Sun 21 Dec 2008
Building the World State I. Amsterdam Mayor Job Cohen: Immigration and Multiculture Yardsticks of Success.
Speech of Mayor Job Cohen on the occasion of the opening of the 4th ASEM Interfaith Dialogue Conference on Wednesday 4th of June 2008 at the Okura Hotel in Amsterdam. (Transcript will follow)
Ladies and gentlemen,
It is an honour and a pleasure to be here today at the Okura Hotel for the opening ceremony of the 4th ASEM Interfaith Dialogue Conference.
On behalf of the city and the people of Amsterdam I want to extent a warm welcome to you all, the ASEM partners consisting of delegations from Asian countries and the countries of the European Union.
Amsterdam is the capital ( the largest city) of the Netherlands. It is home to 745.000 people, and 174 different foreign nationalities. That makes us one of the most divers and multi-cultural cities in the world today.
In 20 years, in 2028, so called ethnic minorities will make up more than half of Amsterdam’s population, although by then most of the people of foreign origin will have the Dutch nationality. Even now, in Amsterdam 72% of the population has the Dutch nationality.
Due to migration the city of Amsterdam is home to most major religions of the world. Under the Constitution and the laws of the Netherlands all existing religions in our city have the freedom to express their religion openly and free from government involvement. Yesterday you had a taste of Amsterdam’s religious diversity when you had the opportunity to visit different religious sites in the city.
Sometimes in modern European societies, the presence of foreigners and their differing faiths and religions are seen as a problem. It is my conviction that there is another way to look at the phenomenon. In Amsterdam we see the migration to our city as one of the consequences of being a dynamic,
wealthy and attractive
Theo van Gogh was murdered by a Muslim, Muhammed Bouyeri, in Amsterdam: shooting and throat cut
Clearly, the city is a magnet: it has something to offer to thousands of people from all over the world. Amsterdam is widely perceived as a dynamic, wealthy, well functioning society, presenting opportunities for many, many people. Such a city attracts migrants and this may be true also the other way around: migration leads to a dynamic, culturally and economically diverse society. So, in the not so far future we might come to see migration as a yardstick for the success of our cities and societies, although of course all those different cultures together on a small peace of land also cause problems.
But in the end, the challenge for our societies is not the question how to find ways to stop migration to our parts of the world, but the question is how to have a society in which all these different peoples, and the religions professed by them, live peaceful together. In order to do that modern, secular, societies among other things must find a way to deal with religion – and vice versa.
That statement may come as a surprise for those of you who know that I am a pragmatic social-democratic politician, without religious affiliation or beliefs. Nevertheless, as mayor of the biggest city in the Netherlands for the past 7 years, I have come to the conclusion that religion is a significant factor in the politics of our times.
In order to play a credible role in politics in the 21st century every politician and every political movement has to ask how to relate themselves to religion as a political factor. This means more than looking beyond current horizons to different religions and their believers: it is also a process of reflection about the moral foundations and objectives of society itself.
What are the goals a society wants to achieve? How and with whom does it want to achieve it? What is good, and what is morally less or even wrong in a pluralistic society and why? In other words, it’s a moral assessment
In order to make that assessment, we must always remember that the secular and the religious have many things in common and a lot to gain from each other.
What they have in common for example is the quest for a just society. A just society in which terms like “solidarity’, “equality”, “justice”, “compassion” and “responsibility” are central. That may be the point of intersection where they can extend a hand to each other. Extending a hand implies that political parties and the government recognise that religions (and philosophies like humanism) are partners in working on a just society. It also means that a renewed debate will arise, indeed must arise, about the significance to be attributed to these concepts in our post-modern era – a debate that has yet to gather momentum.
Necessary conditions for conducting such a debate are:
First of all: A secular state – for only a secular state creates the space required for the plurality of the various philosophical, religious and political movements that is the hallmark of modern society.
• space for the positive elaboration of the constitutional freedom of religion (and non-religious conviction), in the sense that this constitutional freedom is not defined only as the right not to be harassed by the government or by others, be they well-meaning or malicious, but also as the right for a religion or a non-religious conviction to evolve in the public domain and to be active therein.
• space to be different from one another – that is a necessity in a pluralistic society. This freedom has to be linked to an upbringing and education in which respect for this plurality is imparted and in which children are taught that in our society we have to do things together
• space to live your life the way you want to live it which is one of the great achievements and freedoms of our society. This leeway implies the freedom to go through life as an unbeliever as well as the freedom to be religious. The government must respect both choices and provide the public with protection in regard to one another if necessary
And last but not least: a continuous dialogue between the different faiths and religions, and between them and the secular society. Dialogue is and will remain an important condition for a peaceful society.
I therefore applaud the ASEM initiative to hold a yearly Interfaith Dialogue Conference. The city of Amsterdam is proud to be the host of this event that is being held for the fourth time today.
I wish you a very happy dialogue!.
On May 29, Mayor Cohen was presented with the Dutch Versity's first Martin Luther King Award at a special event at the Heineken Music Hall. Isaac Newton Farris, the nephew of Martin Luther King II and chairman of the "The King Center", came to The Netherlands "to personally honor Mr. Cohen for the way he realised Martin Luther King's dream of justice, equality and peace." - Job Cohen wins first "Dutch" Martin Luther King Award. Mr Cohen is no exception, having previously been in government as Secretary of State for Justice.
As Mayor of Amsterdam, Job Cohen had the privilege of performing the first gay marriage ceremony in The Netherlands under the new law that he had steered through parliament as Secretary of State.
He's fully committed to his new role, and points out that Amsterdam is much more liveable than many other large cities. A couple of months ago we had new elections, and the question of criminality and the question of safety are first on the list of priorities for the local government. “As mayor, I have these questions in my portfolio, and I can assure you that we are working hard, and we really want to get a grip on this problem. We are investing a lot of money not only in the police, but also in other ways of making the city safer than it is now." Job Cohen wants to see more integration.
Is this man out of his mind – or is he cynically steering his city into perdition? He has seen what happened to Theo van Gogh. Hirsi Ali had to go underground – and Geert Wilders is also threatened because og Muslim threats. He knows the fear of his citizens, sees how parallel and incompatible societies have developed through 40 years – and is still talking of dialogue and integration. He admits criminality is an increasing problem – and is looking forwards to more than half of his citizens being Muslims!!
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Well, maybe he is so naïve as to believe in the Fabian socialistic ideology-dialogue which the ASEM blusters about as a panacea against the problems created by immigrating Muslims. That remedy has been totally unhelpful for 1400 years – and be assured it has been tried by really devoted Christians – who are now being victimized in countries where they once had the majority. Mr. Cohen is not so stupid as to be unaware of that. He knows that Muhammed made Medina surrender with only 3% Muslim citizens through terror.
Nontheless, the City Council of Amsterdam in 2005 ordered a study of the causes of Muslim radicalisation in Amsterdam - and quite astonishingly found the orthodox (Muslim) believers to be no more prone to radicalisation than other people!!! The IMES researchers make a number of recommendations with regard to preventing radicalisation:
-Increase levels of social trust by tackling discrimination and negative images of Islam, among other measures;
-Increase levels of political trust by strengthening a sense of having a common ground socially;
-Make Islam more accessible to outsiders by making its diversity more visible.
In short: “We are to blame for Muslim radicalisation!! If only we are a bit lenient to the Muslims and give them what they want, it may go well - even if it is only our souls and the majority in our governmental institutions they want - for our souls and democracies are still just empty shells with no content! "
Therefore Cohen has made Ahmed Aboutaleb his Councillor for Youth and Education! Cohen has all symptoms of being a product or a co-player of the Rockefeller-supported mental hygiene and the Frankfurt School.
Consequently he must be a ruthless henchman of the New World Order.That he has sold himself to the New World Order is further supported by his lack of moral direction: He seems not to know what is right or wrong – it is all a matter for discussion of others. He just accepts and says "Yes, Sir" to the time-spirit! Thus, he has thrown the Old World Order on the dung hill- and undoubtedly knows fully well what his illuminist guru, Albert Pike, imposed on him. This recipe is also that of his illuminist colleague: “Henry Kissinger , that old arch illuminist, also related that he has been struck by how much the move toward a New Global Order has been enhanced by the recent crises.”
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