The Netherlands aren’t so gay these days. The European nation, which has a long history of gay-friendly policy, has been rocked by a rise of homophobic attacks.
As Radio Netherlands reports:
In the first half of this year a special phone line received 17 reported cases, a higher figure than for the whole of 2006. It is possible that the number of reports has also increased as awareness of the phone line has grown, but Elly Lust of the Amsterdam police thinks there is more to it than this alone: “For a long time Amsterdam has been the ‘gay capital of the world’, but now that seems to be changing. And of course, it’s something we don’t want to happen.”
The anti-gay trend led gay group COC to suggest startling segregation legislation. Their hair brained scheme, however, takes on racialist tones when you consider that the majority of anti-gay attackers are Moroccan. Why, then, after decades of living peacefully together, have some Moroccans and homos started butting heads?
Gay author Rauf Moussad provides one explanation. He tells RN that many Moroccans feel the brunt of anti-Islamic sentiments, which have been on the rise since controversial politico Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who rallied against Islam’s morality-based legal system. Moussad explains:
They speak Dutch and they’re getting qualifications, but they aren’t part of Dutch society. Yes, with all due respect, they get jobs at supermarket checkouts. But the media is white and all the other prestigious professions are dominated by people with an ethnic Dutch background.
While a reaction against perceived white oppression certainly makes sense, anti-gay Moroccans have also been taking their toll on their “ethnic” peers. RN’s Nicolien den Boer paraphrases:
The young people also develop feelings of hatred towards the society which is excluding them, and hence towards all its typical values, such as tolerance of homosexuality. The increase in attacks on Arab homosexuals is easily explained, says Mr Moussad. They represent these Western values. Furthermore, they are defenceless. They keep their sexual orientation hidden from their families, so they are unlikely to report an assault to the police.
Hopefully some of this will change when Amsterdam hosts August 4th’s gay pride parade, during which the gay cop brigade will be keeping order.
The brigade’s queer code name? “Pink in blue”.