Don't fight radicalism with repression
10 October 2007, DEN HAAG - Pure repression, the purposeful creation of the image of an enemy and political isolation will not help in combating Islamic radicalism.
10 October 2007
DEN HAAG - Pure repression, the purposeful creation of the image of an enemy and political isolation will not help in combating Islamic radicalism.
Minister Guusje ter Horst (Home Affairs) wrote this in a letter to parliament on Tuesday following a report of the General Intelligence and Security Service (AIVD). The report concludes that the support of radical Islam in the Netherlands is on the rise, the movement is however not violent.
The government will be "uncompromising and very firm" when clamping down on the use of violence or inciting violence, according to Ter Horst. At the same time the government will pursue its efforts to improve social cohesion. "Polarisation may lead to radicalisation which in turn can result in terrorism and violence," Ter Horst writes.
MP Attke Kuiken (PvdA) referred to the report as worrisome, but she agrees with Ter Horst that the problem should not be "blown up". "We should be careful not to put all Muslims in the same category." Kuiken believes that moderate Muslims might turn their backs on the Netherlands if the government measures are too tough
MP Coskun Cörüz (CDA) also said the report was a cause for concern. That the group described by the AIVD, would not always be inclined to use violence is for him no reason to lean over backwards. Police and other public services should have sufficient instruments to tackle radical groups, Cörüz argues. "But repression should go hand in hand with prevention, with youths in particular. But we must do our utmost to prevent society from becoming fragmented."
Laetitia Griffith, MP for the liberals (VVD) finds the report alarming. Griffith feels that Ter Horst presents a "spurious solution" by urging for a dialogue with radical Muslims, whereas they are the ones who isolate themselves. "We should track them down, identify them, ensure that they participate in society and take a very tough and repressive line if necessary," Griffith said. Griffith wants the AIVD to provide the information on this group to local authorities so that they can take action.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2007]
Subject: Dutch news