Worldlog week 41 – 2014

6 oktober 2014

Last week, we had a debate in the Lower House on military intervention in Iraq. We are against military intervention, because there are significant risks of further escalation. The parliamentary group of the Lower House is convinced that bombing will only strengthen the breeding ground for terrorism. This has been proven by earlier interventions in the region.

But what is asked frequently in this context; can we let women be raped, journalists be beheaded, children be abducted, injustice exist without any intervention? Can we look away from the problems?

This is a very improper approach. The problems are complex and so are the solutions, unfortunately. According to almost all military analysts, bombing will only aggravate the situation. The Red Cross says that air strikes will aggravate the humanitarian crisis there. We therefore cannot support that solution.

We have a duty to provide humanitarian aid if human rights are being violated. We have a duty to de-escalate international conflicts. We have a duty to provide shelter to refugees and remove breeding grounds of terrorism. More pressure must be placed on the Iraqi government to grant more control to deprived groups who are now likely to be driven into the arms of ISIS. We have a duty to cut off sources of income of terrorists. We have a duty to combat religious radicalisation in our own country. But our country does not have a duty to serve terrorists on demand by doing precisely what they are asking for: war with the West, bombers and martyrdom.

Richard Norton-Taylor, a journalist with The Guardian underpins my views, see: ‘Bombing Isis will be futile – and expensive’ for his unambiguous explanation.

My colleague Esther Ouwehand called upon State Secretary Dijksma of Agriculture to refrain from allowing the dangerous pesticide metam sodium again. A majority of the House supported our request for a ban earlier this year. In May, the soil fumigant was temporarily taken off the market, since the safety of local residents could not be guaranteed. Meanwhile, however, the State Secretary has allowed the controversial substance again. We want metam sodium to be taken off the market as soon as possible. The poison has extremely negative consequences for animals, nature and the environment and constitutes a major risk to public health!

It was World Animal Day last Saturday. And it was also the Islamic Festival of Sacrifice, when tens of thousands of animals are slaughtered without stunning in the Netherlands every year.

Last week, through social media, we asked attention for the fact that sacrifice does not necessarily mean that animals should be sacrificed, giving money to those in need is another option. We also placed delicious vegetarian recipes on our website for those who wanted to turn World Animal Day into an eat-no-animals day.

Madebillboard at Amsterdam central station with the text ‘4 October World Animal Day & Festival of Sacrifice. Sacrifice money, not animals’!

Last week, Nabilla Ait Daoud, a Muslim and Antwerp (Belgium) alderman responsible for Animal Welfare, also advocated gifts instead of animal sacrifice. You can read the points of view of Islamic Concern and Green Prophet here.

Slaughter without stunning causes severe animal suffering and it is therefore prohibited in the Netherlands. An exception has been made for ritual slaughter. We respect the freedom of religion, but that freedom stops where people or animals suffer from it. For an animal, it should not make any difference what religion his slaughterer has. If you would like to learn more about our efforts in this context, click here.

For that matter, leaflets against hunting were distributed throughout the country at World Animal Day by many active party members. It is super to have these volunteers conveying our message with such enthusiasm 🙂

See you next week!