That’s what the Turkish-Dutch State Secretary says, anyway. When I took a look at the material below, my first thought was, “What the heck is the Netherlands doing with a ‘Turkish-Dutch State Secretary’?”
Our Flemish correspondent VH helps answer that question and many others with the following translations and contextual material. First, from De Telegraaf:
Turkish-Dutch State Secretary: Wilders is the oppressor of Muslim woman
With his plea for a ban on the headscarf, PVV-leader Geert Wilders shows that he himself is “the chief oppressor of the Islamic woman,” according to the Turkish-Dutch State Secretary (Justice Ministry) Nebahat Albayrak [PvdA, Labour Party, Socialists] in an interview with de Volkskrant (paper edition).
“If my mother had not been able to work with her headscarf, I had never become who I am,” Albayrak said, who was born in Turkey. “We owe the emancipation process in our family to a mother who had contact in the meat processing industry with the outside world and earned her own money.” This week Albayrak decided she wants to become a parliamentarian again for the PvdA.
Wilders is not impressed with her comments. “Albayrak, as owner of a Turkish passport, should have known better: Even many official Turkish bodies and institutions ban the headscarf. She lost it a bit with her two passports. Moreover, the Islamic headscarf is a symbol of oppression of woman, ergo: of the backward Islamic culture,” Wilders said in a response.
Albayrak also says in the interview that she is “pleasantly surprised” with the statements of the business union frontman Bernard Wientjes about Wilders. The chairman of employers’ organization VNO-NCW warned publicly last week of the damage caused to the reputation of Netherlands abroad by Wilders and his PVV.
VH adds more context:
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From De Telegraaf: Wilders was “totally unimpressed” by the opinion of Wientjes. The PVVer says that addressing mass immigration, crime and high taxes will rather strengthen the Netherlands, and that is what the PVV stands for. “Wientjes does not represent the employers of the Netherlands. He primarily consults within the paper bureaucratic reality of the SER and the Stichting van de Arbeid [Labor Foundation], from out of his comfortable conference chair.’’ […] A lot of citizens and businesses people are sympathetic towards the PVV and our necessary solutions for the Netherlands. Wientjes and his semi-civil servants club do not change an iota of that.”
Also Christian Democrat Dhimmis Jan-Peter Balkenende (PM) and Maxim Verhagen (Foreign Affairs) joined Wientjes, possibly because: “A study of the international image of The Netherlands which the department of Foreign Affairs had assigned to be carried out in fifteen countries showed that the Netherlands scores the lowest in Muslim countries like Indonesia, Turkey and Egypt. The score of the Netherlands in the countries studied ranges from 6- to 8+ on a scale of 10. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has launched a diplomatic offensive to directly to speak to the people in other countries or to respond quickly to incidents. Therefore three regional coordination ventures have been established, in Washington, Beijing and Cairo. Also young future leaders, journalists and opinion leaders from important or emerging countries are being invited to obtain a more balanced picture of the Netherlands.” [source]
On the threat against the indigenous Armenians in Turkey by Erdogan however, they remained silent.
Returning to the original article:
In an open letter in De Volkskrant [printed edition] some former ministers and other (former) politicians take a stand against Wilders and other “populist preachers of hate and fear” which have mainly targeted immigrants and in particular Muslims. “The naming of hatred of foreigners should not be a taboo. The fear of the verbal violence of fear and hate-mongers must not take us hostage. Therefore we speak loud and clear against discrimination and racism and for solidarity regardless of ethnic origin and religion,” the signatories state.
Among them are the InterNazi René Danen, chairman of Netherlands Admits Color (Nederland Bekent Kleur) and the Moroccan refugee-immigrant and Muslim Marxist, Mohamed Rabbae (GreenLeft, International Socialists) who has always pushed to ban [pdf] the book “The Downfall of the Netherlands” and called Geert Wilders “A little Hitler”.
Here is the text:
The open letter “against hate-mongering” [hold tight]:
The Netherlands is a beautiful country. A civilized country, thanks to the — up to now widely represented in the population — sense of social justice. Equality for all citizens is laid down in the first article of our Constitution and the Convention on Civil Rights of the United Nations. Thanks to the deep-rooted tradition of tolerance and respect for diversity, religious and ethnic minorities could until now take their fully-fledged position.
This internal openness has always been a strong basis for the international openness of the Netherlands. Up to now the Netherlands has compelled respect in the world. These important characteristics are threatened by populist preachers of hate and fear. They want to change the Netherlands into an intolerant country, a cultural humdrum, cleansed of “non-Western” ethnic, religious and cultural elements. With their policy of “we” against “them” they put citizens against each other and with their advocacy of racism and discrimination based on religion and descent, they squeeze minorities in a corner.
Immigrants and especially Muslims must suffer. They would not be allowed to have their own schools, not allowed to build mosques, and not allowed to become minister or state secretary. And women are deprived of their right to wear a headscarf.
Not Muslims, but the radical right-wing politicians are “Islamizing” the political debate and social life in the Netherlands, reducing every problem — from traffic jams to housing and crime — to a matter of religion. The actual socio-economic problems that disproportionately affect ethnic minorities, have disappeared from the political debate and been replaced by an ideology of “conflicting cultures”.
They impress on the people that their problems, which are the result of the economic crisis, unemployment, poverty and crime, can be resolved by rejecting the headscarf, the by the closing of Islamic schools, and shooting nuisance-causing youngsters in the knee!”
All too often the preachers of fear and hate hide behind the freedom of expression. The respecting of that freedom does not relieve us of the obligation to publicly take a stand against the abominable hatred of foreigners and to protect minorities against discrimination and racism.
Too few citizens, intellectuals and politicians speak out against the discrimination under the guise of “religious critique”. The populists want to abolish Article 1 of the Constitution [on discrimination], advocate “slamming shut the borders to all non-Western immigrants” and want to deport “tens of millions” of European Muslims.
Also the call for a “major cleaning of our streets”, to start with the introduction of a “head-rag tax”, affects the dignity of Muslims and undermines the democratic principles of the Netherlands. A powerful counter-voice is heard too little. The naming of foreigner-hatred must not become a taboo.
The fear of the verbal violence of fear- and hate-mongers must not take us hostage. Therefore we speak loudly and clearly against discrimination and racism and for solidarity among all citizens regardless of their ethnic origin and religion. [source]
Note: They try to avoid the word “xenophobia” and suggest that they quote, but without reference. They also talk of “they” while it is clear who they are aiming at.
As VH points out, the Turkish-Dutch State Secretary Albayrak did not comment on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s expressions and politics:
Erdogan on Armenians:
[March 18, 2010] Angered at the Armenian “genocide” resolutions passed by a U.S. House of Representatives committee and the Swedish parliament, Turkey’s prime minister says he is prepared to deport 100,000 Armenians living illegally in Turkey if necessary. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan made the following remark in an interview with the BBC’s Turkish Service during a visit to London a few days ago: “Look, there are 170,000 Armenians in my country; 70,000 are my citizens. But we are not making a fuss over the remaining 100,000. So what will I do tomorrow? If necessary, I am going to tell these 100,000, ‘come on, back to your country.’ I will do this. Why? Because they are not my citizens. There is nothing that forces me to keep them in my country.” […] Ergun Babahan of daily Star went the whole way and wrote [in a comment], “If Hitler had been Turkish, we would also be denying the Holocaust today.” He added, in so many words, that that the spirit of Enver Pasha and his “Ittihadists” was alive and kicking in today’s Turkey.
Erdogan on genocide
[Nov. 8, 2009] It was not clear whether al-Bashir will come to Turkey on Monday or Tuesday for a summit of Islamic nations, the officials added, according to a report by the Doðan news agency. The statement came hours after Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoðan defended al-Bashir’s visit by saying, “A Muslim can never commit genocide.” […] “Those world leaders who criticize us, have they ever visited Darfur? Their information is solely based on what the rapporteurs are reporting. These kinds of moves will not contribute to world peace,” Erdoðan said Sunday in an address to party members. “It’s not possible for a Muslim to commit genocide,” he said. “That’s why we are comfortable [with the visit of al-Bashir].”
Erdogan on Integration
[March 19, 2010] The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has at a meeting in Istanbul called 1500 Turkish politicians who are active in Europe [politicians in European countries] not to integrate into the country they live, but just to become politically more active. This is reported by the German weekly Der Spiegel [“Erdogan umgarnt deutsch-türkische Politiker”], which relies on statements by Turkish politicians living in Germany. Some1,500 Turkish politicians, mainly from Germany [there is an investigation ongoing in which Dutch politicians were present], have last month at the invitation and expense of the Turkish government attended a conference in Istanbul and stayed in a five star hotel.
Erdogan, leader of the orthodox religious party AKP government, had a crystal clear message to proclaim to the participants: “Do not integrate, but become more politically active in your country. European countries who speak out against dual nationality are opposed to fundamental rights,” he stated. Furthermore, he compared Islamophobia with anti-Semitism and said that “assimilation is a crime against humanity.” This statement he had earlier expressed in 2008 during a speech in Cologne. According to Ali Ertan Toprak, vice-president of the Alevi community in Germany, Erdogan also said that European culture should be based on that of Turkey. It is not the first time the Turkish government seeks contact with politicians of Turkish origin in Germany [and other countries]. After the 2009 parliamentary elections, politicians of Turkish descent were congratulated by the conservative AKP government on their victory. In October 2009 German parliamentarians were invited to a congress of the AKP in Ankara. […]
Erdogan on Imams
[March 18, 2010] The Turkish government wants to provide a limited guarantee of immunity to the by authorities appointed religious Imams. A bill in Parliament provides that imams can only be sued with the consent of the highest authorities. The new law would restrict the possibility to legally prosecute scholars for their political statements. The draft law on the duties of the Turkish administration for religious affairs (Diyanet) provides that its director comes directly under the Prime Minister and reports to him. […] Turkey follows the principle of separation of church and state, which was ordained by the founder of the republic, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk. In practice this means that the Turkish state controls the religion. The opposition however, accuses the Islamic-conservative government of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of seeking to Islamize Turkey.