Forty percent of Moroccan immigrants in the Netherlands between the ages of 12 and 24 have been arrested, fined, charged or otherwise accused of committing a crime during the past five years, according to a new report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Interior.
In Dutch neighborhoods where the majority of residents are Moroccan immigrants, the youth crime rate reaches 50%. Moreover, juvenile delinquency among Moroccans is not limited to males; girls and young women are increasingly involved in criminal activities.
The "Dutch-Moroccan Monitor 2011" also reveals that most of the Moroccan youth involved in criminal activities were born in Holland. This implies that the children of Moroccan immigrants are not integrating into Dutch society, and confirms that the Netherlands is paying dearly for its failed multicultural approach to immigration.
The report, which was produced by the Rotterdam Institute for Social Policy Research (Risbo) at the Erasmus University Rotterdam, examines the extent and nature of crime among the Dutch-Moroccan population in 22 municipalities in the Netherlands. The data were taken from the Herkenningsdienstsysteem (HKS), a nationwide database where the Dutch police register criminal suspects.
So who is to blame for the failure of Moroccans to integrate into Dutch society and the attendant epidemic of Moroccan youth criminality?
According to Dutch journalist Fleur Jurgens in her book, "The Moroccan Drama" (Het Marokkanendrama), the blame lies with two groups: the Moroccans, who say the Dutch are responsible for their circumstances, and leftwing multiculturalists, who have portrayed Moroccans as the defenseless victims of an unfair society.
Jurgens convincingly demolishes four multicultural myths that have been built up over the years, and which have prevented the implementation of lasting solutions.
The first myth is that there is no Moroccan problem. Jurgens answers this myth with the following statistics: over 60% of Moroccan youths between 17 and 23 drop out of school without even a basic qualification; Moroccan youth unemployment in the Netherlands is around 40%; more than 60% of Moroccan males between ages 40 and 64 live on Dutch social welfare benefits.
The second myth is that Moroccans turn to crime because the Dutch labor market discriminates against them. Jurgens refutes this by pointing out that immigrants from many countries are working in the Netherlands.
The third myth is that Moroccan parents cannot control the conduct of their sons because it is not part of their culture. Jurgens disproves this claim by showing that many Moroccan girls complain about the intense social control they face from their parents.
The fourth myth is that the Netherlands has a moral debt to the Moroccan immigrants because they were recruited as "guest workers" by the Dutch in Morocco. Jurgens refutes this argument by showing that not only was such recruitment stopped in 1973, but that at least half of the Moroccans who were recruited as guest workers eventually returned to Morocco. The present population is almost entirely made up of Moroccans who immigrated to the Netherlands on their own initiative for economic reasons.
In January 2009, the Dutch central government signed an agreement with 22 so-called "Moroccan municipalities," home to the highest numbers of Moroccan juvenile delinquents. Over the past four years, these 22 municipalities received €32 million ($43 million) through a government program called "Moroccan Youth at Risk." Far from reducing delinquency, however, the crime rates in many of these municipalities have increased.
In most cases, the municipalities failed to implement plans for tackling youth criminality in their areas because local politicians feared reprisals from Moroccans.
The government also hired so-called "family coaches" whose job it was to interact with families with delinquent children, as well as "street coaches" who were to counsel youth on the street.
As it turned out, these trainers were more committed to preserving multiculturalism than preventing crime; many of the coaches dedicated their time to helping Moroccan youth find ways to avoid paying the fines and penalties incurred by their criminal behavior.
Jurgens concludes that Moroccan parents are to blame for the antisocial behavior of their children by teaching them at a young age to hate the Dutch and abhor their society.
Dutch politician Geert Wilders has taken Jurgens' analysis one step further by arguing that Moroccans are not integrating because they do not want to. He has told Parliament that Moroccans are in the Netherlands not to integrate but rather to "subjugate the Dutch and to rule over them." He said: "They happily accept our dole, houses and doctors, but not our rules and values."
The Dutch government now says it will abandon the long-standing model of multiculturalism that has encouraged Moroccans and other Muslim immigrants to create a parallel society within the Netherlands.
The Netherlands is home to around 350,000 so-called Dutch-Moroccans (Moroccan immigrants to Holland and their descendants), or around 2% of the total Dutch population of 16.4 million. More than half of Dutch-Moroccans are second-generation.
The Dutch municipality with the highest incidence of Moroccan juvenile delinquency is the southern city of Den Bosch, where Moroccans make up approximately 10% of the total population, and where 47.7% Moroccan males under the age of 24 have had a run-in with the law during the past five years.
Den Bosch is followed by the city of Zeist in central Netherlands (47.3%), Gouda (46.3%), Veenendaal (44.9%) and Amersfoort (44.6%). The numbers for the municipalities of Den Haag, Ede, Leiden, Maassluis, Nijmegen, Oosterhout, Schiedam and Utrecht are also over 40%.
The study also reveals that Moroccan youth are substantially overrepresented (compared to other immigrant groups, such as Antilleans or Turks, or native Dutch) in every stage of the Dutch criminal justice system. In the Netherlands as a whole, Moroccan youth are overrepresented by 196%. In Den Hague, the overrepresentation rate is 150%; in Amsterdam it is 142% and in Rotterdam it is 135%.
In nine of the 22 municipalities, however, the overrepresentation is greater than 300%. In Ede, a town in the center of the Netherlands, the overrepresentation is 481%; in Den Bosch it is 372%, in Veenendaal it is 368% and in Zeist it is 356%.
This data complements the conclusions of a classified report, "Analysis of Moroccan Criminal Populations of Municipalities in the Netherlands," conducted by the Dutch national police (KLPD) in 2009, and leaked to the media in March 2010. The report examines 14,462 Moroccan criminals in 181 Dutch municipalities.
It reveals that in absolute numbers, Amsterdam has the most Moroccan criminals (2,497), followed by Rotterdam (1,798) and Den Haag (1,271). When taking into account recidivism, the western Dutch city of Gouda has the biggest Moroccan crime problem, followed by Utrecht and Den Haag.
The report also shows the percentage of Moroccans among the total number of arrested criminals: Gouda leads with 31%, followed by Utrecht (23.7%) and Culemborg (22.6%).
A separate study makes a direct link between criminality in the Netherlands and Muslim immigration. Entitled "Criminality, Migration and Ethnicity," it was published in June 2010 by the Amsterdam-based Journal of Criminology.
The authors of the study identified everyone who was born in the Netherlands since 1984, and tracked their criminal records until age 22. They found that in the Netherlands as a whole, 50% of Moroccan males committed a crime before they turned 22, and that one in three are repeat offenders with more than five incidents on their police records; this compares to 23% for the native Dutch. The authors also found that Moroccan girls commit three times as many crimes as native Dutch girls.
Taken together, all of this data shows that efforts by the Dutch government to tackle Moroccan youth criminality have failed.
A new integration bill (covering letter and 15-page action plan), which Dutch Interior Minister Piet Hein Donner presented to parliament in June, reads: "The government shares the social dissatisfaction over the multicultural society model and plans to shift priority to the values of the Dutch people. In the new integration system, the values of the Dutch society play a central role. With this change, the government steps away from the model of a multicultural society."
The new integration policy will place more demands on immigrants, who will be required to learn Dutch. The government has also promised to take a tougher approach toward immigrants who ignore Dutch values or disobey Dutch law.
Is it all too little too late? Many native Dutch seem to think so.
Since 2004, when the Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was assassinated by a 26-year-old Dutch-Moroccan, tens of thousands of native Dutch have moved to other countries in search of a better life. During the first six months of 2011 alone, 58,000 people have left the Netherlands. According to Statistics Netherlands, the increase in emigrants is largely due to native Dutch leaving the country to settle elsewhere.
The trend is picking up steam.
Soeren Kern is Senior Fellow for Transatlantic Relations at the Madrid-based Grupo de Estudios Estratégicos / Strategic Studies Group. Follow him on Facebook.