This is how far the Netherlands have drifted from what was once a relatively easy going, relaxed, tolerant society: a son of a Dutch-Turkish father and a Dutch mother was given a beautiful name at birth. I guess his name is Nadir, meaning ‘rare’. Born in 1995. At primary school however, he is reproached for his name by his peers. Called a foreigner and a Muslim. Same in high school. The guy in the mean time learned that having a name like ‘Nadir’ in Holland won’t get you into a job easily. So he wants to have his name changed.
His parents (because he is a minor) ask the court for a name change. They understand their son. They are realistic, and have to agree with him, regretfully. The court stresses the principle of equality of all citizens in the Netherlands and says that ‘names should not matter’ in a multicultural society. However, the court is realistic too, and is convinced by the stories of the parents and of Nadir himself. The judge allows for the change of name.
So now the guy is called … ? Jan? Koen? … What a pity.
See the court decision in Dutch.
This does not happen often in the Netherlands: judges protesting against their workload and the increasing urge for efficiency. According to NRC (in Dutch), judges from the court of appeal in Leeuwarden have written a manifesto that is discussed internally. The judges complain that the quality of their work hardly receives any attention, while there is an increasing tendency to just look at the number of cases processed. The need to do ‘production’ replaces the need for attention to individual cases and legal quality.
In a first reaction the Council for the Judiciary agreed. “We share the concern”, they said.
To be continued …
The Dutch media and legal profession has been filled and occupied for some years already with the info on two lying retired judges in the so-called Chipshol case about an area of land near Schiphol airport. Today the prosecution said they deemed ‘lying about their intimate friendship’ proven beyond doubt, and asked for a suspended sentence of four and two months respectively, plus a community work sentence for both.
As far as anyone knows, this is the first time ever that judges are prosecuted in the Netherlands.
See NRC (in Dutch only).
On 27 October the first privately owned cemevi of the Alevi community in ‘t Gooi in the Netherlands was officially opened. The mayor was there, members of the board of the Alevi Federation Hak.Der were there, and further lots of local people (and nice music and food).
See the coverage of the local newspaper (in Dutch).
The Netherlands will cease to be a suitable country for orthodox Jews when current plans to check and control the process of ritual slaughter, says chief rabbi Aryeh Ralbag. Ralbag reacts to the new covenant between religious groups and the ministry. When this covenant is accepted is it is formulated right now, the civil servant who will check the process will be ‘above’ the rabbi, and this is unacceptable.
The ministry says it takes the complaints seriously. The rabbi will be invited for a talk.
Independent researcher Sinan Çankaya did participant observation among street worker policemen in Amsterdam and had interviews and talks with them while smoking and drinking coffee. He wanted to find out if the Dutch police is the same as police elsewhere, picking out the black guys walking hooded on the streets to ask for their ID’s, stopping the Surinam men who drive in fancy cars etcetera. And yes, Çankaya found they are exactly the same. Reassuring on the one hand (Dutch policemen act like police in other countries), painful on the other (Dutch policemen act like police in other countries!).
Police so far reacted okay. “This is painful, but we need the discussion. We have to learn to select criminals based on what they do, on their deviant behaviour, not on what they look like.”
The research will be published later this year. Unfortunately only in Dutch. But just check the foreign books on the topic and you will know how Dutch policemen act ..
Via this link you can watch the video’s recorded at the Religare Expert seminar on Unregistered Marriages and Alternative Dispute Resolution in European Legal Systems, held on 4 September 2012 in London. You can see the programme and then select the sessions and speakers you would like to hear.
Project X is all around and the Netherlands is in a state of shock. Last weekend there should have been a party in the small town of Haren in the province of Groningen. A small private party at first, posted on Facebook. Then because of publicity, the party was hijacked by project x. It then became large.
Last Friday, thousands of youth gathered in Haren to party. But there was no party … So then better start a riot, that is to say: start to destroy whatever it is you can get your hands on. Result is more than a million in € damages.
Foto ANP / Catrinus van der Veen
Soon the ‘explanation and understanding machine’ started running. ‘Bored youth’; ‘the continuation of violence like at fairs in the old days’; ‘criminals’; ‘unconnected mayor and police that did not know how to handle this facebook event’; ‘just like the Arab spring, but here the violence was just for fun’; ‘an effect of media attention’; ‘the youth knew what was expected from them, so they lived up to the image’; one small flock of snow that thanks to social media turned into an avalanche.
Social media: Alle Menschen werden Brüder. Let’s riot together.
On Friday I had a meeting in the city of Huizen. The alevi community has been able over the last years to gatber enough energy and money to build their own meeting house from scratch. The building really is nice and large. The official opening will be on 27 October, with the mayor holding the opening speech. Really a great accomplishment for the Dutch alevis and a gain for Dutch culture.