CAIRO - Challenging tougher immigration rules, Muslim newcomers to Netherlands are thriving in the European country, managing to integrate and lead a successful professional and educational life.
If you go to the University of Applied Sciences, you will see how many Muslims there are. Ahmed El Yamaani, editor of IslamMagazine, told the Toronto Star.
Coming to Netherlands from Yemen at the age of 9, 24-year-old El Yamaani managed to integrate well in the European country.
Currently, he has two jobs in the computer field on top of his position at the magazine, which is published by the El Tawheed Mosque.
This is the culture of the Netherlands, he said.
They want to have results. And when they see you're a good person, and a Muslim or Arab, their minds can change.
Integrating in the society, he was able to overcome all the decisions taken over the past few years by the Dutch government against immigrants.
The Dutch government, propped up by Dutch politician Geert Wilders, notorious for his rants against Islam and Muslims, has squeezed the vise on immigrants.
It adopted measures to force their integration into Dutch society and making it harder for them to both arrive and to stay in Holland.
These measures led to an extraordinary drop in citizenship for immigrants.
The number, less than 20,000 in 2010, is about a quarter of what was in the mid-1990s.
The latest provocative measure effectively deports those who can't pass the difficult civic integration test.
Before a foreigner can stay in the Netherlands, he or she must take a test abroad. The test became harder with a new Dutch reading and comprehension element added last year, and the passing grade was raised.
Foreigners from outside of the European Union must take the civic integration test after they arrive in the Netherlands. It costs about $300 and has several sections. An oral exam in Dutch has newcomers answer questions over the telephone to a computer.
Despite growing anti-immigrants measures, Muslims were able to participate effectively in the Dutch society, with a promising representation in politics.
Jean Tillie, who co-ordinates the Eurislam study from the University of Amsterdam, confirmed that just 2 per cent of Muslims are facing the danger of radicalization.
It's a picture that a lot of people think is not true, or are surprised by, because of the discourse of the radical right, said Tillie.
Muslims make up one million of the Netherlands's 16 million population, mostly from Turkish and Moroccan origin.
In 2008, thousands of Muslim scholars from across India denounced terrorism as a violation of Islamic teachings, calling it the biggest crime as per Qur'an."
Another Britain-based Muslim scholar, Sheikh Tahir ul-Qadri, issued a 600-page fatwa in May 2011, condemning suicide bombings, kidnappings and the killing of innocent people as absolutely against the teachings of Islam.
El Yamaani, editor of IslamMagazine, again sets an example of integration of Muslims and appreciation of their new homeland.
You'll never hear me say the Netherlands is bad for Muslims, he continued.
We have freedom to practice our religion. Muslims can get an education and have good jobs.
When we talk about my generation especially, it's very integrated.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net