Netherlands: Convert and stay

Iranian asylum seekers who convert to Christianity in the Netherlands will from now on have a right to a residency permit, according to a recent decision in the Dutch parliament based on a motion by the ChristianUnion party.

Parliamentarian Ed Anker of the party proposed in his motion to extend the protection of Iranian asylum seekers to those who converted in the Netherlands. The motion was previously supported by parliament members from the SGP and SP parties.

Previously only Iranians who had converted in Iran and then fled the country had a right to a residency permit in the Netherlands.

According to Anker, Iranians who converted in the Netherlands run a real risk if they would be forcibly deported back home. In Iran apostasy is a serious case and the Iranian parliament is even now considering implementing the death sentence for apostasy.

Initially state secretary Nebahat Albayrak feared broadening the rules for Iranian Christians since it would encourage Iranian asylum seekers to convert in name only. Later she accepted the motion, which was then adopted by parliament.

According to ChristianUnion it's "truly irresponsible" to send back converts to Iran.

In the past Iranian asylum seekers caused for much political sensitivity. Minister Rita Verdonk had planned in 2006 to deport both converts and homosexuals back to Iran. This caused much opposition, which made her change her plans.

Source: ND (Dutch), h/t Allochtonenweblog (Dutch)

See also: Norway: Convert to Christianity denied asylum, counseled to return to Islam, Norway: Christianity to save Afghanis


Anonymous said...

According to Ali Sina, there are practically no real Muslims left in Iran. 40% of the population call themselves Muslim, but only 10% practice Islam actively, and that's in a country where the government pays people with an average per capita income of $1200 to go to the mosque and they also get fed there. I think it was Hugh Fitzgerald who wrote about the overwhelming trend among Iranians to reject Islam on Jihad Watch recently. They seem to be more influenced by the West, plus they knew how much better things were without a fundamentalist Islamic government. Their identity isn't tied up in Islam the way it is with the Arabs or the Pakistanis, who fought a civil war to create a country for Muslims. Anecdotally, I've met many Iranians, and none of them considered themselves to be Muslim and none of them had that pie-eyed, brain-dead, wall-of-narcissism thing going like Muslims and Mormons invariably do. I don't know whether they were less indoctrinated or if they were just too smart to be dragged into the cult. They're perfectly humanized, rather than Arabized. They're not even remotely Arabized like the Pakistanis, who are patently lazy and incapable of assuming any responsibility for their own fates, actions, behaviors, statements, and beliefs. I have a lot of hope for Iran. They hate Ahmedinejad as much as we do. I hope Israel takes him out, since America doesn't have the cojones to do it, except maybe as Bush's last act in office. I doubt he would still be considered the "worst president ever" if he pulled that off. And yes, I love my president and I hope we put another cowboy in the White House in November, because the thought of Nancy Hussein Obama negotiating with terrorists as he has promised to do scares the pee out of me. He hates America more than Ahmedinejad.

Esther said...

Hi jetabler,

Most Arabs in the US are also Christian. Does that mean that most Arabs are Christian?

The journey from Iran to Europe can take months and involve a serious risk to life and limb. The Dutch government is now offering residence to anybody who says 'i converted'. Why shouldn't people jump on the chance?

Do you know how many Iranians discover they're homosexuals in countries which give automatic asylum to Iranian homosexuals? Some of them later marry and have children.