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I tested one of Bolkestein's recent pieces for distortions. Quotes from him in orange/grey blockquotes.

In Amsterdam schorste het GVB onlangs een trambestuurder omdat hij een christelijk kruis droeg op zijn uniform. Het dragen van een islamitisch hoofddoekje boven datzelfde uniform is wel toegestaan. De tramconducteur werd door de rechter in het ongelijk gesteld.

An Amsterdam tram driver was kicked out for wearing a crucifix over his uniform, but the same company doesn't prohibit the Muslim veil above the uniform, Bolkestein claims. But he forgot certain details:

Court backs ban on tram driver's crucifix | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

A tram driver, Ezzat Aziz, had brought the case because his employer had forbidden him from wearing a necklace bearing a Christian cross outside his uniform. He had been suspended several times for wearing the necklace.

Mr Aziz claimed he been subjected to unequal treatment. He said that while he was not allowed to wear his necklace, there was no ban on Islamic women employees wearing headscarves.

However, the court sided with the Mr Aziz's employer. The Amsterdam public transport service pointed out that its employees are not allowed to wear necklaces of any kind, with or without religious symbols. They are allowed to express their religion visibly in other appropriate ways, such as by wearing a bracelet or ring. The court concluded that the rules were reasonable and there was no question of any religious discrimination.

Conductor banned from wearing crucifix necklace | Radio Netherlands Worldwide

An Amsterdam appeal court has ruled that the Amsterdam public transport service is within its rights to ban its conductors from visibly wearing a necklace bearing a crucifix.

...The court ruled that the public transport service wasn't guilty of discrimination because the rule wasn't against wearing religious symbols, but simply against visibly wearing necklaces. For security reasons the service's dress code bans employees from wearing any necklace outside the uniform.

The dress code allows the wearing of headscarves, as long as they bear the company logo. And the transport service points out that if Mr Aziz wants to express his religious belief, he's welcome to wear a ring or an earring with a crucifix.

Nevertheless, Mr Aziz says he's disappointed in Dutch justice. As a member of the Coptic Church, in Egypt he was barely able to express his religion. He expected things to be different in the Netherlands.

Een Nederlandse advocaat weigert op te staan als de rechter binnenkomt omdat hem dat door zijn godsdienst, de islam, verboden wordt. De desbetreffende rechter, Peter Ingelse, zei dat de advocaat mocht blijven zitten, omdat hij, Ingelse, zich niet beledigd voelde. De rechter vergat daarbij dat advocaten niet moeten opstaan uit respect voor de rechter, maar uit respect voor de wet.

Bolkestein tells the story of a Muslim lawyer in the Netherlands, who concluded from a Koran passage that standing up for someone who enters a room constitutes disrespect for people as equal, and thus refused to stand up when judges enter. Bolkestein then scolds the judge for tolerating it just because he did not feel insulted in his person, whereas standing up should be about showing respect to the law not his person. Well, that's both plagiarism and apparently a severe mis-representation of Ingelse's argument:

LMS-blog

According to the Lawyers Association, Mohammeds refusal contravenes the rules of the court. 'A lawyer should 'pay respect' to the court. Not to judges as persons, but to the court as part of the rule of law.'

There is no legal rule however that says what 'paying respect' looks like. According to the dean of the Lawyers Association 'standing up when the court enters is the common way of showing respect'.

...Judge and Vice-President of the court of appeal of Amsterdam Peter Ingelse wrote in NRC (one of the larger national newspapers) on 8 September, that lawyers in the seventies and eighties bowed before the court. "Some almost kissed the floor", he said. Ingelse himself was a so called first aid lawyer, providing 'access to law' for poor people out of ideological reasons. "We did not like this bowing at all, so we just did not do it." He was convinced that 'respect' could only be earned and deserved, not enforced. Looking back now at his behaviour then, he concludes that respect for the court has not diminished, even if every now and then he sees persons in court refusing to stand up. He is more afraid of future diminished respect because of a forced way of enforcing rituals in court.

De Haagse Hogeschool heeft een kerstboom laten verwijderen uit angst dat moslimstudenten dit christelijke symbool (sic) aanstootgevend zouden vinden.

He claims Hague University banned the Christmas tree out of respect for Muslim students. The truth:

The Dutch higher vocational school `Haagse Hogeschool (HHS)` (calling itself The Hague University - but don't be fooled, it's not a university), has banned the christmas tree from its school. Well, contrary to many reports, not every where, but in in the main entrance hall. According to HHS they wanted a more international approach for the coming holidays so they choose `light' as a broad and positive theme expressed in light curtains, new years card and a charity action that fits more with the diverse character of its population. In other parts of its building there are christmas trees.

Engeland laat zien dat het nog erger kan. Daar heeft de gemeente Oxford besloten Kerst af te schaffen en te vervangen door het `Winterlichtfestival'.

Oxford supposedly abolished Christmas and replaced it with Winter Lights Festival. Here Bolkestein merely bought into a typical British media hysteria.

Oxford Inspires' Statement on WinterLight

We are sorry that a distorted and inaccurate portrayal of the WinterLight Festival in the press has given offence to people, and that the event itself has been so maligned.

WinterLight is a festival of winter events which happen from mid November to early January across Oxfordshire, many of which incorporate candlelight, fire or illuminations. Across Oxfordshire WinterLight features many Christmas events including Christmas Lights Switch Ons, a Christmas Festival and an Advent Fair. It also includes winter events such as pantomime shows, opera on ice and music concerts by candlelight.

 

WinterLight Oxford on 28th November coincides with the city`s Christmas Lights switch on event and with the re-opening of Bonn Square. WinterLight is happening in addition to Oxford City Council's Christmas programme which includes Christmas trees, Christmas Lights and the annual Carol Concert.

 

WinterLight does not distance itself from Christmas in the slightest. Oxford Inspires has not suggested removing the word "Christmas" from festive events. It has never considered doing so. The "WinterLight" publicity brochure features a Christmas tree on the cover and is in the format of an Advent Calendar with windows opening to reveal events.

In Neukölln, een stadswijk van Berlijn waar veel moslims wonen, zou een tentoonstelling worden gehouden over `De Derde Wereld in de Tweede Wereldoorlog'. Een klein deel van de tentoonstelling ging over de medeplichtigheid van Arabieren aan misdaden van de nazi's. Na protesten van moslims werd de tentoonstelling gesloten. De Berlijnse wethouder van integratie Günter Piening zei: `In een gemeenschap als Neukölln hebben we een gedifferentieerde voorstelling nodig van de betrokkenheid van de Arabische wereld bij de Tweede Wereldoorlog.'

Bolkestein tells of an exhibition about the Third World and WWII which was supposedly closed at the pressure of local Muslims protesting the showing of Arab Nazi collaborators. This is completely off, from Muslim through conflict parties to being closed:

Umstritttene Ausstellung: Neuköllner Kulturwerkstatt bekräftigt Kritik - Berlin - TagesspiegelThe Culture Workshop of Neukölln reinforces its criticism - Berlin - Tagesspeiegel
Die umstrittene Ausstellung ,,Die Dritte Welt im Zweiten Weltkrieg" ist am Donnerstag eröffnet worden - mit einer Distanzierung und verschärften Kritik von der Leitung der Werkstatt der Kulturen. Nicht allein die drei Schrifttafeln über arabische Nazi-Helfer lehne man ab, sondern alle 18 Texttafeln zu Kollaborateuren aus der Dritten Welt. Das habe die Leiterin der Werkstatt, Philippa Ebéné, bereits im Mai den Ausstellungsmachern mitgeteilt. Dies sei aber in der aktuellen Berichterstattung unterschlagen worden.The controversial exhibition "The Third World in the Second World War" was opened on Thursday - accompanied by a distancing and sharpened criticism from the leadership of the Workshop of Cultures. They reject not only the three tablets about Arabic Nazi helpers, but all 18 tablets about collaborators from the Third World. The leader of the Workshop, Philippa Ebéné, told this to the exhibition makers in May already. However, this has been missing in the recent media reports.
,,Es überfordert die Besucher, wenn die Opfer im Nahen Osten, in Afrika und Asien in einem Atemzug mit Kollaborateuren und japanischen Aggressoren genannt werden", erklärte Ebéné. Es sei schließlich auch in der wissenschaftlichen Aufarbeitung der europäischen Geschichte nicht üblich, Opfer neben Täter zu stellen. ,,Denkbar wäre, das Thema Kollaboration gesondert in einer Ausstellung im kommenden Jahr zu erarbeiten", so die Leiterin des Kulturhauses."It demands too much of visitors if victims in the Middle East, Africa and Asia are mentioned in the same breath with collaborators and Japanese aggressors", Ebéré explained. [According to her], it is not going practice to put victims next to perpetrators in the reprocessing of European history either. "It would be a possibility to work out the collaboration theme separately in an exhibition next year", said the leader of the Culture House.
Doch zu solchen Überlegungen kam es nicht. Nach ihrer Erklärung, vom Hausrecht Gebrauch zu machen, wenn das Thema Kollaboration in der Sammlung bleibe, erntete die Werkstatt-Leiterin harsche Kritik. Der Integrationsbeauftragte des Senats, Günter Piening, schaltete sich ein und vermittelte den Kompromiss, dass zumindest eine verkleinerte Ausstellung in der Neuköllner Werkstatt der Kulturen gezeigt werde. Der Vorstand akzeptierte das am Wochenende - ohne von seiner inhaltlichen Kritik abzurücken. Die Werkstatt plant, mit drei Veranstaltungen ihre eigene Position zu thematisieren. Ebéné selbst wollte beim Vermittlungsgespräch nicht zugegen sein. ,,Ich bin die Einzige, die biografische Bezüge zu dem Thema Kolonialisierung hat", erklärte die Afrodeutsche am Donnerstag. Ihr Name sollte nicht im Zusammenhang mit dem Kompromiss stehen.However, it didn't came to such considerations. After her declaration about exerting the right of the house owner if the collaboration theme remains in the collection, the workshop leader earned harsh criticism. Berlin's alderman for integration, Günter Piening, intervened and negotiated a compromise, so that at least a reduced exibition is shown in the Neukölln Culture Workshop. The board accepted that over the weekend - without stepping back from its criticism of the substance. The workshop plans to thematise its own position in three exhibitions. Ebéné herself did not want to attend the negotiation talk. "I am the only one who has biographical relationship to the theme colonisation", the African-German declared on Thursday. Her name should not be connected with the compromise.

He continues like this but my comment is long enough. Every single one of his examles are distorted to fit his argument, and the Dutch ones can't even be ascribed to a good faith misreading of distorted media reports. Sarrazin's way of arguing was the exact same.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Oct 20th, 2010 at 09:08:20 AM EST
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