Children in Gaza

Today I visited a couple of different centers for children in Gaza City.  The first was a preschool center with young children who were all engaged in various instructional activities.  In one room, the 4-year-olds saw me and started singing a song in English.   (How many preschoolers in America could break out in an Arabic song?)   I didn’t take pictures because I’m not sure how the parents would feel about having their children’s photographs on Facebook.

The headmistress of this center has agreed to teach me Arabic.  She is dedicated to teaching foreigners and refused payment for her services!  I already have my first homework assignment.

Then I visited a children’s library.  A modern, state-of-the-art facility for which any architect would be proud to take credit.  More information is available here.

Qattan Centre for the Child

The Centre describes its purpose this way:

Most of Gaza ’s children face extremely arduous and difficult circumstances that severely affect their daily lives, and often prevent them from pursuing any meaningful process of individual self-development. On a piece of land generously contributed by the city’s municipality, the Foundation thus began building the Qattan Centre for the Child in Gaza City, an independent children’s library and information centre aimed at improving the cultural, social, educational, recreational and psychological environment for a large section of the Gaza Strip’s child population, without social, physical, religious, sexual or racial discrimination.

The Centre aims to achieve its goals through a first-class library and information service for children up to the age of 15, as well as to their parents, carers and teachers.

A young child’s tea party?

Many books in English on the shelves.

Cinderella or Snow White?

State-of-the-art computers.

Children’s artwork on the walls.

There were many, many children in this center when I visited but I avoided taking their picture.    They were curious about my presence.

One typical misconception I’ve heard among Americans goes something like this —– “Aren’t the Palestinians teaching their children to hate Jews and Israel ….. to grow up to be suicide bombers?”    The absurdity of that notion is beyond the pale when you see the love and care these children receive.

One day I hope to visit  elementary and secondary schools in Gaza and will specifically ask about the curriculum.

(Lora A. Lucero / /26.09.2012)

Muslim leaders call for clamp down on ‘Islamophobia’ at U.N.

The United Nations headquarters in New York, where Muslim leaders demanded international action to stop religious insults. (Reuters)

The United Nations headquarters in New York, where Muslim leaders demanded international action to stop religious insults.

Muslim leaders demanded international action to stop religious insults in a challenge to U.S. President Barack Obama’s defense of freedom of expression at the U.N. General Assembly.

Obama made a strong condemnation of “violence and intolerance” in his speech at the U.N. headquarters on Tuesday. He said world leaders had a duty to speak out against the deadly attacks on Americans in the past two weeks caused by an anti-Islam film made in the United States.

King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke out against the film. (Reuters)
King Abdullah II of Jordan spoke out against the film.

But Muslim kings and presidents and other heads of state said Western nations must clamp down on “Islamophobia” following the storm over the film which mocks the Prophet Mohammed, AFP reported.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, said the film was another “ugly face” of religious defamation.

Yudhoyono quoted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as saying that “everyone must observe morality and public order” and commented: “Freedom of expression is therefore not absolute.”

He called for “an international instrument to effectively prevent incitement to hostility or violence based on religions or beliefs.”

King Abdullah II of Jordan, a close U.S. ally, spoke out against the film and the violence it sparked.

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari demanded U.N. action. (Reuters)
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari demanded U.N. action.

Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari condemned what he called the “incitement of hate” against Muslims and demanded United Nations action.

“Although we can never condone violence, the international community must not become silent observers and should criminalize such acts that destroy the peace of the world and endanger world security by misusing freedom of expression,” he told the assembly.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai took aim both at the anti-Islam video and publication of cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammad — the latter occurring most recently in France.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai slammed the anti-Islam video and cartoons. (Reuters)
Afghan President Hamid Karzai slammed the anti-Islam video and cartoons.

Karzai called the insults to the faith of 1.5 billion Muslims, the “depravity of fanatics,” and added: “Such acts can never be justified as freedom of speech or expression,” according to Reuters.

“The menace of Islamophobia is a worrying phenomenon that threatens peace and co-existence,” he added in his address to the General Assembly.

Obama said he could not ban the video, reportedly made by Egyptian Copts, because of the U.S. Constitution which protects the right to free speech.

“As president of our country, and commander-in-chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so,” Obama told leaders at the U.N. summit.

“The attacks of the last two weeks are not simply an assault on America. They are also an assault on the very ideals upon which the United Nations was founded — the notion that people can resolve their differences peacefully,” he added.

Obama has sought a new start in relations with the Muslim world during his first term, but the legacy of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan where U.S. troops will remain for more than a year have been hard to shake off.

Stewart Patrick, a specialist on international institutions for the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank, said the film furor had “exposed a huge fault line regarding the balance between free speech, which obviously is healthier in the United States, and the defamation of religion, which is really a red line for many people.”

But beyond the question of freedom of speech, some Muslim leaders also say the United States has still not gone far enough to balance its relations with Muslim nations.

Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi said there should be mutual show of respect. (Reuters)
Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi said there should be mutual show of respect.

Egypt’s President Mohamed Mursi said despite anti-U.S. demonstrations in Cairo that U.S. support for his country and others that have seen Arab Spring revolutions could be a chance for a mutual show of respect.

Over the past four decades, “Egyptian people see the blood of the Palestinians being shed. And they see that the U.S. administrations were biased against the interests of the Palestinians. So a sort of hate and sort of a worry rise out of that in Egypt and in the area,” Mursi said in an interview with Charlie Rose on PBS television this week.

“The demonstrations were an expression of a high level of anger and a rejection of what is happening,” added Mursi. “And the U.S. embassy represents the symbol of America as a people and government.”

Obama’s efforts, said the Egyptian leader, were “the opportunity to take these worries, or this hate, out of the way and to build a new relationship based on respect, communication.”

Earlier on Tuesday in Geneva, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — the world’s largest Islamic body, representing 56 countries — called for expressions of “Islamophobia” to be curbed by law in the same way as some countries restrict anti-Semitic speech or Holocaust denial.

( / 26.09.2012)

Lawyer: Sharawna almost blind after 88-day hunger strike

Ayman Sharawna has been on hunger strike for 88 days.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Ayman Sharawna is almost totally blind and suffering from severe kidney problems and partial memory loss after 88 days on hunger strike in an Israeli jail, rights groups said Wednesday.

Sharawna, 37, has lost vision in his left eye and 80 percent of vision in his right eye, a lawyer who visited him on Monday said.

Fares Ziad, a lawyer for the prisoner rights group Addameer, added that Sharawna had refused water for five days after Israeli authorities refused to release him, losing seven kilograms during the escalated strike.

The Israeli Prison Service has denied Sharawna medical treatment, insisting he could only receive medication for severe back pain if he ended his strike, Addameer said in a statement.

Addameer and the legal rights group Al-Haq expressed “deep concern” for Sharawna’s life following the serious deterioration in his health.

Sharawna, a father of nine, is being held without charge. He was rearrested on Jan. 31 for unknown reasons after his release in the Oct. 2011 prisoner swap deal between Israel and Hamas. He had previously spent a decade in Israeli prison.

Court hearings in Sharawna’s case have been repeatedly postponed, Addameer says.

During Sharawna’s arrest in January, Israeli soldiers seized documents from his home in Dura village near Hebron, including files related to his amnesty agreement.

( / 26.09.2012)

Brotherhood to legalize status

Members of Freedom and Justice party (Adala wel Horreya) submit their papers in front of election committee center to register for the upcoming parliamentary elections, during the third day of Shoura and People's Assembly elections registration, Mansoura, Dakahliya, October 14,2011.

Faisal al-Sayed, a member of the Freedom and Justice Party’s Legal Committee, on Wednesday said the party is finalizing a proposal to legalize the status of the Muslim Brotherhood as a comprehensive civil association for development, once the NGO law that was issued in 2002 is amended, as it does not provide for the new form of the group.

Banned under the former regime of Hosni Mubarak, the group now is under pressure to regulate itself according to Law 84/2002 which regulates NGO activities.

“The group has a unique structure with its Guidance Bureau and branches in Egypt and abroad,” he said. “The general guide would be called chairman, and the Guidance Bureau would become the Board of Directors.”

“We welcome all supervisory bodies to monitor our donations,” he added. “We have nothing to hide.”

The Brotherhood has been engaged in politics illegally since it was outlawed in 1954 under the late President Gamal Abdel Nasser.

The Egyptian authorities approved the creation of the Brotherhood’s political party, the Freedom and Justice Party, in June 2011.

( / 26.09.2012)

Lawyer: Israel must identify remains of Palestinian bodies

Israel returned the remains of dozens of Palestinians in a “goodwill” gesture to President Abbas in May.

BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian lawyer submitted a petition to Israel’s Supreme Court on Tuesday in a bid to pressure the legal body to open a testing center to identify the remains of Palestinian bodies held in Israeli cemeteries.

Haitham al-Khatib, a lawyer with Al-Quds Center for Legal Aid and Human Rights, called on Israeli authorities to allow relatives to visit a military controlled cemetery in the Jordan Valley where the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians have been interred since the 1960s.

There may no longer be any living relatives for those killed in the seventies and eighties, al-Khateeb said, adding that Israel is violating international law by holding the remains.

Bassem Nakhleh, coordinator of a local campaign to recover Palestinian bodies from Israel, said a DNA testing center is vital, especially after the difficulties in identifying the remains of bodies previously returned by Israel.

In May, Israel returned the remains of 91 Palestinian bodies interred in numbered graves. After the official ceremonies, the remains were transferred to families in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Seventeen bodies were buried in a mass grave in Ramallah because their families could not be identified.

The family of Nasser al-Buz received what was alleged to be his body, but they demanded a DNA test to verify the identity.

Justice Minister Ali Muhanna said a sample of the remains was sent to a DNA laboratory in Jordan, which found it was not al-Buz’s body.

DNA tests were only conducted on three of the 91 bodies. Tests found the bodies of Ramzi Jamal Shaine and Anis Rafiq Khalil were correctly identified.

Since the 1960s, Israel has withheld the bodies of hundreds of Palestinians, interred in numbered, rather than named, graves in a cemetery in the Jordan Valley.

( / 26.09.2012)

Press TV correspondent killed in Syrian capital

Insurgents in the Syrian capital Damascus have attacked Press TV staff, killing the Iranian English-language news network’s correspondent Maya Naser, and injuring its Damascus Bureau Chief Hosein Mortada.

Naser came under attack while reporting on air just hours ago. He was shot and killed by a sniper.

Press TV and Al-Alam Damascus Bureau Chief Hosein Mortada also came under attack and was injured.

The two were covering twin blasts in Damascus and the ensuing fighting.

“We hold Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who provide militants weapons to kill civilians, military personnel and journalists, responsible for killing Maya,” Press TV’s News Room Director Hamid Reza Emadi said.

“Press TV will pursue the matter of the murder of Maya and would not let those who killed the correspondent feel like they can kill the media people and get away with it,” he emphasized.

Born on July 30, 1979 in Syria, Maya Naser studied political science at KUPLAN University, NY, US. He was fluent in Arabic and English and had worked in many countries including the USA, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and Bahrain.

( / 26.09.2012)

Islam and the West: A historical background ~ by Khalid Amayreh

The latest anti-Islam “film,” concocted by a pathological hater of Islam, has raised many questions as to whether the sleazy feat was merely an isolated act done by a, lunatic individual or represented a deep-rooted anti-Islamic discourse, which has persisted for many centuries, defying enlightenment and the modern traditions of tolerance.

A reader from the United States recently wrote that he couldn’t understand why of all adherents of religions, only Muslims have an almost innate tendency to protest any offense against their religion and Prophet.

But then we haven’t seen many movies done specifically to malign and vilify Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, or, indeed Judaism? For example, atrocities and orgies of sex are a consistently explicit feature throughout the Old Testament, so why is it that we haven’t seen a movie or a work of “art” about Biblical genocidalism.

Some American writers, such as Tom Pane, did write briefly on the above-mentioned subject. But that was a long time ago when America enjoyed some freedom and independence before its present de facto enslavement by Jewish money and Jewish power.

In fact, the followers of Judaism and Christianity are in no moral position to point accusing- fingers at Islam and its Prophet. Their holy scriptures are rife with pornography, sex and genocide so much so that Islam seems quite angelic in comparison.

The following article is a reprint from 2006, written when the current Pope of the Vatican made some offensive remarks about the Prophet of Islam..

I am not an advocate of reviving old hatred. However, Muslims will not come to terms with offending their faith and their prophet under the precarious rubric of freedom of speech and expression.

Yes, violence is not acceptable l and should be avoided, but so is the incitement to violence by Peter the Hermits of our time.

Besides, America and France and other countries are not really morally qualified to lecture Muslims on the vices of violence. Have we forgotten that America killed millions of native Americans and called the genocide manifest destiny? Have forgotten the many other millions that the Yankees killed around the world-from Hanoi to Baghdad? And France , the fanatically secular country which claims to be based on liberty and equality? Has it forgotten its eternal shame in Algeria ? If it has we haven’t and we won’t.

Islam and the West: A historical background

Historically fear and hatred were the two main features characterizing Western Christian perceptions of Muslims. In Chanson de Roland, the great medieval French epic of the wars between Christians and Muslims, the Christian poet envisioned the religion of Islam as a trinity consisting of the Prophet Muhammed and two other entities, both of them Devils, Appolin and Tervagant.

This conceptualization, comic as it is, was typical of the manner in which Christian Europe viewed Islam and Muslims for several centuries.

Interestingly enough, some of these perceptions have lingered in some way or the other to this day. In fact, classical historical western canards about Islam and the Prophet Muhammed have witnessed a conspicuous revival in some western religious circles, especially among fundamentalist evangelical Christians, especially in the United States. Some of these evangelicals, for example, have been disseminating the canard that Muslims worship “a moon-god” and that “Allah” is actually a pre-Islamic Arabian pagan deity. In 2004, Pat Robertson, head of the Christian Broadcasting Network and founder of CNN, said in a speech in Hertzlya, north of Tel Aviv, that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians was actually a conflict between the Judeo-Christian God and the Islam’s God-moon.!!

This totally vindictive un-objective discourse, says Mahmoud Nammoura, a Palestinian historian, reflects fears by these evangelicals that Islam constitutes the main threat and obstacle to their dispensationalist ideology.

“They see Islam, not Buddhism, not Hinduism, not Judaism, as the main ideological and geopolitical threat, this is why they come up with this rubbish.”

Heavy legacy

For many centuries, both Eastern and Western Christendom called Muslims Saracens. In the Iberian Peninsula, they called Muslims Moors, and people of the Iberian culture continued to call all Muslims “Moors” even if they met them in South East Asia. (e.g. the Moro Liberation Front in the Southern Philippines). In Most of Europe, Muslims were called Turks, and a convert to Islam was said to have “turned Turk” even if the conversion took place in a place as far away as India.

The massive crusades by the Franks against the Muslim East did succeed in demythologizing some of Western perceptions of Islam.

However, some of the classical European misconceptions about Islam persisted, even among the more educated class.

Translation of the Quran

In 1649, the first English translation of the Quran was published in London. This translation by Alexander Ross was based on a 1647 French translation by Andre du Tyer, who had been French consul in Egypt. Ross, utterly ignorant of Arabic and no great master of French, added an appendix to his “translation” of the Quran, titled “A needful caveat or admonition for them who desire to know what use may be made of, or if there be danger in reading the Alcoran.” It begins as follows:

“Good reader, the great Arabian Imposter now at least after a thousand years, is…arrived in England, and his Alcoran, or Gallimaufry of Errors (a brat as deformed as the parents, and as full of heresies as his scald-head was of scurffe) hath learned to speak English. I suppose this piece is exposed by translators to the publike view, no otherwise than some Monster brought out of Africa, for people to gaze, not to dote upon; and as the sight of the Monster, or Misshapen creature, should induce the beholder to praise God, who hath not made him such; so should the reading of this Alcoran excite us both to bless God’s judgments, who suffers so many countries to be blinded and inslaved with this misshapen issue of Mahomets braine.”

Ross’s views of Islam and the Quran were representative of his time. He was addressing a civilization which had had its mind made up about Islam for a thousand years, and the verdict was negative.

Although Ross’s conceptualization of Islam reflected the overall European rejection and fear of it, a few of his contemporaries, strangely enough, treated Islam much more objectively.

For example, Henry Stubbes, born in England in 1632, wrote several manuscripts on the Islamic faith entitled “Account of the Rise and Progress of Mahometanism, with the Life of Mahomet and a Vindication of Him and His Religion from the Calumnies of the Christians.”

Stubbes ridiculed the medieval Christian legends about Muhammed as “rubbish” e.g. that he had the falling sickness, i.e., was an epileptic, and that Muhammed’s inspiration came to him via a pet pigeon which used to eat peas from his ear.

In one of these manuscripts, entitled “the Character of Mahomet and Fabulous Inventions of the Christians Concerning him and his religion,” Stubbes presented a remarkable image of the Prophet, considering the general anti-Islamic prejudices and misperceptions of that time. He wrote:

“I doubt not but by this time your curiosity will prompt you to enquire after the portraiture of this extraordinary person. His great soul was lodged in a body of Middle size, he had a large head, a brown complexion but fresh color, a beard long and thick but not grey, a grave aspect wherein the awfulness of majesty seemed to be tempered with admirable sweetness which at once imprinted in the beholder’s respect, reverence and love. His eyes were quick and sparkling, his limbs exactly turned, his mien was great and noble, his motion free and easy, and every action had a grace so peculiar that it was impossible to see him with indifference.”

But, to reiterate, stubbes’ ideas on Islam were by no means popular, not within contemporary intellectual and religious circles, nor in society at large. This probably explains the fact that his treatise was not published until 1911.

According to Philip Hitti, author of “the Arabs”, the Christian medieval image of Islam was the aggregate product of a confluence of streams of multiple sources in Syro-Byzantine, Hispano-French, Sicillio-Italian and crusading literature.

This totally anti-Islamic literature conceptualized Muslims as pagans worshiping a false prophet who worked out his doctrine from Biblical sources under the tutelage of an Arian Monk. Such fabulous misrepresentations were caricatured not only in religious and literary works, but also in art. Dante in his “Divine Comedy” was thus prompted consequently to consign the Prophet and his son-in-law Ali, to the ninth hell reserved for sowers of scandals and schism.

Gradual change

Western perceptions of Islam began to change slowly as more Europeans came in contact with Muslims. However, these perceptions remained basically negative due to the fundamental doctrinal differences between Islam and Christianity. However, with the rise of Orientalism in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Europeans (and some Americans) began to view the world of Islam less imaginatively. European explorers, archaeologists and even missionaries began to tour the Islamic lands as the political influence of the West increased in various Islamic regions mainly due to the constant deterioration of the political and military influence of the Ottoman state, which led eventually to its collapse and downfall following WWI.

Following the downfall of the Ottoman state, or perhaps as a result of it, European powers occupied or came to control the bulk of Muslim lands in the Middle East. At this time, European attitudes morphed from fear and hatred to patronization and contempt.

Although European occupation of the Arab lands was seen mainly within the framework of European colonial expansionism, its religious dimensions were very conspicuous. After General Allenby conquered Jerusalem on December 10, 1917, Christians everywhere expressed their euphoric rejoicing at the “Christian” victory against the “infidel” Turks.

An article published in 1917 in the catholic magazine “America” captioned “Crusaders in Khaki,” congratulated Christians that the Holy Land was finally in Christian hands.

“Over the Mosque of Omar, the crescent has been lowered before the cross. A sigh of relief and a hymn of gratitude have gone up from the nations that sill worship Christ…They can sign their Te Deum, for Bethlehem and Gethsemane, Calvary and the Holy Sepulcher are once more in Christian hands.”

Arrogance and hegemony

According to Nammoura, who has written two books on western-Islamic relations, the adoption of the Balfour declaration by Britain in 1917 encapsulated western hostility and contempt toward Islam.

“The religious dimension in that infamous declaration was very apparent. The fact that Britain viewed the creation of a national home for Jews in Palestine at the expense of its Christian and Muslim inhabitants reflected utter disregard for the rights and survival for the Arabs.”

Nammoura, however, explains “current western attitudes” vis-à-vis Islam and Muslims, in cultural, not religious terms.

He says the current hostility toward Islam in many western circles is an expression of “cultural arrogance” and “civilizational hegemony.”

This view is supported by another Muslim intellectual, Bassam Jarar, considered one of the most prominent Islamic thinkers in occupied Palestinian territories.

He argues that “growing vilification of Islam” in some western circles is “a subconscious reflex to Muslim resilience and steadfastness in the face of the West’s cultural onslaught.”

“They can’t easily come to terms with the fact that a militarily and politically defeated umma (community) is asserting a pro-active presence in the heart of the West and is aspiring to present itself as an alternative to western civilization.”

When asked if the ongoing crisis was a vindication of Samuel Huntington’s theory of “conflict of civilizations,” Jarar said a conflict between the Islamic and western civilizations was not “inevitable.”

“It is not inevitable if they are (westerners) faithful to democracy. Let them allow the free market of ideas to take its course.”

Jarar believes that while the cartoon crisis has a negative aura, and might rekindle old prejudices, it will eventually have a positive income.

“I believe this is going to be a good lesson for both Muslims and Westerners. It might lead to a greater understanding in the long range.”

A western view

Fr. Peter Du Burl of the Bethlehem University, a Catholic University funded by the Vatican, Believes that Christian anti-Muslim attitudes should be viewed within the context of a complex relation between Islam and Christianity.

“As you know, a Christian who has not seriously studied Islam cannot take the Holy Quran at face value; there are too many contradictions to Christian beliefs.”

Burl thinks it is wrong to overlook or marginalize the religious dimension in the west-Islam relationship, contending that it is wrong to view the west as living in a “post-religious era.” “I think the west is more religious than some Muslims would think and the Muslim east is more secular than some Muslims would admit..”

Non the less, Du Burl, who has been living in the West Bank for many years, believes that the road to western -Muslim understanding, though long and painful, is never the less, not blocked.

“The Islamic mission to the world comes into conflict with other missions, and such ‘missions’ have much to learn from one another. We are in the process of learning now, very painfully. The enemy is always reduced to a stereotype; who is easier to kill.”

He recognizes though that Christian perceptions of Muslims and Muslim perceptions of Christians do involve “stereotypes” which he said ought to be dis-embedded and replaced by real discourse, exchange, self-knowledge, learning about others and prayers.

“If there is to be a greater understanding in the long range, it has to start with critical respect for the religious component in both cultures. In many ways, the ‘west’ is a handy myth that helps undifferentiated minds and hearts to focus on an enemy.”

( / 26.09.2012)

Palestinian delegation working quietly at UN

NEW YORK (Ma’an) — In stark contrast to 2011, the Palestinian delegation to the UN General Assembly is working quietly and limiting its remarks to the media.

Since Friday, few details have emerged of President Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to New York for the UN’s 67th General Assembly, or his plan to seek an upgrade to Palestine’s status at the world body.

In 2011, Abbas submitted a request to the UN for a full upgrade to state membership of the UN and thousands gathered in city squares across the West Bank to watch his address to the General Assembly. The bid was advertised in a poster campaign and a giant UN chair was erected in central Ramallah.

The bid failed to pass the Security Council, where Israel’s staunch ally the US holds a veto, and this year Abbas says he will ask the General Assembly for a less ambitious upgrade, from “observer entity” to “observer state.”

Abbas has not announced how or when he intends to submit it.

Meanwhile on the sidelines of the annual assembly, Abbas has held around 20 meetings with presidents and foreign ministers.

In remarks to Italian media, Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina said Abbas would meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

“The Palestinian priority today is to obtain international recognition of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of this state,” Abu Rdeina told the Italian news agency Adnkronos International.

He said Abbas would address the General Assembly on Thursday and “reveal to the whole world the obstacles to the peace process.”

( / 26.09.2012)

PERSBERICHT: Onbeschofte aanval op Khadija Arib

Bij het debat voor de nieuwe voorzitter van de Tweede Kamer en de bijbehorende stemming was het weer prijsschieten voor de anti-Islam-, antiallochtonen- en vanaf gisteren duidelijk ook de anti-Marokkanen partij: de PVV. Volgens de woordvoerder van deze groepering is het ‘onbestaanbaar’ dat iemand van Marokkaanse afkomst de opvolger zou worden van Gerdi Verbeet als voorzitter van de Tweede Kamer.

Tweede Kamerlid Louis Bontes maakte het nog bonter door te zeggen dat de voorzitter van de Tweede Kamer de Nederlandse nationaliteit moet hebben. Echter bij dit punt begint de onbeschofte aanval op mevrouw Arib. Henny Kreeft (voorzitter van de Nederlandse Moslim Partij) geeft hierbij aan: “Waarop stoelt de heer Bontes deze uitspraak en waarom gaat hij er van uit dat Khadija Arib niet de Nederlandse nationaliteit heeft? Neen, hij bedoelt te zeggen, dat mevrouw Arib een 2e nationaliteit heeft. Dit komt bij meerdere mensen voor, zelfs was dit binnen de PVV het geval. Marokkanen kunnen niet eens de eerste nationaliteit opzeggen, dus dat is een oud en kulverhaal.”  Het is volgens Kreeft gewoon onbeschoft allochtoontje pesten en niet meer dan dat. Terugkomend op het verhaal van nauwe banden tussen mevrouw Arib en de Marokkaanse regering is pure zwartmakerij. Kreeft: “Dan kunnen we ook elke keer aan de bel trekken over de banden van de PVV-leider en de Israëlische regering en aanverwante groeperingen.” Kreeft gaat verder: “ Voor de zekerheid heeft de heer Bontes maar weggelaten dat Khadija enkele dagen in een Marokkaanse gevangenis heeft gezeten, omdat ze in het openbaar opkwam voor de positie van de Marokkaanse vrouw. Neen, zulke zaken komt de PVV even slecht uit.”

Als menner Bontes een punt wilde maken dan had hij moeten kijken naar de mate van inburgering, waar de PVV toch altijd zo’n grote mond over heeft. Als iemand het model van inburgering is, dan is dat Khadija Arib wel. Geboren in Marokko en opgegroeid in de buurt van Casablanca, is ze sinds 1998 bijna ononderbroken namens de PvdA lid van de Tweede Kamer. Als dat geen inburgering is … In de tijd dat ze niet in de Tweede Kamer zat heeft Khadija  advieswerkzaamheden gedaan over het Marokkaanse immigratiebeleid, echter – en dit is onderzocht en openbaar gemaakt – deze werkzaamheden waren tijdelijk, onafhankelijk en onbetaald.

Kreeft: “Onbeschoft en gewoon pesten, zonder enige minuut gekeken te hebben naar kwaliteit van Khadija Arib. Dat is wat de PVV heeft gedaan, bij monde van de heer Bontes, en niet meer dan dat. Het is alleen jammer dat de VVD meegezogen is in de trein van anti-Islam, antiallochtonen en anti-Marokkanen van de PVV. Het lijkt dat de VVD de macht naar zich toe wil trekken en dankbaar van de aanval van de PVV gebruik heeft gemaakt.”