Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Hubris

A picture speaks more eloquently than a thousand words.

As the Muslim population of The Netherlands is increasing they diverse Muslim ethnic and sectarian groups commission the building of places of worship: Mosques. Some of them are in old schools of churches and some of them specially designed as Mosques, striking markers of the takeover of Dutch neighbourhoods. The Ethnic Dutch call them "Hovels of Hatred" (Haathutten).

Growing up a young Dutchman sees images on TV of the Middle East, North Africa and Central Asia, the areas were Islam is strong and were the Mosque is a part of the local architecture. Little does the Dutchman expect to find these elegant buildings in his own cities.

When I visit Rotterdam with a passenger I like to get off the highway. Into the Spangen neighbourhood. As I turn through the cobbled streets of this working class neighbourhood we get into a street running towards a canal. The street is narrow and all the 4-story apartment buildings have sattelite dishes, a marker of immigrant populations. Beyond the canal, filling the full width of the street is the Mevlana Mosque.

On the streets little Arab and Turkish boys are playing "soldier" and the pavements is filled with veiled and burqa'ed women pushing wheel prams.

For most people the scene is a bit much to take in. They suddenly stop talking about whatever it was they were talking about and take a sharp hissing breath. Their eyes open wide and they look at the sattelite dishes, the lads, the prams, the burqas and the mosque.

A picture says more than a thousand words.

In Amsterdam, the Turkish Milli Görüs movement has been raising funds to build a show-piece mosque in Amsterdam-West, in the De Baarsjes borough. On the site of a former factory a Mosque will be build in combination with one-hundred-eleven apartments, seven-hundred-sixty square meter set aside for offices and shops, one-thousand-forty square meter of meeting rooms for "societal purposes" and a parking with room for two-hundred-thirty-eight cars. On a long canal called the Kostverloren canal.

It will boast the highest minaret in The Netherlands. Forty-two meters high. It MUST be forty-two meters high according to the golden rule. In order to place the top of the minaret at a 45 degree angle with the dome of the mosque. It will be higher than the Munt tower.But lower than the tower of the Westerkerk. The mosque will be build in the style of the "Amsterdamse School" of architecture to make it fit in the surroundings.

A final detail. The design is fundamentally inspired by the design of the "Aya Sophia" church, the main Church of the Byzantine Empire. This grand church was turned into a mosque in 1453, when Constantinopel became Istanbul. The capital of a mighty Islamic empire that ruled from Morocco to Croatia and from the Tigris to the Danube.

The commissioners of the mosque put special emphasis on this piece of history.

Anyway a picture says more than a thousand words.

So if I want to shock people with a picture of the Islamification of The Netherlands, I do not have to go to Rotterdam anymore. Who said progress is a thing of the past?

The old has to make place for the new. A long time ago, in the 17th century the factory site on the Kostverloren canal was already an industrial site. The site was occupied by a windmill for milling wheat. The windmill was called: "Eendragt". That is "Unity". That mill went a long time ago. In 1842.

Something else that had to go was a monument that had been placed on the quay of the canal. A monument were Dutch people gather to remember those who were killed by the German occupiers in the Second World War. According to the borrough the Islamic and Jewish communities had requested the removal of the monument, because it had the shape of a Christian Cross. When asked the local Jewish community said they had never asked anything and to be displeased that their monument was removed. The had also been miffed when Morroccan lads had been kicking the wreaths just after the wreath laying ceremony in 2003. The Turkish, Moroccan and Pakistani communities have confirmed (Dutch) that they asked for the removal of the offensive Cross. They do not like Christian symbols near their mosque.

O well. I got a monumental Mosque now. With a shopping centre. My cup runneth over.

And a picture says more than a thousand words.

7 comments:

Kleinverzet said...

O well. I got a monumental Mosque now. With a shopping centre. My cup runneth over.

Yep, that about sums it up.

Meanwhile the stink kicked up by the idea to permanently remove the memorial was enough to scare the borough council of the Baarsjes back to the real world. The memorial *will* be replaced.

However, given its proximity to a mosque one has to wonder about the lifespan of the memorial after it's re-relocation.

I really wonder how that'll play out.

Dr Victorino de la Vega said...

The New York Times reports that the Dutch government has decided to upgrade the compulsory “cultural integration” exams prospective immigrants have to take before obtaining a visa to the country of Erasmus...in order to “filter away all unwanted religiously conservative individuals”

“A lesson, about the Netherlands' nude beaches, is followed by another: homosexuals have the same rights here as heterosexuals do, including the chance to marry.

Just to make sure everyone gets the message, two men are shown kissing in a meadow.

The scenes are brief parts of a two-hour-long film that the Dutch government has compiled to help potential immigrants, many of them from Islamic countries, meet the demands of a new entrance examination that went into effect on Wednesday


Or course citizen of certain countries with high numbers of “religious conservatives” such as Israel and the US are exempted from taking the exam…but the Dutch government wants us to believe this shouldn’t be interpreted as blatantly racist double-standard directed at Arabs and Mohammedans!

But there’s even worse that sheer racism at work here: ironically, by focusing its message on nude beaches, swingers clubs, hash bars…etc. the Dutch government is contributing to the distortion and debasement of Western culture in the eyes of its critics, thus reinforcing their prejudices.

Just like their Neocon friends in Washington and Tel-Aviv, the Muslim-bashers of Amsterdam and The Hague are useful idiots feeding the anti-Western narrative of Osama Bin Laden and Ayman Al-Zawahiri.

Instead of promoting humanistic and secular values by building schools and universities with modernist secular curricula in the Middle-East and South Asia, instead of telling prospective immigrants the world over that Europe is a beacon of humanism and democracy, we’re content with provoking Muslims gratuitously.

In Hitler’s Germany, Jehovah's Witnesses were forced to accept blood transfusion and force-fed ham so they could become “good Germans”.

In Guantanomo’s prisons, Arab and Muslim detainees were routinely forced to watch gay porn movies while listening to the Israeli national anthem

I guess this must have paved the way for the Dutch government’s new immigration law…

Esther said...

It will be higher than the Munt tower.But lower than the tower of the Westerkerk.

Height is very important in Islam. Churches and synagouges, if they were allowed to be built/repaired in Muslim countries, always had to be lower than the mosque. I am wondering how high up the dome itself is, as compared to the churches in the city.

Also, is the minaret really 42 meters high? According to previous news reports there was a compromise on that issue.

Esther said...

Replying to Dr Victorino de la Vega, who posted the same comment on my blog:

According to the IND site (http://www.ind.nl/en/inbedrijf/actueel/basisexamenvervolg.asp), only the following countries are exempt:
persons of American, Australian, Austrian, Belgian, British, Canadian, Cypriot, Czech, Danish, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Irish, Italian, Japanese, Latvian, Liechtenstein, Lithuanian, Luxemburg, Maltese, Monegasque, New Zealand, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Slovakian, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Swiss, or Vatican nationality;

Additionally, as mentioned in the article you quote, there is a censured version of this video that will be used in Middle Eastern (ie, Muslim) countries.

So.. though I agree with you that the Dutch should be going about this differently, I don't think you've got your facts right.

Camera Lucida said...

It is such a shame Snouck, such a shame.

Those beautiful Rembrandtesque buildings!

How can people not refuse these mosques just based on architectural ugliness?

That is what will be lost with Islam - beauty.

Camera Lucida said...

It is such a shame Snouck, such a shame.

Those beautiful Rembrandtesque buildings!

How can people not refuse these mosques just based on architectural ugliness?

That is what will be lost with Islam - beauty.

nouille said...

Islam and politics are one, therefore everything is done under the pretension of "religious freedom" or religious tolerance.

Nothing is benign, not even a mosque, least of all a mosque!

Perhaps this is where they will plot to gain more control in Netherlands.... legally, by voting and running for office and complaining to get a "special" muslim branch of government.