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Monday 20 October  
Radical Belgian Muslims disrupt meeting
Heleen Sittig's picture
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

Salafists disrupt liberal Islam debate in Amsterdam

Published on : 8 December 2011 - 3:15pm | By Heleen Sittig (Photo: ANP)
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Radical Belgian Muslims disrupted a debate on Wednesday evening about a liberal approach to Islam. The leading debaters were Canadian writer and Muslim activist Irshad Manji and Green Left Party MP Tofik Dibi. Both describe themselves as liberal Muslims.

The debate at the Balie venue in Amsterdam consisted of a dialogue between Manji and Dibi about "how reformist Muslims can prevent the Islam debate from being hijacked by extremists, be they Islamophobes or radical Muslims". Irshad Manji, a known critic of Islam, is the author of The Islam Dilemma.

A group of 30 Islamists waving the Salafist flag entered the hall and began shouting "Sharia for Holland". They threatened and spat on Ms Manji. The Islamists, who also threw raw eggs, demanded that the debate participants leave the stage; the debaters refused. Mr Dibi later tweeted that the debate “about a promising new generation of Muslims” was later continued at the request of Ms Manji.

Eventually, the police were called in to remove the protestors. A police spokesperson later said that two of the 22 men involved were arrested, one for making threats, and one for insulting Ms Manji. Tofik Dibi accompanied her to the police station where she filed a report.

Tofik Dibi, speaking later the same evening on public TV talkshow Pauw & Witteman, said that “the disruption of the debate shows that it is necessary to continue the debate on a free and moderate Islam.” Ms Manji added that she had experienced her share of fierce opposition but that she had never before seen anything like this.

It is not clear whether the protesters belonged to an organisation, nor why they were all from neighbouring Belgium.

Freedom Party leader Geert Wilders tweeted: “Dibi does not deserve eggs from radical Muslims or disruption of the meeting. He must be able to say what he wants.”

(gsh/ae/rk)

Discussion

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mick7744 30 April 2012 - 2:28pm / Netherlands

SHARIA FOR HOLLAND?

As an ex-patriot living very happily in Amsterdam, I have always rejoiced in the multiculturalism that is The Netherlands.

But that tolerance and acceptance must work in both directions...people who request entry here have the duty and obligation to assimilate themselves into the country they have chosen...and NOT to attempt to transform it into the country they left.

ANYONE...who would attempt to impose Sharia Law on me, personally...in this peaceful, civilized and most tolerant place...will hopefully attain...at my hands, what every radical Islamic militant desires above all things...

Martyrdom!

If I should prove unequal to the task...I can only hope that I am avenged by the Dutch person next to me

olivia 25 May 2012 - 3:12am / holland

dear mick, i sincerely hope you get to see my reply because it would help you be more informed. the sharia law(and martyrdom) you so greatly flaunt does not apply to you since you are not the subject of it.

the sharia law only applies to muslims, such as the civil marriage court for muslim women which is currently practised in the uk. so fortunately you will not be losing any hands or necks if you decide to steal or murder/rape

hopefully no dutch person would be foolish enough to avenge a stupid mistake ( i certainly wouldn't at any rate) esp. by people who are not aware of things.

Anonymous 25 February 2012 - 11:43am / Formerly usa now nigeria

Don't dismiss islam or sharia because your so called christians, because the truth is in the bible similar laws exist which are evan more harsh then islamic laws, liking the stoning of those who are bad/disrepectful to thier parents...this is found in the old testement and the prophet jesus even reminds someone of this in the new testment...so your not christians your just men following your own desires

Anonymous 22 February 2012 - 1:55pm / usa

Wilders, Ahmedinajad, Assad, Santorum, Netanyahu, the "nonpeacemakers" are all over the world. Where are the high profile leaders preaching tolerance instead of hatred??

Riz 17 January 2012 - 11:26pm / Canada

Ms Manji is not by any standard representative of any Muslims (Sunni) from Canada. She is more of a self proclaimed opportunist person who has gone up the ranks through her own style of media manipulation. Overwhelming majority of Muslims in Canada or any part of the world would not consider her a Muslim leader of any colour; and representating any Muslim group at all

Melissa 12 January 2012 - 9:25am

Did Eslaporte or others supporting thier viewpoint realize that Wilders tweeted in FAVOR of the debators--who are both self-described liberal Muslims? If the true face and majority of Islam were like Manji the world would be a radically different place. Sadly it's not the case.

I am a big admirer of Manji and commend her work, but she is fighting a losing battle on two fronts. One is simply that radical, Wahhabbist-style Islam is mestastatizing like a cancer through Muslim communities all over the world. The radicals are radicalizing moderates into a majority of radicals and she has to know this. Secondly, as Wilders and others have said, the Koran DOES easily lend itself to extremist interpretations. Manji and other liberal Muslims might interpret things like "holy war" to be metaphorical for something harmless, and not mean killing or intimidation, for example, but the fact remains that jihad is prescriptive in the Koran and to believe it's a metaphor for something nonviolence requires more cognitive dissonance than it does to believe a more straightforward (i.e., radical) interpretation. This is something that has to be faced and Wilders faces it.

I fully admire the liberal (let's stop saying 'moderate') Muslims who choose to readjust their theological framework in order to categorically reject Shari'a, violent jihad and intolerance. But to ignore the fact that these types of Muslims are routinely aggressively proselytized to by extremists, not to mentioned intimidated into submission (as they attempted to do here)and of course murdered in many Muslim countries is more than simply ignorant. It's giving approval not just to Islamists who would take freedom away from non-Muslims, but from those who want to take it from Muslims they consider too liberal or apostate. Again, Europe's PC crowd has come down on the wrong side on this one.

eslaporte 10 December 2011 - 4:38am / USA

This handful of crazies from Belgium don’t speak for all Muslims living in the Netherlands, nor do they speak for any “Muslims” but themselves. It is sheer ignorance to state that these people somehow represent all Muslims, including Muslims in the Netherlands.
What kind of nation would the Netherlands be if it banned the practice of Islam and criminalized anyone who practiced it? Ban the Koran, close Muslims schools and otherwise persecute Muslims will turn the Netherlands into a rogue nation, the equal of Nazi Germany! Change Article 1 of the Dutch Constitution to make “non-Western” religions to be protected would put the Netherlands on the same footing as Hitler’s Germany did to the German Jews!
The Netherlands has been a nation of religious minorities for centuries and religious tolerance is a great Dutch tradition.
You people that want Wilders as minister-president and PVV government want to end democracy (which is about more than just voting!) in the Netherlands and you should be ashamed of yourselves! No Dutchman that loves his own country supports Geert Widlers and the PVV!

Anonymous 28 December 2011 - 5:37pm

Hope that Mr. Wilders win the next election with majority, to implement the politics to send back all muslims to their islamics paradaise...Europe free from muslims, close all islamic centers, close all islamic scholls, close all the mosques,...we are christians

Anonymous 16 March 2012 - 7:03am / colombia

first begin with your self move your dutch ass form all over the arab word and specially oil conutries forbid your own citizen no to do business with the muslim word buy your oil some where else and your gaz ...freeze your stupid ass off...i call on all my muslim fellow stop eating riding driving and wearing dutch produce le them shuffle it up theire asses

user avatar
knirb 10 December 2011 - 11:25pm

Did you use your psychic superpowers to conclude that the 1.5 million Dutch who voted for Wilders don't love their own country?

Pat 9 December 2011 - 10:47am / USA

I have been hoping for years now that eventually Holland ( and hopefully other Muslim-invested free countries ) would come to understand that Geert Wilders is a hero, and needs the appreciation he deserves . That's because he is right, and he is not a "bigot" or "racist" but a fighter for freedom, therefore helping prevent Holland from being imposed upon by Sharia law etc. As Wilders says ALL Islam is radical . Muslims can be moderate but Islam is Islam. The only way it can fit into the modern free democratic world is to be changed . Support Geert- he's a humanitarian, not a hater.

eslaporte 10 December 2011 - 4:26am / USA

And here we go again with another simpleton comment along the lines that the small group from Belgium speaks for all Dutch Muslims, just as a single imam in Rotterdam does. Sorry, but these few crazies don’t speak for anyone but themselves. If you read Dutch, you know that the majority of Dutch Muslims are quite upset over this out burst.
Geert Wilders is a threat to the democratic order of the Netherlands. Geert Wilders is not a hero, but a threat to his own country. Let Wilders take over the Netherlands persecution will come. We will not tolerate gas and ovens for Muslims

Anonymous 28 December 2011 - 5:42pm

we already did fight the muslims mafias, from VII century ( tours ), Portugal and Spain, and in Austria...we will not be slaves os parasites os VII centuray, with dog brains and liver of pigs.....The european people did died 100 milhions to get free from hitler in the sencond world war, we will fight to keep our freedom from new fascism ( islamism )...

Anonymous 28 December 2011 - 5:42pm

we already did fight the muslims mafias, from VII century ( tours ), Portugal and Spain, and in Austria...we will not be slaves os parasites os VII centuray, with dog brains and liver of pigs.....The european people did died 100 milhions to get free from hitler in the sencond world war, we will fight to keep our freedom from new fascism ( islamism )...

OzDeist 11 December 2011 - 3:48pm / Australia

oh give me a break. Comparing Muslim "persecution" to gas chambers during the holocaust - It's a tactic used by Western-based Islamists and it's getting quite old. Deporting radicals like these would be doing the nation a favour. Yet, because of apologetic liberals like yourself - so sensitive of political correctness, and appeasing minority groups - such a thing can never be achieved.

Geert Wilders just happens to criticize Islam. If you take offense to his criticism of Islam, and his criticism of those people who proliferate it, then that's your problem, not ours. The Dutch people vote, and the majority decides. That's a democracy, in my opinion.

user avatar
knirb 9 December 2011 - 3:59am

I wonder when all the touchy-feely types are going to get it through their soft little skulls that Wilders is not the enemy. These bullies have been given their way, 2 articles in RNW about their outrageous behaviour, yet not a word about the content of debate itself, or what Manji stands for. These are the only articles by RNW about Irshad Manji, a prominent Muslim reformer. Here is an excellent clip:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmMsMMX64pU&feature=related

eslaporte 10 December 2011 - 4:56am

Which "bullies" are "being given their way?" These were about 30 bullies from Belgium and they don’t respect anybody but themselves. 30 bullies from Belgium have nothing to do with Islam in the Netherlands. Geert Wilders is a threat to his own country and its constitutional order. The real threat those 1.5 million people that voted for the PVV. The PVV probably could not exist over the border in Germany, as it would be deemed a threat to the constitutional order and democracy.
The real bullies are the PVV brownshirt thugs that have been roaming the Netherlands threatening critics and opponets. Yes - we need to deal with the bullies -- the PVV brownshirt bullies!

user avatar
knirb 10 December 2011 - 11:18pm

"Threatening critics and opponents"... with what? Legal action? Provocative debate? Common sense? Where are your facts showing that the PVV condones, encourages or tolerates violence? The only PVV brownshirt bullies I've heard of are the ones roaming around between your ears.

Hiram1 8 December 2011 - 6:36pm

Quote: "A group of 30 Islamists waving the Salafist flag entered the hall and began shouting "Sharia for Holland". They threatened and spat on Ms Manji. The Islamists, who also threw raw eggs, demanded that the debate participants leave the stage; the debaters refused. Mr Dibi later tweeted that the debate “about a promising new generation of Muslims” was later continued at the request of Ms Manji.".....Wow, Sharia law for Holland. Does that mean mean women will not be allowed to show their faces in public when they take control? Does that mean women will be treated as property and not as humans? Does that mean women will lashed at the public square for wearing jeans? The article stated "Eventually, the police were called in to remove the protestors." Eventually! What does it take to for the police intervene? Two out of twenty-two men arrested. All thirty should have been arrested. The flag they were waving was on the same level as the neo-nazis and Klan. Had they came in waving the Nazi and Klan flag "all" would have been immediately arrested. Eventually, you will be swamped with Sharia law. Your tolerance wil be your downfall.

eslaporte 10 December 2011 - 5:09am

The truth is that there is NO demand for sharia law in the Netherlands. There is a study that came out last year that confirms this. http://english.wodc.nl/images/1900_Summary_tcm45-266259.pdf

QUOTE: "Respondents did not express a concrete desire to have sharia introduced in an official capacity in the Netherlands, as many of the sharia rules which respondents deemed of importance can already be carried out within Dutch law. Moreover, a majority of respondents maintained that sharia decrees that Muslims must follow the law in force where they live or, should this pose insurmountable problems, move away.Nonetheless respondents perceived a normative and regulating role for sharia in the Netherlands. Government, some respondents feel, is missing out by not using the opportunities sharia offers to, for instance, safeguard the position of Islamic women who divorced their husbands according to Dutch law, by also arranging a divorce according to sharia. Also, religious authorities could assist by confronting criminal Muslims over the latter’s behaviour and fear of God."

NOW - handful of crazies from Belgium does not mean some huge threat of sharia law now decending upon the Netherlands.

janus 9 December 2011 - 4:07am / USA

I agree with you, Holland is far to tolerant of foreigners and give in to them too often, you have to ask yourself, what are they trying to accomplish by being pushed around? Holland and Europe better get there heads out of the sand, or this radicalization that is taking place real takes off, and there will be no Europe because the majority which will be the Muslims will be in Power-Government and they will be calling the shots. Look at it as the reoccupation of Europe, it won't be German troops they will be seeing in the streets but Muslims parading there hatred around.

janus 9 December 2011 - 4:07am / USA

I agree with you, Holland is far to tolerant of foreigners and give in to them too often, you have to ask yourself, what are they trying to accomplish by being pushed around? Holland and Europe better get there heads out of the sand, or this radicalization that is taking place real takes off, and there will be no Europe because the majority which will be the Muslims will be in Power-Government and they will be calling the shots. Look at it as the reoccupation of Europe, it won't be German troops they will be seeing in the streets but Muslims parading there hatred around.

Anonymous 9 December 2011 - 6:52am / NLX

when 2 people sneeze they call it an epidemic, when 30 idiots team up to prove a point they call it radicalization...

eslaporte 10 December 2011 - 4:45am

They also believe that 30 idiots speak for all Muslims everywhere. This is how radicals like Geert Wilders' supporters think: some imam in some remote part of the Arab world says "kill all Westerners" and - suddenly - all Muslims are said to support such a view. This is ignorance and shows the Wilders' ilk are uneducated and uneducatable. These 30 idiots have nothing to do with Muslims living in the Netherlands, but the ignorant will say it does. I will have strong words with anybody that says that this has anything to do with Islam in the Netehrlands!

Matt C. 12 December 2011 - 6:24am

I don't believe you know anything about how Mr. Wilders supporters think if you did saying such silly and quite frankly insulting things.

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