Nieuws - 10 november 2005

Dutch tolerance?

Studium Generale had to cancel its first lecture in the series ‘Tolerance in the Netherlands’ because the speaker could not get there on time. The reason: Dutch train passengers demonstrated their lack of tolerance, mistaking two Muslims looking for the toilet for terrorists. Along with fellow travellers Herman Pleij, historian at the University of Amsterdam, was stranded when an international train was stopped near Amsterdam Central Station. In the train sat two Arab men supposedly behaving strangely and with a suspicious package. It turned out to be a false alarm. The men were looking for the toilet so that they could wash before praying. Their cases contained CDs with text from the Koran. Studium Generale saw the irony of the situation but unfortunately had to cancel the lecture. The series now starts on Friday 11 November with a lecture by the editor of the newspaper Trouw, Marcel ten Hooven on political relations and tolerance. Weather and terrorist threats permitting. / JH