TITLE

Right Turn

AUTHOR(S)
Esman, Abigail R.
PUB. DATE
January 2006
SOURCE
New Republic;1/16/2006, Vol. 234 Issue 1, p11
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article mentions political activity in the Netherlands, Holland's shift from liberalism to conservatism, and the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh on November 2, 2004. The Muslim population of the Netherlands has grown from some 50,000 guest workers in the 1970s to approximately one million today, giving Holland the second-largest per capita Muslim population in the European Union, after France. Filip Dewinter, leader of one of Europe's most extreme far-right political parties, Belgium's Vlaams Belang (Flemish Interest), says that Holland is becoming a right-wing nation. Much of Holland's rightward shift is the result of conflicts between the nation's native and Muslim immigrant populations. Fear of Islamic terrorism accounts for some changes. The rising number of immigrants has also prompted a xenophobic and nationalist backlash. Concern about immigration has become so profound that it even trumps worries about the Dutch economy. Support for the liberal workers' party, the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA), which balances its economic and cultural policies with a generous and tolerant view of Muslims, has waned. A former Somalian-born Muslim living in Holland, Ayaan Hirsi Ali's denunciation of Islam--and her exposure of domestic abuse and even honor killings in the Dutch-Muslim community--caused so much outrage that, in September 2002, death threats forced her to leave the country. In March 2003, the Lebanese-born Belgian Dyab Abou Jahjah founded a Dutch wing of his Arab European League, a radical Muslim political group with aspirations to develop into a pan-European Muslim party. Right-wing ideas are increasingly popular among teenagers, nicknamed "Lonsdale youth" because they have adopted the Lonsdale clothing label as a kind of uniform. And, in June 2004, a study showed that 86 percent of Dutch natives felt threatened by Holland's Muslim population.
ACCESSION #
19413805

 

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