Keep Us Strong WikiLeaks logo

Currently released so far... 5408 / 251,287

Articles

Browse latest releases

Browse by creation date

Browse by origin

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z

Browse by tag

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
QA
YM YI YE

Browse by classification

Community resources

courage is contagious

Viewing cable 06THEHAGUE374, NETHERLANDS/MUSLIM OUTREACH: MISSION SUCCESS

If you are new to these pages, please read an introduction on the structure of a cable as well as how to discuss them with others. See also the FAQs

Understanding cables
Every cable message consists of three parts:
  • The top box shows each cables unique reference number, when and by whom it originally was sent, and what its initial classification was.
  • The middle box contains the header information that is associated with the cable. It includes information about the receiver(s) as well as a general subject.
  • The bottom box presents the body of the cable. The opening can contain a more specific subject, references to other cables (browse by origin to find them) or additional comment. This is followed by the main contents of the cable: a summary, a collection of specific topics and a comment section.
To understand the justification used for the classification of each cable, please use this WikiSource article as reference.

Discussing cables
If you find meaningful or important information in a cable, please link directly to its unique reference number. Linking to a specific paragraph in the body of a cable is also possible by copying the appropriate link (to be found at theparagraph symbol). Please mark messages for social networking services like Twitter with the hash tags #cablegate and a hash containing the reference ID e.g. #06THEHAGUE374.
Reference ID Created Released Classification Origin
06THEHAGUE374 2006-02-17 15:03 2011-01-20 21:09 UNCLASSIFIED//FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY Embassy The Hague
VZCZCXRO1335
PP RUEHAG RUEHDA RUEHDF RUEHFL RUEHIK RUEHKW RUEHLA RUEHLN RUEHLZ
RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHVK RUEHYG
DE RUEHTC #0374/01 0481543
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 171543Z FEB 06
FM AMEMBASSY THE HAGUE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 4866
INFO RUEHZL/EUROPEAN POLITICAL COLLECTIVE
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 THE HAGUE 000374

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

STATE FOR R, EUR, S/CT, INR

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV PINR PHUM KPAO KISL NL
SUBJECT: NETHERLANDS/MUSLIM OUTREACH: MISSION SUCCESS
STORIES

REF: A. A. THE HAGUE 3128 (2005)
B. B. THE HAGUE 2870 (2005)
C. C. THE HAGUE 3331 (2005)

1. (SBU) SUMMARY: In August 2005, Post established an
Integration Issues Working Group (IIWG) to coordinate
outreach and reporting activities related to the Dutch Muslim
community. This approach succeeded in considerably expanding
Embassy The Hague's and Consul General Amsterdam's contacts
in the Dutch Muslim community as well as among government,
academic, and think-tank circles. Mission has also
significantly increased reporting on Dutch Muslim-related
issues. This cable summarizes highlights from the last six
months and describes new opportunities for further mission
outreach. END SUMMARY.

TOP MISSION PRIORITY
--------------------

2. (SBU) In accordance with Washington guidance, mission has
made engaging with the Dutch Muslim community a top priority,
as reflected in the just-completed FY 2008 MPP. Mission
efforts are focused around three prime objectives:
- Improving the image of the United States and U.S. policies
among the increasingly influential -- and largely
anti-American -- Dutch Muslim community;
- Increasing our understanding of issues of concern to the
Dutch Muslim community and similar communities elsewhere in
Europe, including relations with the non-Muslim majority;
- Using the U.S. experience to help foster a productive,
non-confrontational dialogue between Muslim and non-Muslim
Dutch on sensitive issues of integration and civil rights.

COORDINATED APPROACH
--------------------

3. (SBU) Since August 2005, Mission activities in pursuit of
the above goals have been coordinated through biweekly
meetings of the Integration Issues Working Group (IIWG). The
Working Group reports to the Charge d'Affaires, is chaired by
POLCOUNS, and includes representatives from PD, POL, ECON,
FCS, Global, RSO and CG Amsterdam. The Working Group
approach has significantly enhanced the quality and quantity
of mission reporting and outreach by encouraging sections to
share resources, contacts, and experiences while promoting
creative cross-section initiatives.

4. (SBU) Under the direction of the IIWG, mission elements
have taken a number of practical steps to facilitate
coordination, including:
- the creation of a mission-wide calendar of current and
upcoming events related to the Muslim community;
- increased access to the mission's contact data base, and
the creation of specific lists of Muslim and Muslim-related
contacts to which all elements can add names;
- production of a power-point presentation on the Muslim
Community in the Netherlands, which is regularly updated and
to which all sections have access.

5. (SBU) Mission has also benefited from the services of two
long-term TDY personnel (one Presidential Management Intern
followed by a three-month TDY from S/CT) devoted full time to
Muslim community issues. In addition to their own impressive
outreach and reporting efforts, these individuals provided
critical communication and coordination support between
mission elements, and served as a useful first point of
contact and liaison between the mission and the Dutch Muslim
community. Post has proposed in the current MPP establishing
a new IROG position to continue these functions on a more
permanent and ultimately less expensive basis.

REPORTING
---------

6. (SBU) The heightened focus on Muslim issues is reflected
in mission reporting. In the last six months, Embassy The
Hague and ConGen Amsterdam have produced 27 cables related to
Muslim community issues. Of these, only two - The Hague 2651
(2005) and The Hague 2705 (2005), both dealing with Islamic
Extremism -- responded directly to Washington taskings. The
rest, beginning with a broad overview of the Dutch Muslim
community (The Hague 2599 (2005)) were either generated by
post outreach initiatives or responded to specific
developments such as the recent controversy over the Danish
cartoons (The Hague 257, 303, 314, and 357). Other subjects
THE HAGUE 00000374 002 OF 003
covered in post reporting include:
- Dutch legislative efforts to combat radicalism (The Hague
2648, 2793, and 2850 (2005));
- Profiles of prominent Muslims and Muslim organizations
(Amsterdam 720 (2005), The Hague 3277, 3340 (2005) and 308);
- Social/Economic/Political aspects of the integration debate
(The Hague 3008, 3064,3069, 3381 (2005), 141, 149);
- Mission outreach initiatives (The Hague 2587, 3084, 3087,
3128, 3331 (2005), 228).

7. (SBU) Muslim community issues are also prominently
featured in the daily press summary produced by the Public
Diplomacy section, the Political Section's daily Politics in
the Netherlands e-mail, and the Global Section's weekly
e-mail summary of issues. In addition, the Information
Research Center (IRC) has begun to circulate two new products
via e-mail:
- Integration Issues Working Group Alert: a bi-weekly
summary of recently published articles in the Dutch and
international press, with links; and
- Dutch Integration Issues Review: a bi-weekly compilation
of Muslim Community-related stories from the three products
mentioned above.
(Note: Recipients of this cable who wish to be added to the
circulation lists for the above products should e-mail their
requests to ircthehague@state.gov. All products will also
shortly be available at post's SIPRNET site:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eur/thehague/.

OUTREACH
--------

8. (SBU) At the direction of the front office, all mission
elements have made reaching out to the Dutch Muslim community
a top priority and have worked to incorporate outreach goals
into their usual routines. For example, sections have been
encouraged to add Dutch Muslim guests to receptions and other
events whenever possible. Where appropriate, officials
visitors have been encouraged to visit Muslim neighborhoods
and make contact with Dutch Muslim contacts directly. Post
has also taken full advantage of Fulbright grants, IVPs, and
other exchange programs to identify and develop contacts in
the Dutch Muslim community. For example, 5 out of 15 IVPs in
FY 2006 were awarded to Dutch Muslim contacts, and the number
of Fulbright grant applications with non-Dutch last named --
a largely Muslim subset -- rose to 27 during the early
application cycle in September 2005, with one selected;
during the previous application cycle, 0 such applications
were received. Post has programmed two American speakers
with a focus on the Muslim community, and has used occasions
such as Martin Luther King's Birthday and Black History Month
to schedule events with a civil-rights focus of interest to
Dutch Muslims.

9. (SBU) Mission has worked with local Muslim organizations
such as Forum and MEX-it to identify opportunities for
person-to-person contact. During the month of Ramadan, for
example, Embassy the Hague and ConGen Amsterdam actively
participated in a series of events organized by MEX-it,
including 19 Iftar dinners hosted by local Muslim families
(ref a). In November, ConGen Amsterdam hosted an inter-faith
Thanksgiving service in Amsterdam and invited a local Imam.

10. (SBU) Starting in January, 2006, Charge has hosted a
series of themed lunches with 8 - 10 guests on issues
relevant to the Muslim community, which have further expanded
mission contacts as well as reporting opportunities.
Subjects covered to date include:
- Islamic Education in the Netherlands;
- Business/Commercial/Economic Opportunities for Dutch
Muslims;
- Immigrant Participation in Politics;
- Dutch Muslim Media Representatives (2 lunches);
Future lunches are planned on themes including:
- Dutch-Muslim Literary/Cultural Life;
- Outreach to Muslims in Dutch Foreign Policy;
- Muslim Women in the Netherlands;
- Imam-training Programs in the Netherlands

11. (SBU) Since August, mission's list of Muslim and
Muslim-related contacts has increased from 50 to 131 -- and
THE HAGUE 00000374 003 OF 003
is still growing. Mission personnel have participated in
over 85 events since August -- conferences, individual
meetings, speaker programs, etc. -- with a primary focus on
the Dutch Muslim community. Post recently initiated contact
with the largest Muslim high-school in the country, in
Rotterdam, and is exploring ways to expand this relationship
-- for example, by inviting students to visit a U.S. Navy
ship scheduled to call at Rotterdam in March.

12. (SBU) FCS is applying service and outreach programs to
inform Muslim and other Dutch minority audiences about
business opportunities here and in the U.S. For example, FCS
and ECON have facilitated contact between the American
Chamber of Commerce and local Turkish and Moroccan chambers,
and is working to schedule a job fair in conjunction with a
major U.S. placement company to assist minority youth seeking
employment. FCS has also established strong contacts with a
local organization for minority businesswomen.

SUCCESS STORIES
---------------

13. (SBU) While there has been steady progress over the past
six months in improving mission's outreach and reporting
efforts, several cases stand out as clear indicators of
success. These include:
- Amsterdam West: As reported ref c, intensive outreach to
this predominantly Muslim neighborhood in Amsterdam -- home
to Mohammed Bouyeri, the confessed murderer of Theo van Gogh
-- has resulted in a remarkably positive relationship between
local community leaders and mission personnel.
- Iftar Dinner: The Iftar dinner hosted by Charge (ref b)
was video-taped and broadcast on a local cable station
catering to the Dutch-Moroccan community in Amsterdam.
Muslim and non-Muslim contacts continue to cite this event as
a highlight of the Ramadan season; other Embassies (including
from predominantly Muslim countries) have subsequently
declared their intention to host similar events next year.
- IVP Recipients: Mission has had great success in
identifying up-and-coming Dutch Muslim community figures for
IVP programs. A prime example is Hany Abu-Assad, a
Dutch-Palestinian film director whose film, Paradise Now
was just nominated for an Oscar for best foreign language
film. Prominent nominees this year include:
-- Amsterdam Alderman Ahmad Abutaleb, widely considered the
most popular Muslim politician in the country will be an IVP
participant in summer of 2006;
-- Nor-Eddine Ghoudani, chief Editor of Mzine Magazine, was
selected for the Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists
for April, 2006;
-- Two Muslim women members of parliament -- Fadime Orgu and
Khadija Arib -- will participate in IV programs this
spring/summer.
- Most Popular Muslims: In January, 2006, a local website
(www.blijvenhier.nl) published the results of a poll to
identify the most popular Muslims in the country. Of the
24 individuals named, Post was proud to note that 14 were
current mission contacts -- and we are working on the rest.

NEXT STEPS:
----------

14. (SBU) Post plans to take advantage of the arrival of a
new Ambassador in early March to advance our outreach and
reporting activities. The IIWG is currently scheduling
events for Ambassador-designate and Mrs. Arnall which will
bring them in contact with prominent members of the Dutch
Muslim community. Post is also working with the U.S. Navy to
use an upcoming ship visit to Rotterdam to expand contact
with the local Muslim community, hopefully scheduling a
community service project with a local school. In addition,
FCS and the local American Chamber of Commerce are jointly
developing a proposal to provide internships and job training
with American companies (and the U.S. mission) for qualified
minority/Muslim students. Post is also in contact with
Embassy Brussels to explore possibilities for bringing
American and Dutch Muslim community leaders together along
the lines of the very successful conference held in Brussels
in November 2005.
BLAKEMAN