Eclectic Grounds

conflicts and conversation

Islamophobia and manufactured Muslim threats

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In early December the Anne Frank Foundation and Leiden University issued the annual ‘Racism and Extremism Monitor’ for the Netherlands. Its key conclusion:

The problem of ‘Islamophobia’ in the Netherlands has worsened significantly in recent years.  Not only is there a negative climate of opinion towards Muslims, violence against this community has increased and there is greater tolerance of anti-Muslim offences. This is one of the most striking findings of the Racism and Extremism Monitor.

Violence against Muslims rising in an increasingly anti-Muslim climate:

The number of violent incidents against Muslims has grown significantly while overall incidents of racist violence were decreasing, the report states. The violence is accompanied by a general anti-Muslim climate which tends to facilitate the violent attacks. The appearance of the anti-Islam party PVV (by ‘Fitna’ author and populist Geert Wilders) has made Islam-bashing politically tolerable. The party is become part of the reason why right-wing extremisms seems to be more acceptable again to a larger part of the population.

The government targets Islamic radicalism, while letting neo-Nazis grow:

The government’s activities against political radicalism seem to worsen islamophobia rather than create a realistic picture of the origin of radical ideology. The government monitors political Islam rigidly while leaving right-wing extremism virtually unchecked, despite the growth of neo-Nazi activities from 40 to 400 in the last four years. 

The report cites the annual school inspection report saying that: “Schools are much more likely to face “white” extremism (…) and clashes between native Dutch students and students from an immigrant background than religious extremism.” More than half of the no-Muslim youth between 14 and 16 years, according to a poll, have negative attitudes toward Muslims.

The Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad reports in English on the publication of the Racism and Extremism Monitor here and here.

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  1. […] Monitor” in the Netherlands which observed a hightening negative climate towards Muslims (see my post here), the latest quarterly survey by the Social Cultural Planing Office has revealed a changing […]


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