Dutch tolerance, just when I thought it was as dead as disco, out of blue it makes a grand return! Which brings me to the subject of today’s post, the uitzwaaidag Islam, Dutch tolerance strikes back!
Another day another uitzwaaidag event
If social media had existed during the time of the NSDAP (Nazi party) things would have been so much easier. There would have been no need for media such as Der Sturmer , instead, Goebbels and his propaganda machine could simply have used Facebook to create pages such as Deutschland mein Vaterland, and of course they could have arranged uitzwaaidag events for people they hated.
Fast forward to 2016, and what do we have? The far right movement in the Netherlands has a Facebook page called Nederland mein Vaderland. Which they of course claim has nothing to do with racism or intolerance, yet it has wonderful messages such as the image below.
The right wing obsession with uitzwaaien
Uitzwaaien, means to send away. Or to wave goodbye. Earlier this year a couple of PVV (the party of Geert Wilders) supporters, got together and created an event on Facebook for the deportation of a lady who dared to be black while criticising Zwarte Piet. This event quickly went viral, with thousands of people signing up to attend. It was so full of hate speech, that even Mark (jellyfish) Rutte, the Dutch Prime Minister, criticised both the event, and its organisers.
Some of the ‘tolerant’ folks that made comments on the event page, such as wishing Sylvana Simons to be gassed in a concentration camp, may face prosecution under Dutch anti-discrimination law.
The Uitzwaaidag Islam event
Another uitzwaaidag event has been created. Planned for March 15th 2017, is an event at Schiphol to wave goodbye to all Muslims. The organiser, Sonya Bethare, is one of the intellectual giants of our time. Just read the quotes below taken from her description of the event.
“De islam is een intolerante ideologie die niet thuishoort in het Westen”
Islam is an intolerant ideology that doesn’t belong in the west
‘Wij zeggen NEE tegen deze haatcultuur en zwaaien graag de Islam en consorten uit op 15 maart 2017. Doe jij mee?’
We say NO to this hate culture and will happily wave Islam and its consorts out of the country on March 15th. Are you taking part?
I’m impressed by her logic, which seeks to fight alleged intolerance, with…..more intolerance. Sonya, is a member of the PVV, a party that claims to love the Netherlands, but apparently not its constitution which guarantees freedom of religion.
Dutch tolerance strikes back
Thousands of people have signed up to attend the uitzwaaidag Islam event. I was expecting a repeat of the Sylvana Simons event page, with a deluge of hate filled comments, but for the first time in recent memory, the Shallow Man was wrong. 😉 Instead of hate, an incredible thing happened. Lots of native Dutch people (and a certain shallow expat) have joined with Muslims in ridiculing the event. Humor is being used in response to a clear incitement to hatred.
For example, in the above post, Alexis de Roode says the following:
‘Until now I wasn’t a Muslim, but there are so many nice people going on this group journey that I’ve got hold of a copy of the Koran. I’m going to read it immediately, so count me in! Thank you Sonya. (Tip: I’ve never been to Indonesia!)’
Dutch Tolerance, welcome back, do stick around
The event page is full of witty comments from both Muslim and non-muslim Nederlanders. Even the heart of a bitter cynic like me was moved, to see people called Maike, Jeroen and even Anouk, using sarcasm and outright brilliant humor to make a fool of the event organiser. She is no doubt shocked and upset to see her hate event turned into one of the most amusing pages on Facebook.
The event actually does promise a free trip out of the country, so I’ve asked that if I convert to Islam on the 14th of March, whether I’d qualify for a trip out of the Netherlands to my destination of choice, Montego Bay, Jamaica. After all, the purpose of the event is to send Muslims out of the country, it doesn’t actually say where to.
Final words on the uitzwaaidag Islam event
The beautiful irony of the uitzwaaidag Islam event is that instead of fanning the flames of bigotry, it has actually, brought people of different faiths (or none) together. Yes it’s only virtual, but it’s a great start, and a slap in the face for the PVV and it’s bigoted followers. Even though statistically speaking, we are talking about a tiny percentage of the Dutch population, it’s still wonderful to know that there are many people out there that are smart enough to reject hate with humor.
In the past I’ve certainly highlighted the gaps between the Dutch self image of tolerance, and reality, but in this case, I’m happy to be proved wrong and see Dutch tolerance striking back.
No bigoted event organisers were hurt during the writing of this post
Till next time, hou je kop!