The Hague’s mayor Jozias van Aartsen and a local housing corporation have pledged to take action against a group of white residents in a working class neighbourhood who are bullying immigrants until they leave.
The Duindorp neighbourhood, a pre-war neighbourhood close to Scheveningen harbour, hit the headlines this week after locals appeared on television saying they saw nothing wrong in trying to drive out foreigners.
‘My son has been waiting for a house in Duindorp for four years and then along comes a burqa with a man who has a dromedary and a camel. They get one within a week. Get lost. We don’t want them here,’ one man, Nico den Heijer, said on camera.
Immigrants have complained about having their windows smashed and swasticas painted on the walls of their home, local housing corporation Vestia said.
One family found a pig’s head had been nailed to their door ‘because they had the cheek to come and live here’, the AD reports.
Housing corporation officials who show prospective new tenants around have also been threatened so seriously the police have been informed, the AD says on Friday.
A Turkish bakery close by was also set on fire last weekend and the owner suspects a racist motive.
Local Peter de Bruijn, described as a large, bald man in a jogging suit by the AD, told the paper Duindorp residents all know each other from school. ‘It is a big group of friends, we leave our doors open and nothing ever happens between us,’ he said. ‘But if the foreigners move in, then the problems start.’
Not all locals are opposed to foreigners moving in, but those that have defended them in the past are reluctant to talk to the press because of local repercussions, the AD says.
The Hague’s mayor, police and Vestia are now trying to work out how to deal with the situation. Van Aartsen says he will not tolerate the situation: ‘not in Duindorp, not in Scheveningen, nowhere in the city.’
Local politicians have also expressed their concern at the situation. ‘There is nothing the matter with sentiment but we cannot tolerate the use of violence against other population groups,’ city councillor Richard de Mos, a former MP for Geert Wilders’ PVV, told local broadcaster Omroep West.
Labour MP Ahmed Marcouch has asked justice minister Ivo Opstelten to make a statement on the issue and urged Wilders to condemn events in the village.
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