Muslim gang attacks gay catwalk model
Gay people in Holland have been shocked by a public attack on a gay man in Amsterdam.
Model Mike Du Pree was taking part in a fashion show to promote tolerance towards gay people when a gang of ten Muslim youths dragged him from the catwalk and beat him.
A right wing Dutch MP has called for the youths to be deported.
Mr Du Pree’s nose was broken in the attack, which was motivated by homophobia.
The fashion event was held on a public holiday marking the birth of Holland’s late Queen Julianna.
The attack happened at the end of April. A story on US-based website Gay Patriot brought it to wider attention.
Newspaper Gay Krant reports that a bystander intervened as the model was being beaten and a fight erupted.
Fashion show organiser Jennifer Delano told the paper that the atmosphere at the event was tense, and that the violence shows Amsterdam is no longer a tolerant city.
“Mike got dragged down by his arm,” she said.
“They pinched him, he defended himself and then the guys of immigrant background started to hit him.”
Police arrived on the scene but it is unclear whether the ten homophobic Muslim youths were arrested or charged.
MPs have raised the incident in Parliament.
“This shows how strong the Islamic gay bashers feel they are,” said Party of Freedom MP Martin Bosma.
“Even at daylight, on Queen’s Day, in the heart of Amsterdam, they strike.
“Only the hardest measures could turn this sick trend.
“The Dutch nationality of the gay bashers of Rembrandt Square should immediately be taken from them and they should be expelled from the country today.
“The Netherlands can show no mercy for these people who damage our society in this way. Either they will win, or we will win.”
In December the mayor of Amsterdam commissioned academics to study a spate of attacks on gay people in the city.
A substantial increase in homophobic attacks in the capital has been reported over the last few years.
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More than half of Dutch gays feel less safe than they did a year ago, a survey carried out in August by current affairs programme EenVandaag revealed.
Sixty-four per cent of anti-gay incidents were verbal but 12 per cent resulted in physical abuse.
Amsterdam’s image in the Netherlands as the ‘gay capital of the world’ is also under threat as the survey revealed gays there were more fearful than in other parts of country.
Of the 23,000 people questioned, including 1,980 gays and lesbians, 61 per cent still maintained the Netherlands is a gay-friendly country.
The government of Holland has committed itself to the active promotion of acceptance of LGBT people in the light of several high-profile homophobic attacks in the country.
In a memorandum on the 2008 Budget, the coalition government’s Cabinet said that respect for difference is a basic condition of Dutch society.
They committed millions of euros to fight homophobia and promote acceptance.
The University of Amsterdam has been commissioned by the city’s mayor to carry out the research into homophobic attacks.