Saturday 28 May 2022

Hague riot ‘unacceptable’, city council in panic, mayor on holiday

The riot in The Hague last weekend is ‘unacceptable’ and the city council must take action, justice minister Ivo Opstelten said on Tuesday.

The riot broke out in the Schilderswijk district when around 150 Muslim youngsters began an illegal protest, blocking the route of the legal Freedom March against Muslim radicals and the IS (formerly ISIS) terror group.

The situation on the streets of the Schilderswijk has remained turbulent since the Sunday riot, with young men throwing stones and fireworks at the police.

‘Freedom to demonstrate is a great thing, but it should never lead to sowing hatred, discrimination and violence,’ Opstelten said in a reaction.

Frozen

It is not the first time trouble has broken out in the area and the city council seems to be frozen with panic, the Telegraaf reports.

Mayor Jozias van Aartsen, who has previously been criticised for his lack of action, is on holiday and refusing to return early, and there has been no statement from the council, the paper says.

The various parties on the city council are calling for Van Aartsen’s resignation or protecting their members, according to the Telegraaf.

The party leader of the Liberal left-wing D66 told the paper: ‘We have to find a good way of dealing with this situation. Take a careful look at what more we can do after the holidays.’

Problems

The list of problems in this district of the ‘international city of freedom and law’ includes the harassment of psychiatric patients, fans of ISIS who dream of a caliphate in the area and anti-semitism, the paper says.

In early 2013, Trouw claimed the Schilderswijk district was so dominated by orthodox Muslims they are dictating what people should wear and how they should behave. The claims were denied by police and local politicians.

Just last month, Van Aartsen was urged to get tough on anti-Jewish demonstrators after people were heard chanting ‘death to Jews’ at a pro-Gaza rally.

 

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