory to the Law of Equal Treatment.
Theater Zuidplein wanted to attract more Mohammedan women to the theater with this initiative. This fits in the plans for emancipating women, according to the municipality.
Although lots of young Mohammedan women attended the performance — 75% of the audience was female — that evening, the reserved seats remained unoccupied.