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

Incitement of Hatred

Incitement of Hatred

Like in most of contemporary Europe, the fight against radicalization and terrorism is viewed as a matter of national priority in the Netherlands. Radicalization refers to an ideological socialization to (religious) extremism that manifests itself as supporting or engaging into violent activities . Recent studies show that both radicalization and societal counter-reactions to it predominantly evolve within symbolic group differentiations , rather than reflecting concrete realities of group interactions. According to the National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism (NCTV), there is evidence about the increasing influence of political Salafism in the Netherlands . According to the governmental sources, a total of around 200 Dutch nationals have gone to Syria and Iraq. Thirty-two Dutch jihadists in Syria and Iraq have been confirmed killed as of 1 June 2015, while around 35 individuals have returned to the Netherlands. The influx of returnees to the Netherlands seems to have stalled in the first quarter of 2015, possibly due in part to a fear of reprisals by ISIS.

In May 2015 Noordhoff Uitgevers released a history book for vocational high schools (see photo on the left), which puts forward the suggestive claim that David

Ben Gurion declared Israeli statehood only after “Jewish militias carried out murders in Arab villages, and hundreds of thousands of Palestinians fled and settled in refugee camps across the border.” The book makes no mention of any of the many documented Arab atrocities toward Israelis, both over many years prior to Israel’s inception, and during the war of Independence itself. Several months later, another Dutch publisher, Thieme Meulenhoff, released a high school textbook on the Middle East, which claimed that the Balfour Declaration, promising a homeland in British Mandatory Palestine for the Jews, was an attempt to woo Jewish bankers to invest in British war efforts.

On the other hand, the media, especially social networks, portray all Muslims as a threat to Dutch identity.

In connection with the conflict around the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem and in connection with the actions of the Israeli troops in Syria and the Gaza Strip in 2017, the situation with manifestations of anti-Semitism and inciting hatred towards Jews has sharply escalated:

- In July 2017, participants in a rally in Rotterdam that was co-organized by a Hamas operative and promoters of a boycott against Israel shouted in Arabic about killing Jews. The rally was advertised by the Rotterdam branch of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement and a newly-formed organization called the Palestinian Community in the Netherlands. Participants in the rally, which was to protest the use of security measures by Israel around the Al Aqsa mosque following a deadly terrorist attack there, shouted in Arabic: “Jews, remember Khaybar, the army of Muhammad is returning.” The event, including the anti-Semitic chants, were broadcast live by the Shebab News Agency.[1]

- In June 2017, a Dutch Muslim city councilman blasted a group of Israeli high school students who were visiting the Dutch parliament, calling them “future Zionist terrorists, occupiers and those who murder children."[2]

- In March 2017, radical Muslims shouted anti-Semitic slogans amid violent clashes with police over authorities’ refusal to allow a Turkish Cabinet minister to campaign in Holland for a Turkey referendum vote.[3]

According to the CIDI there was 137 incidents of anti-Semitic discrimination, including 4 cases of violence.[4]

A Dutch rapper Ali B, who is also known in the Netherlands as an activist against discrimination released an anti-Semitic single “That is Money”, where he sang that he “sits on money like a Jew” and “deports” greedy women. Only a month after release on YouTube, the video clip of “That is Money” has been viewed more than 1 million times.

As of 2019, new forms of extremism have been recorded in the Netherlands: anti-government extremism and identity-based extremism. Central to anti-government extremism is the rejection of the government, government policies and/or democratic procedures. It is not for ideological reasons, but because of experienced or perceived injustice and resentment. According to the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (2020), identity-based extremism occurs when members of a disadvantaged group feel ignored or discriminated against on the basis of their identity (e.g., race, sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc.)

Identity-based extremism can be triggered by a deepening of existing polarization, as well as by events at home and abroad. Recent studies show that anti-racist groups, based on their own identity, take action against what they consider to be colonial and racist elements in Dutch society and sometimes their actions fit the identity extremism.

The National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security defines extremism as "the active pursuit of radically disruptive changes in society that could threaten the democratic rule of law, possibly using undemocratic methods that could seriously affect the smooth functioning of our democratic legal order." Such undemocratic methods may be violent or nonviolent, but the most extreme of the violent undemocratic methods is terrorism.

The Dutch terrorism law (Wet Terroristische Misdrijven) contains an extensive package of measures, including criminalizing conspiracy to commit terrorist acts, recruitment for "armed conflict"-jihad-and participation in training or collaboration with terrorists. The Netherlands uses a threat level system indicating the likelihood of a terrorist attack in or against the Netherlands. Since December 2019, the national threat level has decreased from "substantial" to "significant."

The National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism says the main threat in the Netherlands is Islamist terrorism, followed by violent "right-wing extremism." The government is also vigilant against terrorist threats from left-wing extremists and animal rights activists. The threat of Islamic terrorism is related to growth or socialization in a jihadist environment. It can be linked to foreign fighters who are firmly committed to ISIS ideology, as well as to several hundred jihadist couples in the Netherlands and dozens of families where one parent holds jihadist views.

According to the 2020 threat assessment, the threat of violence from right-wing extremists is less acute. However, online activities are a special case in point, as digital platforms provide ample opportunity for lone actors to potentially radicalize through contact with like-minded individuals. An attack by a right-wing extremist is still possible, primarily because of online developments.

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