Netherlands: Immigrants should stop living split lives

Youssef Azghari is a lecturer in communication and sociology in the Netherlands. He came to the Netherlands from Morocco almost 30 years ago to join his father, who was a guest worker. Here is a translation of an article he wrote regarding the "double loyalty" debate.


I was amazed when I heard last week why parliament member Kadija Arib (of the PvdA party) wanted to keep her Moroccan passport. She can flee with it to her fatherland if somebody like Wilders comes to power.

I had not expected such a stupid statement. She is adding extra oil to the file that the venomous xenophobes in politics, from Hirsi Ali to Wilders, have kindled. Her fear is shared particularly by older dutch Moroccans. They also have their suitcases ready and the Moroccan passport always at hand. Ready for departure. How often hadn't I heard that I must familiarize myself with Morocco if I wanted to make sure my future is secure. After all, I never knew when the time of forced remigration would come.

Moroccans who warned me of this disaster are afraid. Since their arrival they have had the feeling that they would be thrown out by demons and fools. First by Janmat, then Fortuyn and now wilders. That's why every cent they earn they invest in Morocco. therefore they live here frugally in old drafty rented houses so they can save for a house in Morocco. That is good for the Moroccan economy but because they live split, they remain unhappy.

Since the installation of the new cabinet with two Muslims in power, state secretaries Aboutaleb and Albayrak, everybody wants to know what I think about double nationality. I have to start by staying that a double nationality has no connection with double loyalty or integrity. Dutch, regardless of origin, that make such a direct relationship, are very short sighted and stupid. Also somebody who has just one passport, or none at all, has more loyalties, such as to the constitution, family, friends etc.

Since 1992 I have one passport, the Dutch one. My Moroccan passport, that I got back almost 20 years ago with much pain and difficult, is not valid since 1993.

I know that i need to move heaven and earth to get it. Together with my father I went as a boy of 16 at least 7 times over a year to the consulate in Rotterdam. when I finally got the scrap of paper, i wanted at the same time to throw it away. if i think back to that time, the frustrations come back again. the long waiting times, the rude treatment and the 6 times we were turned back because we didn't have a trivial piece of paper which they had forgotten to mention on our last visit that we should bring sped up my passionate desire to naturalization.

I was then also happy that several years later I got my dutch citizenship from her majesty the queen without any problem. since then I use the dutch passport, also when I visit morocco. Moroccan law forbids to renouncing your identity. that was the wish of former king Hassan II. He reigned with an iron hand and tolerated contradiction from nobody.
At first he didn't know how he could quickly he could get rid of the troublesome Berbers and sent the dutch to the Rif to look for guest workers. when it turned out later they were invaluable to the Moroccan treasury he came up with the slogan "once a moroccan, always a Moroccan". It is just like "once an immigrant, always an immigrant."

Arib, who with her Moroccan passport would flee as soon as it became too hot under her feet here, made me think of the woman who married the Netherlands, but in adversity don't fight for her new fatherland and principles. with her cowardly behavior she gives a very bad example for the young Moroccans.

With one foot in morocco and the other in the Netherlands, they would never feel at home and sadly always be the disowned immigrant both here and there.

Source: Trouw (Dutch)

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