Handful of Dutch Jews Live in Shadow of Muslim Area Dubbed 'Sharia Triangle'

91% of The Hague's Schilderswijk Section Are Muslims

Jewish Enclave: About a dozen Jewish families live in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood of The Hague.
JTA
Jewish Enclave: About a dozen Jewish families live in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood of The Hague.

By JTA

Published June 01, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

On a cold winter night in 2008, Wim Kortenoeven was startled by the crackling of a large fire raging near his home on the edge of this city’s last remaining Jewish enclave.

Rushing from his apartment, Kortenoeven walked 70 yards and crossed the line separating his Jewish-owned housing project from the predominantly Muslim borough containing what Dutch media have taken to calling the “Sharia triangle” — Sharia referring to Islamic law.

On the seam line, he encountered dozens of Dutch Moroccans looking at several parked cars that vandals had set on fire.

Fearing explosions, Kortenoeven shouted to the people looking down from their balconies to go back inside, but his intervention was ignored.

“Onlookers started closing in on me, shoving me, asking if I was police, what I was doing in ‘their neighborhood,’” he said. Kortenoeven scuffled with one man but managed to get away.

Kortenoeven has since moved, but about a dozen Jewish households remain in the little-known Jewish enclave known as the Van Ostade Housing Project. The gated community of 200 units built in the 1880s to house poor Jews is surrounded by the Schilderswijk neighborhood — 91 percent of its residents are foreign-born, half of them Moroccan or Turkish.

Earlier this month, Schilderswijk became national news after a Dutch newspaper reported that part of the neighborhood had become a “Sharia triangle” that police dare not enter. The report prompted a high-profile visit from the stridently anti-Muslim politician Geert Wilders, whose party called this month for a government study of anti-Semitism among Muslim immigrants.

“It is unacceptable that women in skirts should be harassed here,” Wilders said during his visit. “This is Holland. Sharia does not apply here.”

Dutch police have denied that Schilderswijk has become a lawless territory and insist they have security under control. But the Holland Wilders fears is already a reality for some Jews of Van Ostade.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.