Most Western countries are under the spell of the multicultural ideology. Particularly the left-wing parties push this ideology. Critics of multicultural society and its ideology are attacked and pictured as the cause of any conflicts between minorities and Westerners.
The champion of multiculturalism splinter
It is therefore particularly interesting to see an organisation which is a champion of multiculturalism become a victim of ethnic conflict. In the Rotterdam borough of Feijenoord the multiculturalist idyll is in deep trouble. The local (PvdA) Labour faction in the borough council is splitting along ethnic lines. Violence is in the air.
The setting: Feijenoord
The Feijenoord neighbourhood has 70,000 inhabitants with a high percentage of those of immigrant origin. In the 2006 municipal election the Labour Party recovered a lot of the seats that had been lost to the local Fortuynist Party Leefbaar Rotterdam (LR). They got 14 of 21 seats in the borough council. Six of the fourteen are of Turkish origin.
Dutchmen in charge of Labour or not?
The executive of the Feijenoord Labour party went to three Dutchmen. On 4 May 2006 a former Labour party executive, Mr. Johan Henderson, insisted that there were constant conflicts within the Labour party and that the conflict had an ethnic dimension. He suggested that the conflict could be solved if the Turks in Feijenoord would be represented by a Labour Party Turk in the borough council. And indeed, a Gülami Yesildal was appointed as a fourth member of the executive of the Feijenoord council. In October 2007 a new scuffle broke out when a Dutch council member insisted that the Turkish councillors should speak Dutch amongst each other rather than Turkish.
In 2008 two of the Labour executives had to step down as a result of conflicts, one Dutch and the other the Turkish aelderman Yesildal. In interviews with local press they spoke darkly of "nepotism" and "a sickness in the Labour Party in Feijenoord".
The current troubles
In December 2009 the simmering conflicts exploded. Usually party meetings are decided by a few core members, who turn up at all the meetings. Eighty to ninety percent of the party members are dormant. A Labour Party meeting was stacked with lots of Turkish Labour members who had never before attended any meetings. Seven Turkish and a Dutch member were promoted to the top of the list. The Dutch member, René Kronenberg, became the new local Labour leader.
Several of the demoted party members and their supporters were furious. A demoted Labour Party cadre said:
This was like a CPN - Dutch Communist Party - take over.A Labour Party member, Jo den Haan, said
I do not want to be a part of this anymore. It is not about the public interest anymore. When I see stuff like this I think Wilders is right after allMr. Den Haan left the Labour Party. Many other members of the Feijenoord Labour Party have ended their membership.
Violence in the air
On 30 January tensions had run up so high that three former aeldermen felt compelled to request police protection. They feared for a threat against their safety from the Turkish Labour members. They mention intimidating looks and e-mails. The customs of Anatolia have settled in The Netherlands. This was reported by the Algemeen Dagblad (AD), a Rotterdam newspaper.
* This article was based on two articles by Carel Brendel, a former Labour Party member, author and blogger. Here and here.