Friday, May 31, 2013

Dutch School Drops Plan For Holocaust Memorial Because of Muslim Unrest


The Paul Kruger High School in The Hague, Netherlands, has an interesting history.

Before WWII, the building was the site of the Joodsch Lyceum, a Jewish high school.After the Nazis came, it became a Christian school and a refuge during the Holocaust for Jewish children forced to leave their other schools because of Nazi persecution.

The school had made plans to put up a memorial plaque for Jewish children murdered during the Holocaust, something that would have been a no brainer 15 years or so ago. But things have changed.

Last week, the Dutch De Telegraaf daily reported that the school was forced to drop the plan because of fears of the reaction a Holocaust plaque would cause from some members of Schilderswijk’s sizable Muslim population. A sign advertising a Holocaust commemoration event and a retrospect of the school’s Jewish history at the school also had to be placed inside the building for the same reason, according to what Anat Harel, a co-organizer of the event told De Telegraaf.

According to one of the teachers, Muslims living in the neighborhood argued that memorial would be unacceptable and threatened to deface it if it was erected.

The school, of course was anxious to defuse the tension. Gerard Brasjen, a spokesman for the Paul Kruger School, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that the Christian-affiliated school’s board decided not to go ahead with the memorial “not because of the Jewish-Muslim issue but because it may not be wise in the neighborhood, which is not a peaceful place.”

I'm hardly surprised at that assessment. Earlier this month, Schilderswijk became national news after Die Trouw Dutch newspaper reported that part of the neighborhood had become a “Sharia triangle”, a no go area that police only enter in large armed bands.

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