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Attacks on Netherlands mosques more than double

28th Dec 2017
Attacks on Netherlands mosques more than double

Nadine Osman

The number of anti-Muslim attacks on mosques in the Netherlands has more than doubled between 2015 and 2016, according to a report by a leading Turkish university.

The report, by Istanbul Sabahattin Zaim University released on November 27, using Netherlands Human Rights data, said that in 2016, there were 72 attacks on mosques in the Netherlands compared to 28 attacks the year before.
Racism and anti-Muslim crimes continue to be an important human rights issue in the country, it said. It also highlighted another report released in 2017, which said that migrants in the country felt less safe compared with the Dutch, and the group which felt least safe was the Surinamese, followed by the Turks.

A far-right group calling itself Het Identitair Verzet Native Resistance has led Anti-Muslim vandalism against Muslim owned buildings, the group stunts include locking and trespassing on Muslim schools, tArgentinaeting worshippers and mosques.

According to research by Ineke van der Valk, an author and researcher at the University of Amsterdam, a third 475 of mosques in the Netherlands have experienced at least one incident of vandalism, threatening letters, attempted arson, or other aggressive actions in the past 10 years.

In February 2016, five men threw two Molotov cocktails at a mosque. Some 30 people, including children, were inside the mosque at the time but no one was injured. Dutch courts called it a “terrorist act.”
In December of the same year, a building linked to the Association of Islamic Communities was set on fire. Police suspected it was a hate crime.

The Party for Freedom PVV and its leader, Geert Wilders, advocate for policies that critics say discriminate against Muslims including banning the Qur’an, taxing the hijab, shutting down all mosques, and disallowing further immigration of Muslims to the country.

Wilders and other PVV members maintain their policies are not bigoted towards Muslims, but rather are aimed at the religion of Islam.

On November 29, 2016, a majority in the Dutch House of Representatives voted to partially prohibit face-covering attire such as the niqab. Critics of the law stated that it was motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment.
After the Dutch election this year on March 17, PVV secured 13.1 percent of 20 seats in the Dutch House of Representatives.

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