As one might expect, the response of the Muslim community in Antwerp has been to probe the school system using protest demonstrations, vandalism, and death threats. Thus far the municipal authorities have not backed down, but the issue has not gone away.
Conflict concerning headscarves is not confined to Flanders, but is an issue in the Netherlands as well. Over the last few days VH has collected new information on the headscarf crisis in both countries and compiled a report for Gates of Vienna. First, a translation from Elsevier:
Imam: Headscarf prevents women from being raped
By Arne Hankel
Imam Sheik Fawaz Jneid of the As-Soennah mosque in the Hague states that wearing a headscarf prevents women from being raped. He responds with this to the call of the Green-Left leader Femke Halsema this week to “throw off those headscarves”.
Fawaz Jneid writes this in an article on his website al-yaqeen [please see below for a full translation].
Green-Left leader Halsema said in an interview this week, that as a feminist she has difficulty with the veiled women in East Amsterdam, where her children attend school. “I do not think that any god also has clothing demands. It was the men who expounded the faith. I prefer to see every woman in the Netherlands without a headscarf and completely free.”
Rapes and sexual harassment
Imam Fawaz Jneid now responds to the concerns raised by Halsema: “Apparently the Western media find it necessary to move the focus from issues such as radicalization to the Islamic doctrine itself.”
Then he goes on to deal with the issue of headscarves. “I ask a simple question: Which women are more frequently targets of rape and sexual harassment in the world? Veiled or unveiled women?”
Theo van Gogh
Sheik Fawaz Jneid became well-known [and controversial] as the Imam of the As-Soennah mosque in the Hague where he cursed Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Theo van Gogh only two months before the murder of Van Gogh [in a “sermon” attended by the Muslim who would murder Van Gogh].
Halsema has now also come under fire from immigrant and Left-wing circles. Muslim women accuse her of the portraying them as unfree women, even if they voluntarily chose to wear headscarf. “To describe me as an unfree woman only because I wear a cloth on my head is stupid and can not be reasoned away,” a Moroccan-Dutch woman writes on the Internet.
In the Dutch newspaper Trouw the “historian” (and former [ pro-Hamas] Middle East correspondent in Ramallah for the Dutch MSM) Tineke Bennema, called on women born in the Netherlands to voluntarily wear a headscarf, “out of solidarity with all who wear a headscarf in the Netherlands and to enforce respect for them. With the motto: Boss your own head.”
Bennema — “bitterly disappointed” in the Green-Left leader’s siding with “Islam-bashers” — further wrote: “Today I will buy a headscarf. From today I claim as a Left-winger and a non-practicing Muslim my right to freedom of expression and of religious expression. The Green-Left leader Femke Halsema may expect a photo of me with my headscarf in her mail box. […] I am ashamed of the Left, which does not have an appropriate answer to intolerance.” She continued: “Unfortunately, I am a non-practicing Muslim, not an orthodox, and thus hold a university degree. And thanks to Halsema I am now all for the headscarf. May I in turn ask at a high tone ask why Madam Halsema let her hair grow long again? May I perhaps then say that although I think she has the right to such — long hair — from a feminist perspective, she is confirming stereotypes and old-fashioned ways?
Note from VH:
Tineke Bennema has accused Geert Wilders of practicing a “subtle neo-conservative form of racism,” that has to be fought. A quick check in the traitor’s “database” shows that Bennema is one of the Dutch appeasers and traitors in Committee of Recommendation of the InterNazi organization “Nederland bekent Kleur” (NBK) of the notorious Fortuyn- and Wilders-hater René Danen; she signed the NBK anti-Wilders petition, and signed the Doekle Terpstra call to “stop Wilders”.
“Islam is a problem”
By Sheikh Fawaz Jneid
With these words, the leader of GroenLinks [“Green-Left”] expressed her dissatisfaction over the issue that seems to occupy many people these days. A problem called “Islam”. Apparently the Western media found it necessary to move the focus away from issues such as radicalization to the Islamic doctrine itself.
But the question that must be asked is this: Does Madame Halsema hate Islam, because in her view it is a retarded something? Because it is the symbol of injustice and oppression? Or is it still the infallible and divine that are repugnant to Halsema? Can she not stand the heavenly revelation that is free from injustice, sin, and decay and protects mankind against subjection to false desires and blind instincts?
In the views of this representative, does freedom limit itself to debauchery and moral negligence? To such an extent that she wants Muslim women to do away their headscarves?
I ask a simple question: Which women are more frequently targets of rape and sexual harassment in the world? Veiled or unveiled women? Does she not realize, then, that a woman draws a feeling of safety from the headscarf and enforces respect with it? Besides this, the headscarf represents a divine commandment. Allah, the illustrious, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“O Prophet, say to your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers that they should drape their cloths (Djilbaab) over them. This way it is easier to recognize those who may not be harassed.” (Surat al-Ahzaab: 59)
Dear representative, know that the limits a Muslim sets with her headscarf come from a sense of self-respect and the desire to secure her femininity. She also spares the feelings of others in the society she is part of. Even more important is the fact that her headscarf is obedient to her creator. The latter stands above all, no matter what others think of it.
Madame Halsema, if only you could taste the sweetness of this great faith! Perhaps then you would understand why the Muslim chooses the headscarf and chooses her Lord. I would therefore like to invite you to study Islam without bias. Allah says (interpretation of the meaning):
“And he who wants Allah to guide him, he will expand his breast for Islam.” (Surah al-Ancaam: 125)
Finally, I want to tell the female Muslim who wears her headscarf out of pride and faith: endure the storm and don’t let yourself be robbed of your purity and chastity, because outside Islam there is only a world of misery and sorrow to be found. I would also like, as an honor to you, my sister, to quote the following words:
O example of generations, O paradise of hope
My beloved sister, your path is ours
A path of splendor and glory
Commentary by Afshin Ellian on the Green-Left interview, from Elsevier:
The difference between the good and the bad* Dutch
The good Dutch Green-Left Femke Halsema determines who is a bad Dutch person
By Afshin Ellian
Now even the Green-Left leader Femke Halsema has discovered that Islam is a problem:
“I notice it in my neighborhood: Islam is obviously a problem. Moreover, particularly Islam in combination with illiteracy. It is: having only few notions about the good life. Only a small grip on training and employment, being afraid for our society and thereby becoming very susceptible to what the imam finds, who then often is very conservative.”
An interesting observation: the illiterate Muslims are the Islam problem. And what about those doctors, engineers and students who committed the attacks on September 11, 2001, and the attacks in London? Perhaps they were too literate.
Anyway, Islam is a problem. This raises the question why Pim Fortuyn, Geert Wilders, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, and others were not allowed to come to this conclusion. I do not understand this.
The good Dutchman is allowed to address the Islam problem, the bad Dutchman should keep his mouth shut about Islam.
Who appoints the good and bad Dutch? These of course again are the good Dutch. Let’s keep it simple: the majority of the Dutch consists of ordinary Dutch.
A minority is divided into the categories of good and bad. The majority simply has to follow the good Dutch.
It’s actually quite simple: Femke [Halsema, Green-Left], Wouter [Bos, PcvdA Socialists] and others are wonderfully good Dutch and indicate who are the bad Dutch. And the majority simply has to follow Femke [Halsema], Doekle [Terpstra, the Christian Democrat anti Wilders campaigner], Poekle, Joekle and Wouter [Bos]. Is it different? Then the majority no good either.
Do you still not get it? Then we do it all over again. There are good and bad Dutch. The good Dutch are politically and culturally, vegetarians.
What is that? They are environmentally conscious, have animal awareness, and are Muslim-conscious. But of course there also are limits. Any form of consciousness is a limited consciousness.
An example of that limitation. To Femke [Halsema] and other good Dutch, the Muslims are really nice people with an interesting faith. But the Muslim-conscious, good Dutch do not want his or her child to go to a school where very many of those nice Muslims are hanging around.
Is this really happening? Yes, listen to Femke Halsema:
“I do not want to put my children in a school as a social experiment. If they do not get maximum opportunities and are happy, then they will leave.”
In this social experiment quite a few Muslims are hanging around. Femke will get trouble from that. For society must experiment with Islam. But the children of Femke? Oh, no.
Do you still not understand what the good Dutch are? Then I’ll explain it again. There are good and badDutch. The good Dutch publicly advocate the things they actually really hate. Therefore we could read: “Femke Halsema has ‘trouble with the headscarf’.”
Throw it off
She can “hardly wait” until the women who wear one, will “in all freedom throw off their headscarf”.
“I do not think that any god also has clothing demands. It was the men who expounded the faith. I prefer to see every woman in the Netherlands without a headscarf and completely free.”
But she will always defend the right of women to voluntarily wear a headscarf. “I will not limit their rights thereto.”
Femke, the good, no… the very best Dutch, finds that our society should tolerate Police officers with a headscarf, respect it and facilitate it.
Simultaneously, Femke finds that the headscarf is a horrible phenomenon. You will blame Femke from now on for lacking a logical ability. But in that case you are really a bad Dutch.
Why? Because Femke acts in accordance with culture of the good Dutch: she makes a distinction between what she thinks and what she does, between how she lives and how others must live.
The bad Dutch immediately say what they think. The gap between thinking and saying separates the good from the bad Dutch.
Do you still not get what the good Dutch are? Then I will explain it to you again. There are good and bad Dutch…
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
* Translator’s Note: “bad”, in Dutch: “fout”, is a term that has been used since WWII to distinguish Nazi-collaborators (fout — ”wrong” or “bad” — for having made the wrong “choice”) from the “resistance” and opposition to it (goed — “good”). Later, after the successful historic fraud of erasing “Socialism” from “National Socialism” by only using the abbreviation “Nazi” and then portraying this Nazi-policy as a Right-wing policy, it had been used to smear and demonize opposition to Left-wing (Socialist Multiculturalist) policy]. This Dutch word “fout” in the translation above, has been translated as “bad”.
An update on headscarf battle in Antwerp:
Vlaams Belang reported yesterday: The Headscarf ban is in place!
Following the recent trouble about the headscarf ban, the educational institutes now echoed it and raised the question of when politics will finally take responsibility on this issue. And rightly so. Vlaams Belang has for a long time been of the opinion that it is not the role of the school management, but the responsibility of the government — the Flemish Government and the Council of Community Education (RAGO) —to enact such a ban. To maintain the pressure, Vlaams Belang his week again filed the proposal for general headscarf ban in Flemish public education.
This week the officer of the Council of State ruled that individual schools are not entitled to issue a headscarf ban. Something like that would be up to the education community organization, who — like politicians — for years have passed on that hot potato to the school-managements. Generally it was expected that the Council of State next week would follow the opinion of the auditor, allowing the RAGO to develop a ruling that applies to all seven hundred Flemish public schools. In an opinion to their organization all Flemish schools have made it clear that they choose a general headscarf ban. The RAGO, which increasingly came under pressure due to the decision of the Council of State did not wait any longer. Today —finally — they decided that with immediate effect headscarves will be prohibited in all Flemish institutions of public education.
The next step is to get the ban enforced throughout public service in Flanders.
And we almost forget our Nordin Taouil:
As well known now, the headscarf ban in two grammar schools in Antwerp continues to stir up the emotions. In recent days it even came to vandalism, intimidation, and outright death threats against teachers and students and “All Flemings Out!” was chanted during the events in front of the school gates. It is noteworthy that the spokespersons of the Antwerp immigrant community, who would otherwise not have wasted any opportunity to intervene in the public debate, refrained from openly condemning the aggression of recent days.
The famous Antwerp Imam Nordin Taouil meanwhile reported present again — after a stay of several weeks in Saudi Arabia — and demanded that no less than the Minister of Education reject the headscarf ban in schools. The ban, according to Taouil, encourages Islamophobia (here we go again) and is discriminatory. “A large group of people will get fewer rights than others, and that must not be the case,” the imam said to the newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen. Crass language, and it is still a question whether Taouil has advocated the same thing, and with the same dedication, to his Saudi brothers in the past weeks.
The imam of Antwerp, who some like to recognize as a moderate figure — two years ago he was offered a place on the SP.a (Socialists) list for the elections — has with his latest demand not yet finished his thesis. In late June, during a protest on the playground of the Antwerp Atheneum, he gave an inflammatory speech in which he urged his fellow believers to keep their daughters at home until their “rights” were restored.
Previously this Taouil organized (in response to the Danish “cartoon crisis”) a provocative Muslim vigil right in front of the Antwerp cathedral, which even made the Turkish CD&V (Christian Democrats)-councilor Ergün Top speak of “a provocation and a political statement”.
The true intentions of the Antwerp “moderate” imam also appeared not to be unknown to State Security. Four years ago they issued a negative advisory when Taouil was nominated for the Muslim Executive, which does not prevent him from being the current chairman of the Muslim Council, the so-called representative body of Muslims in Belgium.
According to Vlaams Belang it is about time that the authorities in this country make it clear that “Ayatollah” Nordine Taouil is no longer considered a full consultant partner. Taouil is a provocateur who is only out to stir up and radicalize the resident Muslim community, and should therefore be dropped as chairman of the Muslim Council. Vlaams Belang MP Filip De Man will question CD&V-Justice Minister Stefaan De Clerck on this in parliament.
A follow-up from September 13th in Flanders:
Private school for Muslim women in Antwerp
The Antwerp action group against the headscarf ban, Vrije Keuze [Free Choice], has started a private school for Muslim women. This is what the Antwerp imam Nordin Taouil [who recently returned from a long visit to Saudi Arabia] made public.
“Already about twenty girls are being taught by the people of Free Choice  (an action group was formed by Mina Chebaa [“respect is what I ask for the headscarf I wear”] and some seventy Muslim mothers, Muslim daughters and other (ex-)students against the headscarf ban at the Antwerp grammar schools),” the imam Nordin Taouil says. “These are girls who refused to take off their headscarves in school. With us they follow the ordinary curriculum at the normal pace, from 8:30 till 16:00 hrs. The ideological focus is only on Islam, but everyone is welcome. This is not a madrassa. If anyone would like to follow Catholicism with us, efforts will be made to it to find a teacher.”
The action group Free Choice started the school for Muslim women with headscarves last week. The pupils are from the Atheneum of Antwerp and Antwerp-Hoboken. Since the beginning this school year a headscarf ban has been implemented, with a lot of commotion as result.
Besides the student protests, one student also undertook a legal action. She achieved a victory when the officer of the Council of State recommended that the headscarf ban be canceled in the grammar schools. The Council emphasized that only the educational board can impose such a ban. The board immediately banned all religious and ideological expressions, thus also the headscarf, in public schools.
All Antwerp schools must implement the ban beginning next school year. The Catholic (free) education, the GO! Education, provincial education and urban education in the Antwerp argued that the class should be an extension of the home situation because the student feels safe there. These four largest education-streams determined that the Muslim girls also take the headscarf off when they are at home.
At home is where currently nearly two hundred girls are who did not show up because of the headscarf-ban. The Antwerp alderman of Education, Robert Voorhamme (SP.a, Flemish Socialists) takes this school absence very seriously and already engaged the truant officer.
Imam Taouil believes that in this lies the potential for a private school where the headscarf is allowed. The [Neo-Nazi] Arab European League (AEL) announced Friday that in short term, Muslim schools will be established in Antwerp. “The AEL is in principle against segregation [but also are against integration and against the Jewish population —translator], but we determine that on the issue of education we cannot do otherwise. Those who think that we can not handle this are wrong. Such plans have existed for a long time, and the preparedness in the community, partly because of the ban, increases strongly. If we manage to keep sixty to seventy Mosques up and running in Antwerp, a school must also be possible, “said AEL chairman Karim Hassoun.
Catholic education does not want a general ban on headscarves,” Mieke van Hecke said, CEO of the Flemish Secretariat for Catholic Education. “Each school decides individually on this, and that went well for years.”
Meanwhile BOEH! [the strainers and other funny headgear women], “the platform for action opposing discrimination against women who wear a headscarf,” announced a legal action.
La Dernière Heure reports: The Flemish Minister of Education, Pascal Smet (SP.a), Saturday asked the Muslim community again to think carefully before opening its own school. Under the Freedom of Education Act, the Minister cannot ban Muslim schools. But a school must be, according to the minister, “a good mix of society.”
Demonstration in support of the headscarf ban in Verviers [Wallonia]
In the city of Verviers, a demonstration was held by 50 to 60 persons in support of the ban. They were carrying placards with slogans like: “no religious symbols at school” and “no to marking girls,” and answered the call by the Belgian Moroccan Karima — who is from Verviers — the author of the autobiography Insoumise et dévoilée [Unsubmissive and unscarfed”] and is the founder of the association with the same name, “Insoumise et dévoilée”, that is backed by the Belgian chapter of the association “Ni Putes Ni Soumises” [“Neither Whores Nor Submissives”].
Karima congratulated the Flemish Community, which has opted Friday for a general ban on Muslim headscarves in schools. “I hope the French [Walloon] Community will follow their example,” the young woman of Moroccan origin said.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
 Vrije Keuze, “Free Choice” may be inspired by the headscarf campaign of the Greens a few years ago, who had a poster up in Antwerp in 2007 with the slogan: “With or without the headscarf, the city is for everyone!” —” Ecologically lasts longest” was inspired by the Pro-Choice movement in the USA. “The tactic is simple,” blogger Hoegin of commented; “it shifts the focus from the headscarf (or abortion) to freedom of choice (and who can be against that, right…), and then wash their hands in innocence, because they themselves do not take an debating position on the issue itself.”