Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

Holland’s New Immigration Test

Posted by Dan Draney on March 17, 2006

The Netherlands has just instituted a test that potential immigrants must pass before moving to Holland. As Radio Netherlands reports, the test is not exactly easy, but what’s attracting attention is the content. Applicants are required to watch a DVD about Dutch culture, which includes discussions (and video) of nude beaches and homosexual acts (just kissing). The applicants are quizzed on their knowledge of Dutch laws and customs, and it’s obviously hoped that those who don’t want to live in a society that functions this way will screen themselves out of the immigration process. Applicants can re-take the test, if they fail, but it does cost 350 euros and the study guide, including DVD, is another 65.

This actually seems to us a pretty good step towards dealing with the current situation. Applicants from many countries, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, and the rest of Europe, are exempt from the test requirement.

The decapitation of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a Muslim born in the Netherlands was a shock to the system in Holland. Van Gogh, whose career was based on flouting convention, had had the audacity to make a film critical of the treatment of women in Islamic societies. While one may insult civilized people without much personal risk, there is a large group of Muslims eager to kill anyone who suggests Muslims are violent.

The killing caused a backlash against Dutch Muslims, and some more attacks by Dutch Muslims on non-Muslims. Members of the Dutch government had to go into hiding to escape murderous Muslims threatening to kill them. The Dutch looked nervously at their large, unassimilated Muslim population. The Muslims complained of racism and “Islamophobia.” A wall painted with “Thou shall not kill” near the scene of the murder, had to be painted over so as not to offend Muslims.

We have previously noted that “Islamophobia” simply doesn’t exist. A phobia is an extreme, irrational fear of something. Given the behavior of a large minority of Muslims, “fear” and distrust of Muslims in general is completely rational. Since many Muslim terrorists (e.g. the London bombers) appeared to be nice, normal people right up until they revealed their murderous intent, it would irrational not to take that into account (see TSA).

Moreover, is there any other culture in the world more tolerant than the Dutch? Perhaps the US is more welcoming to outsiders, but for pure, anything goes, tolerance, the Dutch lead the world. In a fashion that would make US liberals proud, the Dutch are even trying to tolerate intolerance, although that’s a fool’s errand.

The good thing about this test is that it just exposes potential immigrants to the reality of life in the Netherlands. If some feel that’s not for them, it’s best to discover that before moving there, of course. The test also lays out the Dutch laws on wife-beating, a no-no, and female genital mutilation (“circumcision” just doesn’t describe this barbaric practice accurately), another no-no. A society certainly has the right, if not the duty, to only select immigrants willing to accept the values of that society.

Naturally, Muslim leaders throughout the Netherlands hailed the test as a valuable tool for educating potential Muslim immigrants about Dutch mores. Yeah, right. Maybe in an alternate universe (one with no shrimp, for example). In this one the most vocal Muslim organizations once again displayed their well-known, near-infinite capacity for taking offense.

But Abdou Menebhi, chairman of Emcemo, a Moroccan interest group in Amsterdam, said the film was just another example of how the Netherlands was trying to limit immigration from Muslim countries.

“This isn’t education, it’s provocation,” Mr Menebhi said. “The new law has one goal: to stop the flow of immigrants, especially by Muslims from countries like Morocco and Turkey.”

Only those like you, Mr. Menebhi. Only those like you.

To be fair, at least a few Muslim voices were raised in support of the test:

But Mohammed Sini, the chairman of Islam and Citizenship, a national Muslim organization, defended the film, saying that homosexuality is “a reality.”

Sini urged all immigrants “to embrace modernity.”

Interestingly, the Dutch even made an expurgated version of the DVD without the nudity and guy-on-guy action. This is for applicants living in Islamic paradises, like Iran, where possession of the regular DVD could lead to a death sentence.

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