Marcouch wants super township- - - - - - - - -
Municipal councilor Ahmed Marcouch describes his ideas for ‘a town on its own’, outside the ring [ring road of Amsterdam]. Not everybody agrees with him.
“A blooming Muslim society can grow with enough social capital. The Muslim minority becomes an asset.” Township chairman Ahmed Marcouch writes this in an internal letter to other township chairmen in Amsterdam-West. The local PvdA leader adds this to the discussion to reduce the number of townships of Amsterdam. Marcouch favors this, and wants a single super-township: New-West. He writes: “There is a real difference between west within and outside the ring.”
Marcouch sees lots of advantages in a bigger and new township outside the ring road (competition with Purmerend and Almere, the construction of skyscrapers, extension of the university), but also writes: ‘New-West can concentrate on integration of immigrants.’ It is possible to read his ideas for New-West as an extension of the Muslim faith. Is it wise for a township chairman to propose a ‘blooming Muslim society’? VVD member of parliament and spokesperson for integration Paul de Krom said: “If he meant to strengthen Muslim society, or to create a specific Muslim area in Amsterdam, I would find that unfortunate. In a secular society one should not see the leaders of that society led by faith.” His PvdA colleague Jeroen Dijsselbloem said: “I do not understand what he meant. Muslim societies form around mosques, not around township boundaries.”
Last year Marcouch got into hot water when he proposed favoring Islamic education in public schools. Three councilmen of the Slotervaart council resigned their PvdA party membership. One of them, Clyde Moerlie, reacted to Marcouch’s letter: “A most curious statement. But one that fits his way of thinking: probably a township where civil servants do not shake hands with women and Islamic studies is taught in public schools. We thought that the PvdA was a secular party, but Marcouch sees it as his duty as devout Muslim to spread Islam.”
PVV Leader Geert Wilders announced that he will question the matter in parliament. Marcouch himself was not available for comment.