MPs will this evening take part in a debate called by the anti-immigration PVV to discuss the ‘Moroccan problem’, as it is officially described in parliamentary papers.
The PVV gathered enough support for the debate in the wake of the death of football linesman Richard Nieuwenhuizen last year. He was attacked by youth players from a team of largely immigrant youngsters from Amsterdam and died in hospital a day later.
MPs were quick to distance themselves from the official title of the debate to Nos television. Social affairs minister Lodewijk Asscher said that while there are some problems with Moroccans, there is no such thing as a ‘Moroccan problem’ as the PVV states.
‘We have a problem with a large group of Moroccan youngsters and this needs to be solved,’ Asscher said. ‘But I do not consider it sensible to make every Moroccan in the Netherlands responsible for that problem.’
‘The term ‘Moroccan problem’ gives the impression there is a problem with an entire population group, that their origin is an issue,’ said Labour MP Keklik Yucel. ‘I distance myself from this position.’
‘There is no Moroccan problem in the Netherlands but you do see that Moroccan-Netherlanders have considerable contact with the police. You must not walk away from debating this,’ VVD parliamentarian Melik Azmani told the broadcaster.
Figures from the government’s socio-cultural think tank SCP last year said 65% of Dutch-Moroccan youths under the age of 23 have been questioned by police. However, it is unknown how many of them were actually convicted of a crime.
Last month, researchers from Tilburg University said children of Moroccan origin are three times as likely as white Dutch children to be hit and physically abused by their parents.
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