Dutch Minister of Integration, Ella Vogelaar, wants a debate about the position of Islam in the Netherlands, in order to "take the wind" out of Geert Wilders' sails.
In a party meetings in Amsterdam she said that there is still "a taboo about the position of Islam in society". "I think that we have an incomplete answer about it. Wilders unfailingly manipulates the fear people have of Islam. We have given him that opportunity because till now we kept away from that debate."
Vogelaar came to the idea due to the debate about the burka ban and double nationality, initiated by Wilders. According to her those are just the symbols, and not the real issue, which is the fear people have of Islam. She emphasized that in a land with a million Muslim there must be a place for Islam.
The minister said she was very positive about the recent test run in Nijmegen with anonymous job applications. According to first results, immigrants have a greater chance to be invited to an interview if their name, nationality and birthplace are kept out of CVs.
"It is worth the difficult to continue experimenting," said Vogelaar. "It is a form of positive discrimination which I know would cuase strong reactions. You can't introduce anonymous job applications in the entire country, I understand that too. But as incentive to make people aware of how this sort of things work, I find it very good."
Amsterdam alderman Henna Buyne who also took part in the discussion completely disagreed. "It is a sad low point that you must stoop to this." she said about about the Nijmegen test.
Vogelaar said that she would like to take the "polarization" out of the integration debate, since it offers nothing besides further radicalization of specific groups.
Buyne said that integration is a matter for every Amsterdam resident, and not only for foreigners and immigrants.
Source: Parool (Dutch)