January 22, 2004
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From: [Pim admirer and fellow gay immigration reformist, soon to be Midwest educator. Please don't use my name or e-mail—I'm openly gay but a closeted conservative. Would hate to miss out on a job opportunity if a typical leftist educator sees my name.]
Dutch are 'polarised' says report By Angus Roxburgh
BBC News Online, Amsterdam
The Netherlands' example as a successful, tolerant, multicultural community has taken a dent with the publication of a parliamentary report saying Dutch society is becoming increasingly polarised, with huge ethnic ghettos and subcultures tearing the country apart.
It is an issue which has been simmering away for years, but only made the headlines two years ago when the radical politician Pim Fortuyn, who was later assassinated, called for an end to immigration.
He said immigration, especially from Muslim countries, was diluting Dutch liberal values.
The increase in the number of Muslims is raising concerns in some countries .
Now the all-party parliamentary report has reached a similar conclusion. It says the attempt to create an integrated multi-ethnic society has failed.
While most immigrants had integrated well, it said, there were also growing ghettos of foreigners from countries such as Turkey and Morocco.
Even Dutch-born "foreigners" tend to marry within their own communities and find spouses in their parents' home countries.
The report blamed successive Dutch governments for what had previously been seen as a positive policy designed to make life easier for immigrants - allowing them to be taught in their native languages at primary school.
This had merely perpetuated their alienation and prevented them from integrating into Dutch society properly, it said.
In what would mark a reversal of a 30-year-old policy, the report recommended that the country's Muslims should henceforth effectively "become Dutch".