Almost two thirds of Dutch teachers witness Muslim discrimination in class

More than half of Dutch teachers (61 %) have been witness to verbal or physical offenses against Muslims by their students. With that, discrimination against Muslims occurs more often than antisemitism (36 %) or discrimination against Christians (30 %), but less often than discrimination against homosexuals (77 %). These conclusions were based on a research report by research bureau Panteia who, at the behest of the Anna Frank Foundation and FORUM, conducted research on Muslim discrimination in Dutch higher education (the research report can be found via the link below).


The Anne Frank Foundation aims with this research, in which 498 teachers participated, to develop a current view on the nature and size of Muslim discrimination in Dutch high schools. The research is a follow up to the research that was conducted in 2013 on antisemitism in Dutch higher education.


A majority of the teachers (76 %) did not observe an increase or decrease of cases of Muslim discrimination in comparison to earlier years. Cases of Muslim discrimination most often occur in lower sectors of Dutch higher education such as in the sector of practical education (78 %) or profession-aimed VMBO education (70 %) and less often in higher sectors of Dutch education such as HAVO (55 %) or VWO (51 %).


Causes for incidents are most often related to (media) attention for disorderly of criminal behavior by youth with a (supposed) Islamic background. Attention for terrorism or terrorist organizations in the Netherlands or abroad are seen by teachers as possible causes for incidents. Perpetrators are more often men than women (57 % against 8 %). Typical perpetrators have a Dutch indigenous background (84 %), are from the lower sector of VMBO education (58%) and, according to the teachers, often either do not have a religious background (41 %) or the religious background is unknown (32 %).


Victims are most often of Moroccan or Turkish descent. According to the teachers in almost half of the most recents incidents the victim suffered from medium (30 %) or strong (13 %) emotional damage.

Link to the Panteia research report: