Internet platform for studying Xenophobia, Radicalism and Problems of Intercultural communication.

Xenophobic Rhetoric

Xenophobic Rhetoric Leader of the Freedom Party Gert Wilders.

Leader of the right-wing Freedom Party was most prominent with xenophobic statements. “Warn your neighbours, your colleagues, your friends for the danger of Islamization, a danger to your country, your liberty, your partner, your children,” Geert Wilders said in Dresden on 13 April, 2015.

In an interview to the Fox News, Geert Wilders repeated some of his typical anti-Muslim statements : “I'm certainly not anti-Muslim, but indeed I believe Islam is a threat to our civilization.” He further added that the Netherlands “is based on values that are based on Christianity and Judaism, and that Islam pose really a threat to our freedom.” In responding to a question about Muhhamad, he said: “Muhammad, as a matter of fact, was a terrorist. He was a warmonger. He beheaded Jewish tribes ... I believe that if Muhammad would be alive today, he would be tried and convicted of terrorism.”

In October 2015, the Netherlands witnessed a new wave of violence after Geert Wilders called on supporters to ‘resist’ the setting up of refugee centres. Far right groups mobs organized several violent protests to “disrupt” meetings organized to discuss the location of temporary refugee centers. Halbe Zijlstra, who leads the VVD parliamentary party, received a letter with a bullet and two cars belonging to a local Groen Links representatives were set on fire. In reaction to these incidents, the leaders of all the main Dutch political parties, including Wilders, have issued a joint appeal for an end to threats and intimidation in the debate over refugees.

It is possible to note the racist statements of the representatives of the police of The Hague. Commissioner Paul van Mouscher said on television that the Dutch of Moroccan origin are “culturally wild at heart”. “These notorious residents of the streets are more than just rude,” he said, adding that their craving for crime was “at the genetic level”.

Asylum and migration have been hotly debated during the 2017 electoral campaign. Discussions have covered topics such as security, integration, tolerance and (national) identity. The discourse of the political parties was noticeably charged: appeals to morals and values as well as in- and out-group rhetoric were heavily used throughout their campaigns. Public discourse before and after the elections made it clear that the influx of migrants and asylum seekers is perceived by many as one of the main challenges for the Netherlands at the moment. The Dutch SGP (a radical Christian party) published a manifesto, which argued that “the love offer of Jesus Christ and Muhammad’s use of violence are as different as day and night.”[1] Some intellectuals, discussed whether the number of Muslims could be reduced by deportation. Prominent Law Professor Paul Cliteur was present during the debate and discussed how this could be made possible legally.[2]

Although right-wing nationalist Geert Wilders—party leader of the Party for Freedom in the Netherlands—did not receive the most votes in the 2017 parliamentary elections, it is questionable whether this result really marks a retreat of nationalist and xenophobic politics. In the months leading up the elections in March of 2017, polls had indicated a potential victory of Wilders’ party with a margin as big as 8 percent to its nearest rivals in January of the same year. However, the traditional centrist parties have slowly adopted Wilders’ position on Islam, Muslim-Dutchmen, immigration, refugees, and the EU. Mark Rutte, who leads the VVD party, which won the largest number of seats in the election, talked of “something wrong with our country” and claimed “the silent majority” would no longer tolerate immigrants who come and “abuse our freedom”. He publicly complained about those who refuse to accept Dutch values and said immigrants should “act normal, or go away.”[3]

A new trend in Dutch politics is represented by a white supremacist and alt right leader Thierry Baudet.[4] His Forum for Democracy (Forum Voor Democratie in Dutch) which endorse a nationalistic, anti-EU, direct democracy platform won the two sits in 2017 elections . Baudet has openly talked about the “homeopathic thinning” of the Dutch population with “other peoples”, he’s claimed that women enjoy being sexually assaulted.

Like in previous years, anti-Semitic statements increase in aftermath of Gaza conflicts. Arnoud van Doorn, council member for the Party of the Unity (PvdE) in the Hague city council wrote on May 14 on Twitter "May Allah destroy the Zionists", in combination with two violent emoticons.[5]

According to the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance's latest report (2019), mainstream political discourse and media reporting in the Netherlands "remains heavily influenced by xenophobic, fear-mongering rhetoric, with politicians openly expressing racist beliefs in biological superiority."

According to official sources, several xenophobic incidents occurred during the March 2018 municipal election campaign. For example, the Freedom Party (PW) released a campaign video on March 15 on the airwaves of political parties, which caused much excitement. The commercial began with the text "Islam is...," followed by words such as: "discrimination," "violence," and "terror." The final sentence, "Islam is killing," dripped blood from the letters. In the final sentence, "Islam is killing.

The broadcast sparked public outrage, and criminal charges were filed against party leader Geert Wilders for discriminatory insult to Muslims and inciting hatred and discrimination against Muslims. The court ruled that the statement was not punishable because the campaign video was directed against a religion, not against a group of people. This decision was challenged by several human rights organizations, which filed a complaint with the court against the decision not to prosecute. On December 18, 2018, the court conclusively found the complaint to be without merit. The court also found the complaint unfounded.

In addition, controversial statements about the alleged connection between human "race" and differences in behavior by prominent members of the right-wing Forum for Democracy (FDD) party have sparked a heated public debate about racism in politics. As a consequence, the FDD has not been accepted as a coalition partner by any of the other parties involved in the political process. In the aftermath, the FDD was not accepted as a coalition partner.

Protests against the caricature of Zarte Pete (the black-faced character who traditionally accompanies St. Nicholas [Sinterklaas] during public celebrations) led to clashes with counter-protesters, on many local tours of Sinterklaas in 2018. In several towns, soccer hooligans tried to confront protesters. For this reason, demonstrations were banned in Nijmegen and Zwolle beforehand. In Eindhoven, anti-Black Pit demonstrators were attacked by a group of 200 opponents, who threw objects at them and shouted racist and sexist slogans. In Rotterdam and Groningen there was violence between supporters and opponents of Zwart Pete. The police have arrested people involved in riots in various places. These events sparked a public debate about the freedom of demonstration, as well as official complaints to the respective mayors to restrict, disrupt or ban racist demonstrations.

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