Monday, April 17, 2006

Islam neither conflicts with Dutch values nor undermines human rights

A study conducted for the Dutch government has concluded that Islam neither conflicts with Dutch values nor undermines human rights, with welcoming Dutch Muslims hoping for a fresh start.

After three years of research, the Scientific Council for Government Policy (WRR) affirmed that Islam, in principle, neither conflicts with democracy, nor human rights nor Dutch values. It advised The Netherlands and the European Union to reach out to Islamic movements which embraced democracy like Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt and Lebanon's Hezbollah.

The study concluded that some Islamic movements are fully backing democracy and are in no way an obstacle to it. It also recommended that the government communicates with and offers aid to the Hamas-led Palestinian government.The United States and the European Union have suspended direct aid to the new government, like Russia which pledged urgent aid.

Dutch Muslims have seized celebrations of Prophet Muhammad's Birthday earlier this April to introduce their religion and prophet of Islam to non-Muslim Dutch.

Europe’s main rights and democracy watchdog, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), expressed concern in May last year at the increasing Dutch intolerance towards the Muslim minority and the "climate of fear" under which the minority was living.

Islamophobia gained momentum in the Netherlands after the November 2004 killing of director Theo van Gogh by a Dutch-Moroccan after directing the first film of Hirsi. There are one million Muslims in the Netherlands, mostly hailing from Turkish and Moroccan origin.