Air force wants Moroccan’s (2)
'I am not going to shoot other Muslims'
Hanane Abdellaoui (19) steps forward and says: “May I ?”. Corporal Lahsen Tissir (32) lays a Stinger rocket on her shoulder. “Fun”, she says.
Hanane is a guest on the Airbase “De Peel” in Venray. As part of a recruitment campaign under immigrants, the Air force organized a special day for people from Moroccan decent. A remarkable group consisting of younger women and older men. No, not fathers with their daughters.
In the freezing cold they get instructions on rocket systems like the Stinger and Patriot. “Interesting” thinks Najia el-Aldaoui (22). But does she want to join the military? “Mmmm… at least I am not going to shoot any Muslims. But I would like to work on rebuilding Iraq”.
Major Marco Simons, a recruiter for the air force, does not beat about the bush and says: “We are deployed to bring peace and security, but that can lead to armed conflicts. People who want to join, we ask if they want to put their life on the line”.
“Well”, says a father laconically, “if you choose for the army, you know it is not without risk. Remember, many Moroccans died in the Second World War, when we both fought the Nazi’s. A Moroccan cameraman reacts: “As a soldier you fight against injustice. Not against people who are Muslim or not.”
[Note of Dutch Reporter: Morocco was at the time a French colony]
The air force is recruiting immigrants. Last year they had recruitment days for Turks at air force base “Gilze-Rijen” and in the city of Eindhoven for people from the Dutch Antilles. The Moroccans who are invited at air force base in the city of Venray are from the city of Den Bosch. They where initially invited for going to air force base “Volkel”. But due to exercises that was canceled.
At the Air force work 570 immigrant descendants, 4.75 % of the total force. If the air force wants to be a representation of the Dutch society that number has to rise. A Moroccan asks if they are willing to invest in target group? Will they have a holiday during Islamic feasts? Is the food halal? Can they pray five times a day? Can they where a head scarf?
Major Simons explains that they take Muslim wished into account at the preparations of the meals for Muslims. But that does not mean the food is halal. Military personnel gets a day off for each recognized public holiday. Praying in possible, but the air force does not start Mosques, Churches or Synagogues.
About the head scarf he is clear, that is not possible. In the army we have unity of uniform. A head scarf is not a part of it.” Hanane knows enough: “In that case, the air force is nothing for me. I will not remove my head scarf”.
Hassan Tribak (29) has found his dream job at the air force. At Volkel airbase he is crew chief, end responsible for the F16 maintenance. “An interesting job, for which you travel all over the world.” The sergeant feels him self respected as both a Moslem as Moroccan. “Otherwise I would not work here for 10 years.”
The Moroccan fathers see in Tribak and Tisser examples for their children. They point out that Turks and Moroccans receive a lot of negative publicity. “They are unemployed or criminal. But on this way they can have a positive contribution to the country. Because children who are born here see Holland as there motherland, not Morocco.”
If that is so, why they talk about wanted to be respected as a Moroccans?
Why does Dutch government says they want their military to be a representation of society. Are they willing to include thieves, drug addict and a-socials? Shouldn't the military consist of loyal and stable people? They better learn from the experiences of the US army:
Daniel Pipes - Murder in the 101st Airborn (NY post)
FPM - The 'fifth' Colum Syndrome (Washington Times)
NRO - The House that Raised Akbar
FPM - Spies at Guantanamo
(Thanks to Dutch blog Media controlle for refering me to the links)
See also: Air force wants Moroccan’s