Who, actually, are the Dutch Moroccans about whom Dutch MP Geert Wilders recently stated: "The fewer, the better"?
During the 1960's, the Netherlands chose to attract migrant workers to perform low-skilled manual labor. This group included Turks, Spaniards, Portuguese and Moroccans. It was never the original intent of the Dutch government permanently to settle these workers; they were expected to return to their home countries after a few years.
In most instances, they did not. Family reunification laws -- derived from the European Treaty of Human Rights article 8: Right to family life -- provided that migrant workers had the right to bring their families to the Netherlands and settle in a permanent manner.
Moroccans now number 393,000 (p.37), comprise 2.3% of the Dutch population and are the sixth-largest ethnic minority.
The majority of Dutch Moroccans, descended from migrant workers, ethnically belong to the group of Moroccan Berbers. A minority of Dutch Moroccans are ethnically Arab Moroccans. Only 6.5% of current Dutch Moroccans came as migrant workers; around 49% were born in the Netherlands; the remaining group, nearly half, entered the country as a part of family reunification.
Wilders is now pressing charges against the Dutch Labour Party leader Diederik Samson and Labour Party Chairman Hans Spekman, who said, "Moroccans have an ethnic monopoly on street crime" and "Moroccans that will not abide by the law, must be humiliated in front of their own people."
Wilders says: "If lady justice is truly blind, she will prosecute all of us or none of us. I hope none of us."
Dutch member of parliament Geert Wilders.
What have these Moroccans done to maneuver both Wilders and even Labour Party leaders Samson and Spekman to such harsh language? The answer is: quite a lot. It is important, however, strongly to emphasize that of course, there are many law abiding, integrated and successful Moroccans; the following is not about them.
At the forefront is the extremely high percentage of involvement of many Dutch Moroccans in criminal activities.
65% of all Moroccan male youths between 12-23 years of age have been detained by police at least once. One third of this group has been detained five or more times. Moroccan criminals are convicted four times more than Dutch suspects.
To illustrate the problem, this video clip (07:38), for instance, depicts a Moroccan street gang that terrorizes the neighborhood and asks pedestrians to pay a toll in order to pass. Its local rap group boasts about its defiance of, and supremacy over, the law -- an event all too common in the author's town of Delft.
Dutch Moroccan street thugs also frequently gang up on isolated girls to rob, harass or hurt them -- assaults that are mostly not caught on film and only very rarely reported in English language media, but can, for instance, be seen here (2:40). A detail worth emphasizing is that they always attack non-Muslim girls.
A more recent development is the pending Dutch Moroccan takeover of the drugs and human trafficking businesses.
Many Dutch Moroccan youths also seem to have a tendency toward racism, especially against Jews, and are noticeable for their anti-Semitism. The sociologist Mark Elchardus published a series of studies in 2011 that shows half of all Muslim students, most of them Moroccans, in Brussels, Antwerp and Ghent, to be anti-Semitic. Here you can see a Dutch Moroccan, wearing the characteristic imitation-fur collar jacket, proudly stating, "The Jews must be exterminated," and "When I see them, I immediately want to stab them." Here (0:50) and here, you can see Moroccans performing a Nazi salute when a Jewish man greets them, while they shout "Jew!" and "Cancer Jew!" The last is a distinctively Dutch form of cursing, highly popular among Dutch Moroccans.
This racism, however, is not always confined to targeting Jews. Two years ago, five Moroccan men assaulted a 26-year-old pregnant Moroccan female, who was walking down the street with her (black) Surinamese partner. The men shouted "Nigger-whore" at her. As a result of the attack, the baby died.
14% (p.67) of all working age Dutch Moroccans live off welfare and have their housing and healthcare heavily subsidized by Dutch taxpayers. Child support checks, payments for special needs children, and survivor benefits are also being paid to adults and children who have a Dutch passport or whose parents have a Dutch passport, even after they have gone back to Morocco and now live there.
Dutch taxpayers also not only continue to cover the social security checks of legally Dutch Moroccans now living in Morocco, but the payments are aligned with the Dutch living standard. Morocco is familiar with poverty and deprivation. There, one Euro is worth 11 Moroccan Dirham. As one might imagine, welfare fraud is not uncommon.
Even though Moroccan street thugs do not behave as devout Muslims and often have little knowledge of their religion and its traditions, they nevertheless strongly identify themselves as Muslims, and often share the political worldview of their Islamist counterparts.
The only authority they seemingly do respect is religious in nature: the imam. The relationship between religious Dutch Moroccans and their criminal non-religious counterparts however, is more complex and less innocent than that.
Highly religious Moroccan youths, however, are not street thugs. As Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte has repeatedly stated, they are "no problem at all."