As world attention is focused on the historic Democratic presidential primary in the United States, some surprising survey results from the Netherlands demonstrate the legendary Dutch tolerance toward minorities and women.
A survey of 21,000 members of the television program "EenVandaag" reports "nearly all participants (93 percent) found it acceptable to be governed by a woman" prime minister and 78 percent would accept a gay premier. "Three-quarters find a premier with a black skin acceptable" but support dwindled for specific ethnicities, with only 31 and 33 percent, respectively, willing to support a Moroccans or Turkish premier.
The lowest numbers were among those who would support a Muslim premier, barely more than a quarter at 27 percent. Holland is known for opening its borders to refugees and immigrants, but, there has been a significant recent public backlash against Muslims for their intolerant views on women, especially on the issue of headscarves, and, there have been numerous gay-bashings disproportionately committed by Muslim Moroccan youth. One such case that received substantial coverage were the beatings received by former Washington Blade editor Chris Crain and his boyfriend in Amsterdam in May 2005 by a gang of Moroccan youth.
Dutch Would Accept Gay PM, Not a Muslim [Dutch News]