Amsterdam: The 4 myths of Moroccan youth

Fleur Jurgens, a Dutch journalist, is now coming out with a new book: "The Moroccan Drama" (Het Marokkanendrama). In this book she examines the Moroccan youth in Amsterdam. She claims that the fault of their lack of integration and their criminality is with their families. She interviewed about seventy people about the situation of the Moroccans.

In the the Volkskrant, Jurgens brings four myths that hinder the debate on Moroccan criminal youth.


Myth 1:

There isn't an issue of a Moroccan problem. Everything that Moroccan do wrong is enlarged by the media. In reality it's just a small group.

Making the messenger into the culprit is a well tried method when it comes to Moroccans: they are "stigmatized". But that is turning around cause and effect. In Amsterdam there is indeed a dubious Moroccan underclass being created of aggrieved youth that scarcely have a message to Dutch society.

A few facts (from among other things the report "Moroccan in Amsterdam", of the Amsterdam municipal service, 2006): Almost seven out of ten Moroccan youth leave the education system without a useful diploma; 40% of the Moroccan youth are unemployed, one in ten is registered by police as suspect of at least one punishable crime. Almost one in three youth in the judicial youth institutions is of Moroccan origin. The percentage of suspects from the second generation Moroccans is even highest of all ethnic minorities and more than twice as high as by the first generation Moroccans. Moroccan youth are also overrepresented in the hard core of youth revolving door criminals.

These youth grow up in questionable environments, in which having benefits is quite usual and having work quite unusual. 60% of Moroccan men get benefits, half for disability. In Amsterdam one in four Moroccan families gets social security benefits. Half of Moroccan kids in Amsterdam grow up in poverty. Moroccan kids live too crammed, grow up in Moroccan neighborhoods, are relatively unhealthy and go most often to special education, due to physical or mental limitations.

In the Westelijke Tuinsteden, meanwhile, several hundred Moroccan "problem families" already live: big families in which the kids and parents sometimes go together on raids, where there's addiction, debts, mental disabilities, domestic and sexual violence, extreme poverty, pollution, psychiatric or education problems. Policy makers already speak of the "Moroccan Tokkies".

Their own part in the problems is among these underclass of Berber machos a tremendous taboo subject. And hurriedly everybody - police, teachers and social workers - agrees with it. But precisely this lack of responsibility is what makes these Moroccan boys powerless to do something for their situation. A powerless growing aggression.

Pointing to Dutch society - with the press as representative - breeds an anti-Dutch sentiment. Almost all social workers, teacher, psychiatrists, police agents, employers and pedagogues that I interviewed for my research found the anti-Dutch sentiment specific for the new Moroccan underclass (in contrast to the Antillean or the Surinamese underclass. The Moroccan underclass is not only deprived, it also has an "offended face". That makes them easily inflammable and mobilizable.

Myth 2:

Moroccan criminal youth are driven into the arms of crime because they are discriminated in the Dutch labor market.

'They get no internship place', 'they are discriminated by Dutch employers based on their last names'. Logically they will misbehave. This reasoning comes up every now and then when talking about the Moroccan problem youth.

It rests on criminological misunderstanding that there is a casual connection between 'being discriminated' and 'committing crimes'. A bank robbery must according to this reasoning be seen as an unconscious expression of a deeper 'unease in society'.

First, I dare to claim that this motive is pretty much absent in the mind of a criminal at the time of the crime. Yes, naturally, afterwards (by the police, before the judge) he liked to being it forth as mitigating circumstances of his 'derailment': 'The police arrested me because I'm Moroccan".

But why can't a criminal simply be greedy? I am surprised at this blind spot. Is it not more reasonable that a bag snatcher, a petty thief or a drug trader are led primarily by the fruits of their crime: the Pradas (ie, clothes), BMWs, scooters or laptops? The criminal profession is in some neighborhoods of Amsterdam already a serious perspective. So are Moroccan drop outs directly employable in the drug trade, youth gangs or petty criminality. In practice it revolves - according to my study - around youth who take into account the risks of their 'profession'. The chance that a car thief would be caught is about 1 in 15. And if he has to appear before the judge, it is still not a disaster: In most cases he gets community service or a fine. Not reacting can lead to years of delay and in some cases even to postponement (if he gets to 18 in the meantime). After more sentences he must maybe 'sit' for a while in an institute that is especially aimed at "re-education", because that's how the youth criminal law goes: not to punish but to re-socialize as the main goal. A bag thief in that time gets very rich.

Secondly, there's the criminological misunderstanding - the criminal as a victim of an unfair society - an outdated form of determinism. A bad social-economic situation or culture origin, or bad youth definitely leads to crimes. But the fact that meanwhile almost a quarter of the Moroccans (from similar environments) studies in higher education, shows the opposite. The Moroccan comedians, authors, actors and politicians also have clearly applied their "cultural baggage" in a favorable way.

Thirdly it is said that Moroccan youth don't 'get' jobs or internship from discriminating employers. But isn't it more logical that this effect is caused by the fact that most of them don't have a useful diploma? They also take themselves out of the market by lacking basis employment proficiencies, such as coming on time, speaking Dutch, keeping their hands off other people's stuff, accepting authority, finishing something with discipline and working together. These kids are often educated on the street, without parental support. That doesn't prepare them for the job market, no matter how sympathetic Dutch employers are towards them.

Myth 3:

Moroccan parents can't supervise their sons in the street. Indeed, they are not used to it in their culture. Everybody repeats it: In Morocco the 'entire neighborhood' watches over their children, but in the Netherlands the 'Moroccan Community' is absent, and the parental authority of Moroccan parents doesn't get past the front door.

But how can you explain then that Moroccan girls time after time say that they find the social pressure of the community in the "Moroccan neighborhoods" almost unbearable? If they light up a cigarette or talk to a boy - loaded crimes for the family honor - their parents know it within a few hours. Apparently social control works excellently in the Amsterdam-Moroccan community, but selectively.

Moroccan parents don't know what's happening only when it relates to the bad behavior of their sons. In some cases it's because they don't entirely reject that behavior. These parents are indifferent to Dutch society. But in most cases it's because the balance of power in their family is disturbed. Many Moroccan sons control what's happening at home. From childhood they get what they want, because they are boys. Their mothers can barely restrict them a little. Through that develop big egos with short fuses. Researchers in the field speak of "Moroccan princes".

What is new in the Netherlands is that Moroccan mothers are often 'information dependent' on their sons. These Moroccan mothers still lead an isolated existence and speak bad Dutch. Many mothers came to the Netherlands as import-brides. Also they are not expected to enter the 'male domain'. That makes it difficult to call their sons to order in the street. More than that, these mothers often marry out of "community interests" and not out of love. There is little communication possible about the raising of children in their 'dull' marriage. Mothers want more control over their sons, but they are expected to be loyal to their spouse. That brings them into a "difficult straddle" between their kids and their spouse. Sometimes fathers care for their sons, but they do it in an authoritative manner. They give orders, or say what their can't do, but they don't explain what it's not allowed. That doesn't work by their Dutch-ized sons, who withdraw more from parental authority.

Myth 4:

The Dutch government owes the Moroccan community. Moroccan guest worker sit now "with a broken back" on the couch. Their children are derailed.

I call this slavery argument.

The official recruiting of Moroccan guest workers ended in 1973. At that time there were about 22,000 Moroccans in The Netherlands. Most (between 50%-70%) of this first group of guest workers by that time had already gone back or still wanted to do it, according to statistics of the CBS.

The biggest group of Moroccan immigrants who now live in the Netherlands, is from after the official recruiting of guest workers. First came the family reunificationists then the adventurers and the marriage-migrants. Meanwhile, 315,000 Moroccans live in the Netherlands, of which half are kids who were born in the Netherlands. The total number of import-partners is between 3 to 5 times as big as the total number of guest workers who were ever in the Netherlands.

I will just say: Most Moroccan parents are now certainly not former guest workers. They had for the most part come to the Netherlands of their own free will to build up a better and more prosperous existence for themselves and their children then was possible in Morocco. A pity that nobody reminds them of this original reason for moving.

Sources: Volkskrant (Dutch), Meulenhoff Publishing (Dutch)

See also: Amsterdam: dualism in Moroccan community, Belgian marriage-immigration


Evan said...

In the Westelijke Tuinsteden, meanwhile, several hundred Moroccan "problem families" already live: big families in which the kids and parents sometimes go together on raids, where there's addiction, debts, mental disabilities, domestic and sexual violence, extreme poverty, pollution, psychiatric or education problems. Policy makers already speak of the "Moroccan Tokkies".

Soon, if they haven't already, charismatic men will come along and say "The West and its corruption have done this to you. Islam is the answer. And Islam means jihad." And they will be believed.

Anonymous said...

The Dutch brought this on themselves.Ify ou let a burglar into the house, should you be surprised when he steals?

Anonymous said...

by Joel Phillips
owner: American Coast Title

Just watching the news from London is a reminder that we’re living in an age of terrorism. And, sad to say, almost all terrorism has something to do with Islam and Muslims, you just won’t find much of it that is not in some way connected.

Just look at a few:

First World Trade Center Attack: a blind Egyptian guy was behind it. No one contests it.

Oklahoma City: don’t forget that McVeigh served in the first Gulf War. There is good reason to think he was recruited by jihadists in Iraq who were active at the time.

9/11: Islamic suicide extremists, forget the other theories. They were Taliban zealots hoping for 172 virgins and palaces in Islamic heaven.

Spanish train bombs: more Jihad extremists, basically the same bunch as the 9/11.

London train bombs: not the same 9/11 and Spain guys, but more British Muslims from Pakistan.

Virginia Tech: This one is so sad. Psychiatry started Cho out. Then Islamic recruiters told Cho he would get infinite sex in Muslim heaven from the 172 virgins so he converted. By trying to destroy Virginia Tech he thought he was attacking Bush’s aggression in Afghanistan.

London night club bombs: Good for the Brit cops, they have caught some of the guys and it is more of these Pakistan guys and doctors at that, some of them were even psychiatrists. Maybe it is time to have a serious think about what to do about Pakistan. Mixing up Islam, Muslims, psychiatry and Pakistan is a recipe for mass murder and terrorism. Trust me on this one.

It is no accident or coincidence the bigots who oppose religious freedom are inspired by Islamic thought.

Just look at some of the fine people on EVERY SINGLE PERSON on there is a zealot, bigot or extremist and you will find that most of them have extensive criminal records. Take a look at these criminal records and you will find the influence of Islam.

Charlotte Kates: this young woman is a card-carrying member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. They are kind of the poster child for Muslim terrorists and an inspiration to Islamic murderers all over the world. What is her problem?

Peter Alexander: this man makes hate films. He is also building some kind of an amusement park in the Arab Gulf. Is is clearly doing the bidding of Islamist extremist jihad promoting masters all the way around.

Patricia Greenway: this woman is Alexander’s business partner and lover. She likes to live the high life and Arab money helps out there. Word in Ybor City is that she has her eye on an Enzo.

Kristi Wachter: she puts out a daily hate newsletter. She has paid for the theft of materials from churches. She says she used to run a record company but how much money could it make? It seems to me she is getting her money from bin Laden and his friends.

David Touretzky: don’t be fooled. This man is not a mouse brain researcher, he is a bomb expert. Who is really paying for his research? Could it be the same bomb makers loose in Iraq?

Keith Henson: first, don’t forget that but for this man would still be on the loose. He’s not just a bomb expert but a proved bomb maker. And who wants to pay for bombs? Jihad extremists! Who is paying for him to be able to buy toothpaste in jail? Could it be a guy called Osama?

Tory Bezazian: she walked away from her husband of many years to engage in hate activities. Where does she get money? The answer is Islam. She is a directly funded agent of the Los Angeles Koranic Council.

Andreas Heldal-Lund: the man is proud to support Lars Gule who was behind bombings in the Middle East. That sort of speaks for itself now doesn’t it?

As to the site,, it is paid for 100% by my company, American Coast Title. I am one of the owners. The other two owners, Frank Berriz and Linda Blood are 100% behind what I am doing as is our parent underwriter Stewart Title. We also get pretty good support from our employees although it would be illegal of me to impose my political beliefs on them.

Does it surprise you that I am being attacked by Indonesians? Not a coincidence that Indonesia is an Islamic country. The company is willing to pay a nice reward to the person who will stand up and help me stop them. Please look at my site for details.

Speaking of my employees, props to Vivian Swerdloff. Talk about a family tradition! Both she and her husband Robert are insurance professionals in every sense of the word. Chatsworth is a better place to live because of them. Vivian has stood front and center when zealots and bigots went on the assault. She did this not because she was required to as part of her employment duties at American Coast Title but simply because she believes that if people don’t stand up we’ll be conquered by these extremists and forced to do as they insist.

Expect without doubt a lot of trouble in Glendale. That’s where American Coast Title is located as well as a dense population of Armenians. The Armenians don’t like Arab Muslims so the area is getting very tense as the clock ticks down for Islamic terrorism.

So I am calling for the total elimination of Islam. Many other religious choices are available to those currently in Islam. Islam must go and no Muslim can be allowed to remain anywhere in the world.

All Mosques must either be destroyed or made into something else. The other day we did a title for one that was converted into a shopping center, now that’s a good use for one!

All copies of the Koran must be rounded up and burned or otherwise destroyed. If libraries insist on keeping them for historical reasons they have to be under lock and key and they have to post a guard to make sure no one copies them.

Conversion to another validated religion or acceptance of atheism are the only options I see. No other religion is associated with state sponsored terror as documented by the US State Department Report on Terrorism.

One thing that has to happen after is that women have to wear normal clothes. No more of these Islamic things. I mean local clothes are fine and kind of cute but no symbol of Islam can remain as it will just get cause restimulation of what started out as the worship of a giant magnetic stone by savage nomads. So get rid of all those crescent moons and so on!

This is a strong statement but it is time to end these attacks with bombs full of nails and gas. No other group does this. It is all and always back to Islam, Muslims, the Koran and groups like the Taliban and various sleeper cells.

Stand up with me on this one. Stand tall with me against Muslims who kill in the name of jihad and Islam and the false words of the Koran hoping for 172 virgins in a palace. Stand shoulder to shoulder with me to stop the next bunch of suicidal bigots and zealots from burning down your city.

Proud to be an American and a Scientologist

Joel Phillips

Anonymous said...

Joel, who the hell are you to tell ANYBODY what to believe. U aint the daddy. Now assume the position BITCH

Unknown said...

I have to say that is some of the most ignorant and racist bullshit that I have ever read. Really sad, McVeigh working for the Muslims? Truly stupid shit.

Unknown said...

ur words have hurt me u r doin wat hitler did once upon a time to jews .he wanted to eliminate them by first spreading blasphemous words about their religion .u r a tyrant.u talk abt islam and mass murder and terrorism and now it is u who is encouragin the death and destruction of a peaceloving community.terrorists have no religion .wat they say abt islam and quran is hence wrong .