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Viewing cable 05THEHAGUE3381, READOUT OF DAS BRYZA'S DISCUSSIONS WITH THE DUTCH

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Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
05THEHAGUE3381 2005-12-22 07:07 2011-01-20 21:09 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy The Hague
VZCZCXRO3410
OO RUEHFL RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHROV RUEHSR
DE RUEHTC #3381/01 3560741
ZNY CCCCC ZZH
O 220741Z DEC 05
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 4423
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHBS/USEU BRUSSELS PRIORITY 0222
C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 THE HAGUE 003381

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/22/2015
TAGS: PREL PHUM PGOV SOCI KISL NL
SUBJECT: READOUT OF DAS BRYZA'S DISCUSSIONS WITH THE DUTCH
ON MUSLIM INTEGRATION AND RADICALIZATION

REF: A. THE HAGUE 2599
B. THE HAGUE 2651
C. THE HAGUE 3008
D. THE HAGUE 3064

Classified By: Charge D'Affaires Chat Blakeman,
reasons 1.4(b) and (d)

1. (C) SUMMARY. Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew J. Bryza's
recent visit to The Hague featured lively discussion on
integration and counter-radicalization issues currently the
focus of intense debate in the Netherlands. Counterparts from
Dutch Ministries and Dutch Parliament described the
antecedents to the pervasive ethnic tension in the
Netherlands and defined challenges facing integration of the
Muslim community into traditional Dutch society. Dutch
interlocutors shared DAS Bryza's conviction that the
Netherlands must take a leading role in both integrating
Dutch Muslim community members into mainstream Dutch society,
while satisfying second- and third-generation immigrants'
thirst for connection with their families' Islamic cultures.
Though some interlocutors conveyed skepticism that the Muslim
community could integrate into the European model of society,
all counterparts conveyed deep interest in continued dialogue
with the United States in order to fight radicalization. END
SUMMARY.

2. (C) Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Bryza discussed
integration and radicalization of Muslim communities in the
Netherlands with Dutch counterparts on December 13. A
roundtable dialogue with interlocutors from the Ministries of
Foreign Affairs, Internal Affairs, and Justice and separate
meetings with Dutch Parliamentarians yielded insight into the
broad ongoing debate in the Netherlands surrounding efforts
in Dutch public and private sectors to counter extremism and
foster integration of Dutch Muslim communities.

THE DUTCH BEGIN TO EXAMINE WHAT'S UNDER THE CARPET
--------------------------------------------- -------

3. (C) Recent events have given impetus to Dutch interest in
integration and radicalization issues. Peter Knoppe (Dutch
National Counter-Terrorism Board) said that public discussion
on the topics became increasingly polemical after the 2002
assassination of Pim Fortuyn, a Dutch politician known for
his anti-immigration position, and quite harsh after the
murder last December of Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh by a
Muslim extremist. Saskia Tempelman (Policy Officer,
Integration Department, Ministry of Justice) explained that,
as the Dutch scrutinize the cultural progenitors of the
current imbroglio, they begin to realize that the problem is
exacerbated by ignorance -- a majority of native Dutch
think all immigrants to the Netherlands are Muslim when in
fact only 54% are -- and denial. According to Tempelman, a
lot of things (about ethnic tension in the Netherlands) have
been swept under the carpet. Knoppe pointed to a lack of
opportunities for second- and third-generation Dutch Muslims
and the increase in access to extremist Muslim messages via
the internet as the primary origins of ethnic tension
confronting contemporary Dutch society.

4. (C) Dutch counterparts expressed grave concerns that Dutch
Muslim communities are radicalizing at a faster rate than in
Turkey or Morocco. Knoppe said the Government of Morocco has
expressed concern to the GONL that Dutch Moroccan communities
are an extremist threat in Morocco. As discrimination
against Muslims in the Netherlands intensifies, the backlash
in the Muslim community correspondingly increases; Coskun
Coruz (Parliamentarian, Christian Democrats) lamented that
even secular communities of Dutch Muslims are now showing
signs of susceptibility to the lure of radicalization.
Fadime Orgu (Parliamentarian, Social Conservatives) pointed
to what she saw as the hypocrisy of the GONL in
promulgating separation of church and state on the one hand
and subsidizing religious television and radio programming on
the other, and argued that such religious programming
exacerbated tensions between the native Dutch and Dutch
Muslim communities.

THE WAY FORWARD: INTEGRATING DUTCH MUSLIM LEADERSHIP
--------------------------------------------- -------

5. (C) Though heightened focus has fostered greater Dutch
understanding of the integration and radicalization
challenges they face, Dutch policy to address the problems is
nascent. Tempelman acknowledged that that the murder of van
Gogh sped up the process leading to the incipience of Dutch
domestic integration and radicalization policies. Olthof
explained that the Dutch have not yet coordinated
counter-radicalization and recruitment strategies with the
governments of Morocco or Egypt.
THE HAGUE 00003381 002 OF 002

6. (C) Dutch interlocutors shared DAS Bryza's assessment that
the Netherlands faces a dual challenge of integrating the
Dutch Muslim community into mainstream society, while
satisfying second- and third-generation immigrants' thirst
for connection with their families' Islamic cultures.
Maintaining this balance is critical to countering both the
indignation of discrimination and the spiritual alienation
that allow radical messages espoused by internet imams to
take root in Dutch Muslim youth. Counterparts agreed that an
education program for Dutch Imams is essential to this
strategy. Coruz indicated that the CMO, the umbrella
organization which claims to represent 80% of Dutch Muslims,
recently signed a gentlemen's agreement with the GONL to
institutionalize a pedagogic process for Muslim theology
students in the Netherlands that would feature an
introductory period of a few years of general religious
training followed by a few more years of focused training in
Islam, under the tutelage of moderate Muslim instructors.
Dutch Muslims of Turkish descent, however, refused to sign
the agreement. Coruz explained that the Turkish Government's
Directorate of Religious Affairs (or Diyanet), which
administers mosques and regulates the practice of Islam in
Turkey, seeks to (and succeeds in) exerting political
influence over the Turkish-Dutch community, encouraging
Turkish-Dutch Muslims to retain cultural connections with
Turkey. Coruz and Orgu underscored the importance to
integration efforts of convincing the Turkish-Dutch community
that Dutch concepts of freedom of religion do not impinge on
the contemporary Turkish secularist ideology and urged the
U.S. to assist Dutch integration efforts by encouraging the
Diyanet to soften its efforts to exert political influence
over Turkish-Dutch Muslims. DAS Bryza suggested that
adapting the Turkish Diyanet's model of moderate Islam could
be helpful to efforts to train moderate Dutch Imams. Though
Orgu thought the idea had merit, Tempelman indicated that the
proposal faces a number of obstacles. Tempelman said the
Diyanet currently proscribes training of its Imams outside
Turkey and underscored that the Dutch do not want foreign
governments exercising control over Dutch minorities.

IS THERE A PLACE FOR MUSLIMS AT THE DUTCH TABLE?
--------------------------------------------- ---

7. (C) Some Dutch counterparts intimated that endeavors to
integrate Muslims into traditional Dutch society may be
futile: Henk Jan Ormel (Parliamentarian, Christian Democrats)
-- the only native Dutch Parliamentarian with whom DAS
Bryza spoke -- confided that he believed the prospect of
Turkish EU membership was the foremost reason that the Dutch
voted on October 3 against adopting the EU Constitution.
Ormel asserted that the roots of Europe are in Christianity,
not Islam, adding, European history has in fact been
defined against Islam. Though Marnix Krop (Director General
for European Cooperation, MFA) indicated that since the
October 3 referendum a majority of Dutch have begun to favor
Turkish membership in the EU, Ormel doubted that there had
been any genuine change in the Dutch electorate's minds other
than a cooling of tempers on the subject.

8. (C) DAS Bryza reacted warmly to Dutch solicitations for
U.S. cooperation. He promised to share a paper he is
currently writing after revising it pursuant to his
consultations with Dutch interlocutors.
9. (U) DAS Bryza has cleared this cable.
BLAKEMAN