Violence flares as extreme right strengthens
15 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — Muslims have borne the brunt of politically-inspired violence as the extreme right in the Netherlands flexed its muscles in retaliation at the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in November.
15 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — Muslims have borne the brunt of politically-inspired violence as the extreme right in the Netherlands flexed its muscles in retaliation at the murder of filmmaker Theo van Gogh in November.
The sixth Racism and Extreme Right Monitor, which was published on Wednesday said the extreme right in the Netherlands has strengthened in the past two years. Problems with right-wing youth culture worsened and new political parties have been established, the report said.
Leiden University and Anne Frank Foundation researchers found the number of extreme right-wing activists has increased, and there is little difficulty in placing extreme right-wing opinions on the internet.
The researchers noted a sudden rise in racist and extreme right-wing violence in the Netherlands in November, the month Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was shot dead in Amsterdam. A Muslim man, with Dutch and Moroccan nationality, has been arrested for the murder.
Some 174 incidents were recorded last month and Muslims were the victims in 106 cases, the researchers said. A decline in the number of violent incidents has been recorded in recent years, with 260 cases reported last year.
The researchers noted that November's wave of violence was similar to that witnessed after the 11 September terror attacks in the US. About 190 incidents were reported in the Netherlands in the two and a half months after the 2001 attacks.
Arson attacks were relatively frequent between 2 and 30 November this year, occurring 36 times. Almost 25 percent of cases involved personal threats. Churches were targeted 13 times, while mosques were targeted 47 times.
Native Dutch people were the victims in about 20 percent of the extreme right incidents, the researchers said.
The majority of the recorded incidents took place in North and South Holland. About one-third of all cases took place in large cities.
The study also found that the extreme right was involved in 27 cases or 15 percent of reported incidents. That is one and half times the number of cases involving the extreme right in 2003.
Extreme right web pages were a hive of comment, urging or supporting violence in the days after Van Gogh's death.
Extreme right-wing parties profited from Van Gogh's murder — allegedly committed by an Islamic militant in retaliation to his film Submission, which cast an accusing eye on domestic violence in the Islamic faith — with three of the four registered parties reporting a modest increase in membership.
In the past two years, two new extreme right parties, the National Alliance (NA) and the New Right (NR) were registered in the Netherlands. The latter is believed to stand a chance of winning a seat in the Dutch Parliament.
The four extreme right-wing parties — NA, NR, the Dutch People's Union NVU and the New National Party NNP — aim to recruit "Lonsdale youth". These are young people who associate themselves with racist and extreme right ideas by wearing Lonsdale clothing.
Estimates of the number of "Lonsdale youth" in the Netherlands vary widely, from 300 to 1,500, with a hardcore group of several dozen members. One of the researchers said there has never been such a high number of extreme right-wing groups of youth people in the Netherlands.
[Copyright Expatica News + Novum Nieuws 2004]
Subject: Dutch news