Friday, 15 August 2014 - 14:56
Security official will not get old job back
The Dutch official, Yasmina Haifi, who was suspended this week due to a controversial tweet about IS being a Zionist plot will definitely not get her job back. Minister Ivo Opstelten of Security and Justice announces today that other measures are being looked at, and that dismissing Haifi is not off the cards, De Volkskrant reports. Haifi, a specialist in diversity policy was suspended as project leader at the National Cyber Security Center. On Tuesday, Haifi sent out a tweet that the radical terrorist movement IS does not exist, and is instead a "preconceived plan of Zionists", that is demonizing Islam. De Volkskrant writes that the discussion was motivated by the tensions in The Hague's Schilderswijk, with opposition groups demonstrating for and against IS. Minister Ivo Opstelten said he was shocked by the contents of the tweet. Similarly, Social Affairs Minister Lodewijk Asscher (PvdA) said that his "stomach flipped when I heard about it." At the conclusion of the Ministers' Council, Asscher called Haifi's conspiracy theory classic anti-Semitism. "The stupidity is almost immeasurable", Asscher reportedly said of Haifi's words. "She should study more if she believes this kind of information." De Telegraaf writes of Asscher's unprecedented critical terms, as he spoke heatedly of his party-comrade's "horrendous" tweet. Haifi has since removed the tweet, arguing "the political sensitivity in relation to my work." In an interview on Radio 1, however, she defended her statement. In the interview, where she was convener for the action-committee 'Recovery of trust in the Hague Schilderswijk', the official argued that freedom of speech is being measured with two measurements. According to Haifi, her meaning was that IS cannot be Islamic, because it acts in ways that stand directly opposed with Islamic creed. For the PVV, CDA, and VNL (Bontes/Van Klaveren), however, the damage is done. They ask Minister Opstelten how it can be that someone with such opinions can work at a post where she is subject to state-sensitive information about counter-terrorism activities. Opstelten assures the parties that Haifi's position at HR did not bring her into contact with internal affairs or critical information, but it did give her the power to contract people. Opstelten agrees that Haifi's stance does not fit with her position at the National Cyber Security Center. "That is why she was suspended directly." Her behavior went against the code of civil servants that prohibits staff working for the government from saying certain things on social media. "What someone things themselves, that doesn't matter, it's about what you express as civil servant", Opstelten says. "And this was not proper in any way. If we knew that she would do this, we would not have hired her."