GET MFBB SOME DRAMAMINE PLEASE. HE FEELS KIND OF SICK...
On Friday January 28, two Dutch students at the Cals College in IJsselstein, The Netherlands, were more or less prohibited by the School Principal to sport any longer Dutch flags on their school bags. 16-year old Patrick Balk and his pal Mark De Mooij were summoned to the Principal’s Office where they heard that they "should seriously consider" to remove the Dutch tricolore from their backpacks "because it could offend their Moroccan co-students". Both students took that as a prohibition.
The whole case was reported duly in Dutch press and on the Internet, a.o. by Dutch Blogger DutchReport, and has caused quite a row in the small kingdom on the North Sea. Cals College is a so-called VMBO school, which stands for "Voorbereidend Middelbaar en Beroeps Onderwijs", loosely translated as "preliminary secondary and crafts education" school, and counts a large proportion of pupils of Moroccan descent.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Hollands largest, had the scoop of the story and immediately thereafter "angry" readers reactions poured in. "Angry", because according to MFBB they actually sound rather pussy. Here follow just a few:
"We do happen to live in Holland. Just a few moments more and you are afraid to come up for your country". – Koos Boer, Zoetermeer
I am showing discriminating behaviour if I say that I love The Netherlands. So if I swear an oath of allegiance to the Dutch Flag, I am a racist?" – Roel Meisters
"And the Wilhelmus? (Dutch national anthem, MFBB’s note) Can we still sing it? And the boys in the Army? Do they also have to rip off the Dutch badge on their uniforms? Total insanity." - a reader.
Yawn. Whatever. Anyways, in the Dutch Tweede Kamer, half of Hollands Parliament, Dutch MPs reacted astonished. "I took notice of this fact with the greatest amazement. How can the Dutch flag be provocative?" asked VVD MP Arno Visser. PvdA MP Mariëtte Hamer called the flag stroy "weird". "It is indeed very difficult to react on an incident, but if the school’s only reason is the argument of possible provocation, I call that heavily over the top".
The Center-right VVD party however thinks that the student's parents and the School Board should sit around the table to appease, erm, discuss the question. "We should not meddle in this" thinks Visser. Christian Democratic MP Jan De Vries (CDA) does not want to react on the incident. "This is a school issue", he says. "We should not meddle in this."
Yeah, right. We should not meddle in this. Well, go on not meddling in this pal. According to De Telegraaf there are more schools in The Netherlands where the use of the Dutch flag on clothing, shoolbags, hats etc. is prohibited "so as not to offend the local populace... oops, the pupils of Moroccan descent". A.o. in the Groene Hart Lyceum in Alphen aan de Rijn, a school denying access to students wearing Dutch flags on their clothing or bags. The Groene Lyceum staff says this ruling is necessary because of the new social climate. "Prohibition is a great word", they say, "but we do this in consent with the pupils". The Moroccan pupils, you mean?
Sigh. Anyway, using his nucular-powered kryptonitic nanodefibrillitational Search Device MFBB was able to track ONE Dutch MP who thought the Secretary of Education, Van Der Hoeven, should meddle in this: breakaway former VVD MP Geert Wilders, who sits as an independent in Dutch Parliament and has established his own party, the Groep Wilders. On this site, you can see several parliamentary questions Mr. Wilders has asked the Education Secreatry:
1.) Did you take notice of the fact that a student of the Cals College in IJsselstein has had to remove the Dutch flag from his schoolbag because, according to the school staff, students of Moroccan descent could interpret these flags as a provocation?
2.) Do you agree that the use of our flag cannot be prohibited? Do you further agree that such a prohibition is sheer nonsense? Do you agree that it is sheer and utter nonsense that the use of the Dutch flag is likely to offend people of Moroccan descent?
3.) Are you prepared to take actions so as to avoid a prohibition on the use of the Dutch flag, including on schools, and to guarantee that the prohibition on the Cals College is annulled and that similar incidents cannot take place anymore and that, should they still occur, be dealt with immediately?
Unfortunately, this Dutch balls-equipped MP is the one who has had to go into hiding in October 2004 because he was threatened with execution by the International Stalinists, had to walk around with four bodyguards and ride in an armoured car out of fear for Islamic extremsits, had to vacate his premises in the city of Utrecht because he no longer felt safe among the large community of foreign nationals in his neighborhood, and was sported on the MSN website of Tawheed Wal Jihad as an infidel who should be killed because he had ridiculed Islam. Happy thoughts to you.