Partial ban on public dress in Islamic veils clears hurdle in the Netherlands
- The Dutch lower house approved legislation that would ban the wearing of “face-covering clothing” including the burqa and the niqab, sending the bill to the Senate for final approval.
- The ban, which would impose a more than €400 fine on offenders, would apply to public spaces including educational institutions, healthcare centers, public transportation, and government buildings.
- Although data indicates only a few hundred women wear the veils, the legislation comes as a part of a wave of European legislation targeting traditional Islamic wear, including in France and Belgium.
“Dutch parliament paves way for approval of partial Islamic veil ban” (AP via The Guardian)
“Burka ban backed by Dutch MPs for public places” (BBC)
“Dutch parliament approves partial burqa ban in public places” (The Independent)
(Image Credit: Getty Images, via BBC)
Dutch government announces inquiry into violent twilight of colonialism in Indonesia
- Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced an investigation into the violent conflict between the Dutch military and Indonesians that took place from 1945 to 1949.
- The Dutch government has begun to admit to a host of war crimes during the colonial war including mass killings, torture, and summary executions, with the conflict having brought about the death of at least 100,000 Indonesians.
- Indonesia was a Dutch colony from 1800 to 1949 and is widely recognized as having contributed significantly to the contemporary wealth of the western European nation.
“Dutch cabinet agrees to fund research into violence in Indonesia” (DutchNews)
“Dutch government backs new inquiry into colonial Indonesia” (Reuters)
“Indonesian National Revolution Photos the Dutch Army Didn’t Want You to See” (The Creators Project, January 2016)
“Colonial atrocities explode myth of Dutch tolerance” (The Independent, May 1994)
(Image Credit: NIOD, via The Creators Project)
More than 100 arrested during anti-Black Pete protest in the Netherlands
- Despite a day-long ban, demonstrators took to a holiday festival in Maassluis to protest the ongoing national reverence for Zwarte Piet (Black Pete), a controversial figure black Dutch and allies say perpetuates racist stereotypes.
- The figure has been under fire for years as its status as a national holiday tradition has been called into question for its ties to the Netherlands’ racist colonial history, including by the U.N.
- Adding to the controversy is the frequency with which Black Pete is performed by white people in blackface in parades and other celebratory events.
“Dutch police detain 100 Black Pete protesters” (AFP/Deutsche Welle)
“Dutch Santa’s black-faced helper stokes anti-racism protest, police arrest 100” (Africanews)
“Dutch race hate row engulfs presenter Sylvana Simons” (BBC)
(Image Credit: via Africanews)
Black Lives Matter Globally
As a series of controversial shootings of African-American men by police has renewed attention to the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.S., people around the world have stood in solidarity with black Americans seeking to root out racial profiling, excessive use of force, and lack of accountability in U.S. law enforcement. For some, the demonstrations have been defined mostly by a kind of international allyism, but in many parts of the world, the American movement has prompted reflection on the treatment of local black communities—native, historical, and immigrant—by law enforcement, politicians, and broader society. Here is a look at the global demonstrations and solidarity movements in the name of Black Lives Matter: Continue reading Global Events: Black Lives Matter Protests
European court rules brothel owners in Amsterdam must share language with sex workers
- The European Court of Justice ruling sided with the city of Amsterdam, which blocked the application of a brothel owner to run a Red Light District window rental space because the owner could not communicate in the language of some of the workers.
- The business owner had his business plan denied because he rented to Hungarian and Bulgarian immigrant workers who did not speak Dutch and whose languages the owner did not speak.
- The court cited the safety of women, human trafficking vulnerability, the prevention of sex work by minors, and pimping deterrence as justifications.
“Court: Amsterdam brothel owners must speak prostitutes’ language” (The NL Times)
“Double Dutch barred in Amsterdam brothels” (AFP, via Yahoo! News)
(Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/LeDeuxAlpe, via The NL Times)
Spain and the Netherlands look to phase out blackface Christmas traditions
- Madrid authorities announced that they will cast an actual black person in the role of Balthazar this year rather than continue the tradition of blackening the face of a white person.
- In The Hague, education officials announced that elementary schools will no longer engage in the “Black Pete” tradition, which paints Santa’s helpers in blackface.
- While cities across Spain are increasingly abolishing holiday blackface, the Netherlands has seen staunch resistance, with a majority of its citizens rejecting the idea that Black Pete is a racist practice.
“This change is much more than just anecdotal. … Given the increasingly large community of colour in our city, it seems absurd that this role continues to be represented by a person with their face blackened.”
Read the full story at the Guardian.
(Image Credit: Peter Dejong/AP, via The Guardian)
Public assembly banned in Hague neighborhood as unrest swells following death of unarmed Aruban man during police arrest
- Mitch Henriquez, a resident of the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, died of apparent asphyxiation from a chokehold while being arrested by The Hague police on Sunday after allegedly falsely claiming he had a gun.
- Following more than 60 arrests and escalating violence, the mayor issued a temporary ban on public gatherings of more than three people and “dangerous objects” in the predominantly immigrant Schilderswijk district.
- The Hague police department has come under fire from rights organizations, journalism investigations, and community members for its targeting of immigrants and foreigners.
Read the full story at Reuters.