News in Short

News in Short

Various news stories from the past few weeks.


Terror threat - Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman says al-Qaida and other Islamic extremist groups are trying to set up bases in the Balkans. (EN)


Transparent burka - Ghent photographer Filip Naudts will soon open the exhibition ‘La clé du boudoir' (the key to the bedroom), featuring famous Flemish people. The image advertising the exhibit shows Gorcha Davydova, a Flemish-Kazakh stand-up comedian, in a transparent burka. In another photo Davydova appears as Maria Magdalena, stripped to the waist. Naudts: This photo is not meant in any way as a statement. I do not want to provoke anybody, not offend anybody's feelings, but I will not curtail my artistic freedom. The burka is indeed worn by Islamic women, but in spite of that, they do not yet have a patent on that piece of clothing. (NL)

House ownership - According to a new study 60% of Moroccans in Belgium own houses in Morocco. Filip Dewinter of Vlaams Belang says that house owners cannot get welfare or rent government housing in Belgium, and this should apply to immigrants owning houses abroad as well. (NL)

Burkini banned in pool - The Vilvoorde council decided to reject the request of one woman who wanted to wear a burkini in the local pool. (NL)


Fighting forced marriages - The National Organization of Women's Shelters (LOKK) is preparing a brochure on how to prevent forced marriages, with such advice as changing your phone, bank and name, and how to flee to Danish embassies abroad. The initiative was warmly received by R.E.D., the country's only shelter specializing in helping women who've been forcibly married. The number of requests for help from the center has increased dramatically recently, but this could be seen as a good sign, as it might mean that girls know they have who to turn to. The initiative is supported with 28 million kroner from the integration ministry. (DA)

Radio station against xenophobia - A new radio station in Denmark intend to fight xenophobia. "Modstandsradioen Danske Løver" (resistance radio Denmark's Lions) is a project of Politiken commentator Rune Engelbreth Larsen, Birgitte Rahbe, and Anette Bruun Johansen, who call themselves "Denmark's Lions". The station is broadcast via internet and local and regional radio stations. Last August Rune Engelbreth Larsen called in an editorial, together with journalist Malene Fenger Grøndahl and author Flemming Chr. Nielsen, to create a resistance movement against the power of the Danish People's Party. (DA)


Professor converts to Islam - Professor Roland Dadiniz of the Descartes university announced he converted to Islam. The announcement took place during an international conference on handicaps and rehabilitation in Riyadh. The professor says he will from now on invite people to Islam due to its greatness and its role in developing human life. (NL-blog)


No to immigrant quotas
- Politicians rejected a proposal for quotas to increase the number of people with immigrant backgrounds in public sector jobs. (EN)


Islamic college loses subsidies - the Islamic College of Amsterdam (ICA) has lost its subsidies, since they do not have the required number of students, and education is sub-standard. Starting August 1st, the institution will not receive more money for new students. (NL)

Sports for immigrant youth - A program by the Dutch government has gotten more immigrant youth to play sports. In 2007, the 500 sports clubs which participated had about 82,000 members of non-Western origin. Last year they had about 20,000 more. (NL)

Sports for immigrant youth 2 - Dutch Minister André Rouvoet (Youth and Family) asked immigrant parents to deal with their overweight kids, as studies show that immigrants are fatter than ethnic Dutch. He says eating serves a social function in immigrant families and it's an important part of hospitality. Rouvoet also said that while many immigrant boys play sports, immigrant girls do not. (NL)


Burka ban proposal - the immigrant issues spokesperson in the Norwegian Labor Party, Lise Christoffersen, wants to ban burkas. Christoffersen told Aftenposten that she can not support a system which makes a woman into man's property. She thinks the burka is an abuse of religion and says it could be banned as it prevents identification. (DA)


Fighting honor murder - the police announced a campaign against honor-related crimes. Advertisements will call on youth to report to the police if they're being threatened or abused. (SE)

Foreign-born in Sweden lack work - More than two out of three foreign-born residents who have been in Sweden for two years or less don’t have work, new statistics show. (EN)

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