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Thursday, December 9, 2010

"Dutch gov’t reassures Turks of Muslims' rights"

Hürriyet's Daily News & Economic Review reports from a meeting between Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal and a group of Turkish journalists. During the meeting, Rosenthal attempts to reassure Turks that the Netherlands does not discriminate against Muslims or against the nearly 400 000  in the country. He argues that, while the government relies on the backing of Geert Wilders' far right and Islamophobic Freedom Party, the party is not a formal coalition member precisely because of its position on Islam.

Somewhat awkwardly, Rosenthal states that
People who believe in Islam are entitled to go to the mosque. The only point that they have to take into account is that they should not go beyond the rule of law and the constitutional duties going with that..
One can only speculate about what he means by the latter caveat, but one gets the impression that Muslims in his view tend to "go beyond the rule of law" when they go to the mosque...

The article also quotes Rosenthal on the Dutch government's position on Turkey's EU bid:
“The principle of the Dutch government with regard to enlargement is strict and fair. We
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