On February 27, 2004, I contributed to the — at that moment rather heated — Dutch debate on multiculturalism with an essay in NRC Handelsblad, one of the prominent Dutch national newspapers. The essay began with a short description of a young Arab girl, who — several months before, in the Kralingse Zoom subway station in Rotterdam — had passed me by on skeelers. Apparently the girl was a student on her way to Erasmus University, just like me. She was dressed in baggy harem trousers and a T-shirt with a smiley on it, had a small backpack on and was wearing a black headscarf, the cord of the headset of her mobile phone peeking from underneath. When she came near I overheard some fragments of the conversation, in a strange mixture of Arabic and Dutch with a broad Rotterdam accent, that she was having with, as the tone of the conversation made me think, a female friend. The image of a skating Muslim girl was somewhat unfamiliar in 2004. However, according to an article recently published on one of the websites of the Turkish community in the Netherlands, rollerblading is becoming increasingly popular among Dutch Muslim girls. Moreover, skating even seems to enjoy a growing popularity in more orthodox Muslim circles. In April 2012, skating enthusiasts in Italy had the privilege of seeing Zahra Lari becoming the first niqab-wearing figure skater from the Gulf.

doi.org/10.1057/9781137491268_6, hdl.handle.net/1765/107250
Erasmus School of Philosophy

De Mul, J. (2015). Database Identity: Personal and Cultural Identity in the Age of Global Datafication. In Crossroads in New Media, Identity and Law: The Shape of Diversity to Come (pp. 97–118). doi:10.1057/9781137491268_6