Category Archives: Netherlands

Headscarves And Headscarves

The most important issue for many educators is whether a female can wear something on her head. At times, it surpasses whether boys and girls can wear a cap to school. Of course, years ago, the great debate revolved around hair and its length. A secondary school in the Netherlands was granted permission by the court to deny a Muslim student her right to wear the headscarve. Don Bosco High School is a Catholic institution which bans expressions of other faiths than Catholicism on school grounds.

Initially, the school did not have a policy about headscarves, but when the girl asked permission to wear one, the wheels of fury began to churn. The school headmaster argues, “we welcome students of any faith. But, we can only do so on the basis of respect. In our view that respect does not include walking around wearing all kinds of outward signs that you believe in something else.”

We are confused. If the school accepts someone who makes clear she is Muslim, and you accept her in the school, don’t you expect that she believes in her religion? One can only deduce from the comment that it is OK to retain another religion in one’s heart but never display it on your sleeve–or head!

WARNING–Stay Out Of Iran!

I am continued to be baffled why people visit Iran or its environs. Hikers walk up mountains which border on Iran and then are shocked to be captured and sent to jail. Why does anyone with an ounce of common sense get anywhere within twenty miles of the borders of Iran is beyond my comprehension. Zahra Bahrami, an Iranian born woman who became a Dutch citizen returned to her native land in 2009 and was arrested while joining with thousands in protests against the fraudulent election of Ahmadinejad. She was denied access to Dutch officials in Iran and disappeared into the labyrinth known as the “Iranian judicial system.” There was a trial and she was accused of something termed, “serious crimes.” Of course, in Iran, serious crimes can constitute anything from mumbling negative comments about Ahmadinejad to being a Christian or Bahai. On Friday, Ms. Bahrami was hung by her neck until dead despite comments to the Dutch government by Iranian Ambassador Abadi that she still had legal routes to utilize.

The Netherlands has frozen relations with Iran. They are waning anyone who shares joint Dutch-Iranian citizenship to stay out of that country. This is what we term, “serious advice.”

Can A Religious School Adopt Dress Codes?

A Catholic high school in Volendom, Netherlands, was found guilty by the equal opportunities commission of violating the law because it forbid a Muslim girl to wear a headscarf. Up to this point, the girl was not strongly religious, but changed her mind and wanted to wear the headscarf. The commission argued Jewish children had the right to wear a skull cap, Christians had the right to wear a cross and Muslim females had a right to wear the headscarf. The only way the school would be allowed to ban the headscarf is if it decided to be completely Catholic. As one who opposes a ban on headscarves this decision leaves me with many questions. It is a Catholic school and if a non-Catholic person decided to become a student, surely they grasped there would have to be some conformity to school procedures.

No one forced the girl to attend this school and we would agree this is one example in which a school could ban the headscarf, much as we dislike taking away human rights from students.

Twelve Terrorist Suspects Arrested In Netherlands

The newspaper report said that twelve terrorist suspects were arrested by an elite police unit in the Netherlands. The group of Muslim terrorists were supposed to be planning an attack on an unidentified target in the country. After arresting the twelve “terrorist suspects” on Friday, police on Sunday released five of the “terrorist suspects” without making public the reason for their release. I am confused. If there were twelve “terrorist suspects,” then why were five released within two days? Can we assume the five were NOT “terrorist suspects” and there was confusion in the alleged “elite police unit” about who the heck they were arresting? The report mentions an “unnamed target” that was allegedly going to be blown up. It is clear that nearly half of the “terrorist suspects” were not terrorists so we can assume the alleged target was not a target.

The media loves reporting arrests of “terrorists” but rarely do they follow up as to whether the alleged suspects were actually terrorists. It is much more exciting frightening people than telling them it was all a big mistake.

Free Speech Means-Free Speech!

Dutch politician Geert Wilders does not like Muslims, he does not like the Koran, he does not like Muslim women wearing the niqab, he does not like Muslims having a voice in his nation’s future, in other words, Mr. Wilders does not like Muslims. He regards the Muslim religion as backward and encourages young men to become terrorists. I do not like the ideas of Geert Wilders, but I resent even more the idea he should be silenced. His current trial has turned into a fiasco. After being brought up on charges of inciting racial and religious hate, the trial had to be suspended when it turned out a potential witness had dinner with a judge who attempted to convince the professor that Wilders was a danger. Judge Schalken had a meal with Arabist Hans Jansen and during this session, Jansen claims, “he tried to convince me of the correctness of the decision to take Wilders to trial.” It is the wrong decision at the wrong time in the wrong place against the wrong man.

Geert Wilders should not be silenced by courts, he must be silenced in the court of public opinion by convincing people his ideas are dangerous. But, the price of freedom is allowing dangerous ideas to be spread. Heck, here in America we have nut cases like the Tea Party spreading hate, anger and ignorance. We will have to defeat them with words and logic, not with a court of law.

Geert Wilders Gets Going Against Judges

Geert Wilders is an angry man who believes his beloved Netherlands is being over-run by Islamic terrorists who will change the composition of the country and transform it into a center of violence. After being charged with inciting hate, Wilders struck back and demanded any judge who accused him should be removed from the bench. “I have said what I have said and I will not take one word back.”He argues that freedom of speech allows him to hate anyone who he desires to hate. In the spirit of freedom of speech, we agree Mr. Wilders has the right to spread his inane hate because hate can not be halted by placing people on trial. Hate will end when each individual assumes responsibility to end the cycle of hate and violence.

However, we wonder why if Mr. Wilders is concerned about his nation being over-run by violent people why he does not demand the expulsion of all those of German origin. After all, when it comes to violence, hate and threats to the existence of democratic societies, which nation surpasses Nazi Germany?


Two men boarded a plane in Chicago and in their luggage was found a mobile phone strapped to a bottle of Pepto-Bismol, several mobile phones strapped together and a number of watches taped together. They were identified as Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and Hezam al-Murisi, but it was unclear from whence they came, let alone where the heck they were going. Soofi said he had about $10,000 on him and was headed to fly from Chicago to Dulles to Amsterdam, but changed plans and headed for Amsterdam. One of the men checked his bags for Yemen, but headed on to Amsterdam. In the modern world in which we live, the worse crime one can commit on a plane is to have bottles or mobile phones or anything taped together because the assumption is one has concocted some new form of weapon.

Have authorities ever considered offering rewards to anyone who can conceive the “perfect plan” to blow up a plane? Perhaps, if we offer money, we can persuade the bomber rather than heading to Heaven, he can head to the racetrack or a casino loaded with money. Just a suggestion.

When Should Children Learn About Homosexuality?

The mayor of Amsterdam is urging schools to teach young children about homosexuality. According to Mayor Erhard van der Laan, “children hafe to learn that it’s normal in the Netherlands for two men to walk down the street arm in arm. I want to involve schools in that.” The issue is interesting, but shouldn’t there be a prior question: at which age are children capable of understanding the complexity of human relations that ordinarily are not part of their every day life? A second grade child is not dealing with what adults term, “homosexuality.” We need to enter into the mind of a child in order to gain understanding as to how her/his mind interprets what we are teaching.

The adult mind believes all humans should possess rights to marry whom they desire or attend college or secure a job without confronting bigotry. Are those concerns or issues for children? The issue is not whether or not children should learn about homosexuality, but whether they know what the hell you are talking about!!

Dutch Troops First To Depart Afghanistan

Four years ago, Dutch troops arrived in Afghanistan hoping their presence could play a role in helping establish the basis for peace and democracy in the country. They conducted military operations, they worked on civilian projects and in the process 24 of the 1,400 troops were killed while about 140 were wounded. Their death total is not like that of the United States which has lost over a thousand dead, but the impact on people in the Netherlands was powerful, and similar complaints arose against fighting in a nation which lacks an honest government. The government of the Netherlands was requested by NATO to re-up for another few years in Afghanistan, but they politely refused the invitation for death. They packed up yesterday and bid a fond bye bye to the madness of Afghanistan.

Yesterday, Dutch troops left, tomorrow it will probably be German or French or eventually, the British. Perhaps, Michael Steele was correct in terming the conflict, “Obama’s War.”

World Cup And LeBron James

The World Cup has finally come to an end with the high scoring 1-0 victory of Spain over the Netherlands. As one who has absolutely no interest in the World Cup anymore than I have in who LeBron James forces to give him a hundred million dollars, it is amusing to observe the anger and fury generated by sporting events and personalities. Just about every World Cup game included fury on the part of one side regarding officiating. There were moments when simply turning over to umpires the entire process of playing a game made more sense than anything else. It is a freaking game, but these referees appear to be observing something else besides the game they supposedly were officiating. I am simply too much of an American to become excited about one game after another which concludes in 1-0.

Of course, we Americans are no better when it comes to sports. A young man, LeBron James, apparently believes he is the second coming of Jesus Christ and arranges a TV SPECIAL! in order to inform the entire nation with whom he will play next season. Sports has been transformed from a “sporting even” into commercial enterprises in which the game is of secondary importance. Oh, in fairness to King James it should be noted he donated a few hundred thousand dollars to children. God Bless You Tiny James.