A new initiative was announced in a full page "front cover" ad in Trouw yesterday calling for tolerance and respect in the Netherlands. The new initiative called "Benoemen en Bouwen" (naming and building) asks to deal with society's problems by naming them and building a shared future together.
Representatives of Muslim organizations signed a joint petition today joining "Benoemen en Bouwen". A general translation follows:
The initiative "name and build' speaks to us as a minority. We also agree with the idea of dealing with problems by naming them and then going on to building a dignified and tolerant society.
In the New Year now beginning we want to live with each other in a pleasant and dignified manner. We know, like no other, as representatives of different minorities, how it is to be set aside time after time. We also see that there are people who fear the other due to their origins, sex, religion or sexual inclinations.
That fear must be taken away, and that through showing that everything is going well in society. There are such examples in all sectors of society. It is up to us as individuals, groups, organizations and associations to show those many good examples.
At the same time, it is up to us to deal with what isn't going well. The various communities must internally crack the hard nuts. We must speak to the youth who cause trouble, must more than in the past. Not only the youth, but also their parents and families must taken responsibility. Taking responsibility holds for all sectors. An example is discouraging discrimination int he work market and night life.
Ethnic minorities have the obligation to stand up for other minorities: Jews, Muslims, people who think differently. Together we stand against all forms of extremism. This is also against deterioration and intolerance.
In 2008 we should all grow towards each other. We call on the initiators of "Benoemen en Bouwen" to advance together. Let us hold up the history of the Netherlands together and with that begin to understand each others' ideas and customs.
Source: Trouw (Dutch) (with list of signatories)
See also: Netherlands: Call for tolerance and respect