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Muslims lack tolerance ‘gene’, says Dutch FM

Published Jan 19, 2007 12:00am

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BRASILIA, Jan 18: Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot says Muslims lack a tolerance “gene,” in an interview with the Brazilian daily Correio Braziliense. “We always have been a tolerant country, and we still are. You have to look at the facts: 10 per cent of our population comes from Muslim countries. They have gone on to become Dutch citizens, but they have different genes from ours.

They are less tolerant,” Bot said in the interview published on Wednesday .

“The murders of Pim Fortuyn and Theo Van Gogh teach us a lesson: ... the million Muslims who live in Holland should become truly Dutch,” Bot said in the interview held on Tuesday as he paid a visit to Brazil's capital.

“We underestimated this necessity precisely because we are a tolerant nation,” Bot added, noting that “some immigrants have not adapted automatically to our model.” On the possibility of Turkey joining the European Union, Bot said that “for the Dutch” the Turkish people have a different culture, could take our jobs and not integrate in a satisfactory way.” ”The religious issue may have some weight but in and of itself has not been a decisive factor in my country,” he said.

“The problem is that the Turks who settled in the Netherlands in the 60s were the poorest in their country of origin ... a bit underdeveloped and poorly educated.

“That (in the Netherlands) created a certain image of Turkey. People are frightened that 80 million people like that could join the EU,” he said.—AFP

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