Facebook Twitter Linkedin Google Plus Tell a Friend
Home| Columns| Features| International| In Dutch| Dictionary| What's On| Jobs| Housing| Expats| Blogs| Books
««« previousnext »»»

Minister dismisses 'halal homes' fears

Sunday 25 November 2012

Home affairs minister Ronald Plasterk told a television programme on Sunday he has no problem with housing corporations renovating homes and taking the wishes of Muslim tenants into account.

Plasterk was responding to a report in Parool newspaper on Saturday which said 188 apartments in western Amsterdam had been adapted to meet the wishes of Muslims, with a special cupboard for storing shoes and an extra tap for 'ritual cleansing'.

'They've taken some of the wishes of residents into account. There is nothing wrong with that,' Plasterk told the show. 'But you should not build homes which non-Muslims would not want to live in.'

The paper described the flats as ‘halal homes’ and placed great emphasis on the fact dividing doors could be used to close off the large kitchen and that a hall meant women could avoid meeting male visitors.

The housing corporation, Eigen Hard, said the complex is completely mixed. The properties had been renovated to make sure they could be rented out and some are also lived in by students and people with a handicap, the corporation said.

What do you think? Use the comment box below.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

Is there anything to think? Anyone should be free on decorating, renovating their own house. I don't get it.

By Chan Chur | 25 November 2012 8:38 PM

Preposterous! I worship Disco Goddess, so I demand a disco apartment, with mirror balls & lasers in every room, a smoke machine and real sound insulation so I can play music really loud, and a fabulous raised dancefloor. Halal Homes. Just as ridiculous as Halal Shrimp packet noodles!

By Anne Onymous | 25 November 2012 11:46 PM

Labelling a house "halal" ,just because someone wants a shoes cupboard or an extra tap is absurd. I want an extra tap in my flat as well to fill the mop bucket and empty it easily, but that doesn't mean my flat would become "halal".
I agree with Chan's comment, it's just a matter of renovation, so just call it that!
@Anonymous, I have been to houses where they have put some disco lights in one room just to have fun. Nobody tells them how ridiculous it looks, so you are free to put as many lights as you want, as long as you don't disturb anyone else.

By Ahmed | 26 November 2012 9:45 AM

What's the problem? An extra fawcett and a separate space for shoes? I live in Sweden, where almost everyone takes off their shoes when entering any apartment. An extra box for them would come in handy. This is just as diversionary trivial as the hand shaking nonsense. I was annoyed when I moved into a. "Modern" flat in Amsterdam, and noticed that the housing firm was too cheap to hide some pipes within the walls. Quite unsightly. Zuinigheid vs Halal? Hoe een klein land kleingeestig kan zijn.

By Husserl | 26 November 2012 10:04 AM

Coming from Middle east and all.. I should sympathsize with the muslims .. but seriously I dont want my tax money to customize some people's homes because they want to avoid male visitors or whatever and there are cheap shoe shelves in IKEA ..why do I have to pay for it?I am with you Anne.

By T | 26 November 2012 10:19 AM

Its interesting how the Dutch are sensitive to the religious needs of Islam. One has to wonder if Protestants % Catholics demanded places for statues, shelves etc, small alters, holy water taps and pulpits would, the housing association refuse because, they do not cater for the religious housing requirements of Christians. But, the dividing doors to avoid meeting the wife, would work quite well at a certain time of the month. I will be forwarding my requests to my housing association forthwith.

By Eutopia | 26 November 2012 10:33 AM

'Thought 'ritual cleansing' had something to do with taxation, and encouraging the segregation of men & women is just weed pass nonsense! what's that motto again, 'working together' ?

By The visitor | 26 November 2012 12:17 PM

I'm Wiccan and no one cares about my religious needs for housing! I need a large garden area for ritual space with access to air, fire, water and soil. I also need to be able to be naked outside, so good privacy fencing is a must.

By Aggie Janicot | 26 November 2012 12:19 PM

I'm a Muslim and have never heard of "Halal homes" in my life! People can arrange the interior of their home whichever way they want. If a certain apartment doesn't suit a family then they simply look for another that does. Same for everyone with different needs.
I don't get why this is such a big deal that it requires the ministry's attention.

By JH | 26 November 2012 2:01 PM

What a shame that this xenophobic news-item (apparently all the fuss is about an extra cupboard and a tap that the residents wanted) comes from Het Parool - which was the resistance newspaper during Nazi collaborationist times... and yet to call it 'halal' homes blatantly pandering to anti-Muslim sentiments... what a shame.

By Johannes | 26 November 2012 4:27 PM

Fully agree with Anne Onymous, why not divide the house up and make it just 1 big Disco. The dividing wall separating the males from the females is quite a good idea, so when they are thinking of what program to watch on TV they do not need to fight over it.

By almorr | 26 November 2012 4:42 PM

Dear Aggie Janicot

I am certain that some of the male Dutch News readers would be generous enough to allow you the regular use of their garden area for ritual space with access to air, fire, water and soil?

By Utopia | 26 November 2012 5:14 PM

New houses in the Netherlands are still being built with only one toilet and bathroom, no hall cupboard for shoes and coats, no soundproofing between rooms, pipes exposed, open staircases, popcorn paint splattered over bare concrete ceilings and walls, cardboard doors and toilets without windows. They may call the addition of a hall, hall storage and an extra tap "Halal", I see it as the basic first step towards improving something that hasn't been modernised for half a century. Stop complaining! Lets hope that further improvements occur, even if they have to sell it as kosher, christian, hindi, zen, antipodean, garlic-eater whatever.

By jaycee | 26 November 2012 7:12 PM

Just a marketting gimmick and a chance for ignorants to make more of it than it is. Go the Muslim world and see if houses are specially made - they are not. You get a shell and you put in what you want.

As for comments about the interest of Protestants, Catholics or even Wiccans - the difference is that the vocal Muslim crowd here pushes demands and gets them, those that do not care and do not ask get, well to be honest, are not heard.

Let us not make more of it than the subject deservers, it only brings the bigotry out and we have enough of that already.

By DC | 26 November 2012 7:15 PM

if halal house means there is an extra water facet/taop in the toilette around the seat i am for it.

in some countries (e.g. US), those seats are luxirious because they make people feel cleaner!

By dork | 27 November 2012 8:19 AM

@yajcee: so you won't buy any of those not changed in half a century houses? why not?

Man you nailed it. Well said!

By dork | 27 November 2012 1:34 PM

Newsletter| RSS| Advertising| Business services| Mobile| Friends| Privacy| Contact| About us| Tell a Friend
Apartments for rent Rondvaart - Amsterdam