September 2, 2011

Ironic game show mocks failed asylum policy

Filed under: Shows by Branko Collin @ 4:32 pm

Yesterday broadcaster VPRO aired a show called Weg van Nederland (which can mean either Away from the Netherlands, or Crazy about the Netherlands).

Writes The Guardian:

Contestants on the one-off game show from the public broadcaster VPRO, part of an annual week of experimental programmes, comprise five asylum seekers who have exhausted legal avenues to stay in the Netherlands and await imminent deportation to their country of origin.

They compete in a quiz about Dutch culture, history and language, with the winner awarded €4,000 (£3,500) to help cushion them when they are expelled. Consolation prizes include a bulletproof vest.

Excellent write-up, though I am not sure about the description of the “mini-skirted pastiche of air cabin crew uniforms”. To me those outfits look like sexed-up customs uniforms.

The paper quotes VPRO head Frank Wiering: “These days many asylum seekers who are being expelled have children who have lived in the Netherlands for eight years or more. They have had a good education, speak perfect Dutch and have only seen their country of birth on television. We believe it’s time to stop and think about this.”

See also “TV quiz for asylum seekers courts controversy” (Radio Netherlands).

Source trailer: Youtube / VPRO. Tip of the hat to Marijn.

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October 24, 2010

Christians harass Muslim asylum seekers

Filed under: Religion by Branko Collin @ 3:36 pm

The Stichting Gave (Gift Foundation) has been trying to win souls for their Christian faith at Dutch refugee camps, and they do not even realise what they are doing wrong. A volunteer told Nederlands Dagblad:

We are being accused of preying on the uncertainty that asylum seekers experience. I can partly understand the accusation, but it’s wrong. We want to show asylum seekers […] that there is a God who transcends the position they are in.

After reports came in that some of the foundation’s volunteers had been pressuring Muslim refugees into converting to Christianity by claiming that their asylum requests would be denied if they did not convert, the foundation had its access to the refugee camps restricted by COA, the organization that runs the camps.

When did this happen? Half a year ago, and the news was mostly reported on in the religious press. I would have certainly missed it if Stichting Gave hadn’t come out with a ‘study’ last week that claims that Muslim asylum seekers are physically attacking Christian asylum seekers. That last story got a lot of attention in the press, in the parliament and elsewhere, perhaps because it much better fits the tired narrative we’re used to.

According to Geen Commentaar, the Stichting Gave study consists entirely of an inventory of rumours. A good starting point for more research perhaps, but certainly not the collection of facts that the press suggest it is.

See also: Convert to Christianity and get citizenship for free.

(Photo: COA)

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July 16, 2008

Convert to Christianity and get citizenship for free

Filed under: Religion by Branko Collin @ 7:02 am

Iranian Muslim refugees who convert to Christianity after arrival in the Netherlands—and unlike those who convert to another faith—will be granted asylum immediately. The Christian controlled lower house of Dutch parliament demanded this from the government through a motion adopted 10 days ago. The motion was tabled by Ed Anker of the Christenunie (Christian Union), who believes that Muslims who change religion run a real risk if they return to Iran. I guess only Zeus can help the Iranian who becomes an atheist.

The Netherlands is not a secular state, yet the very first article of its (non-binding) constitution forbids discrimination of religion.

Via Nederlands Dagblad (Dutch). The motion (Dutch). Photo by Rama, used under the terms of the CeCILL license.

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