Dutch Vice Minister Lodewijk Asscher proposes teaching of democracy in schools to battle radicalism

According to the Dutch Vice-Premier and Minister of Social Affairs Lodewijk Asscher democracy can not only be protected with arms but also with words, educators, and police officers. Therefore the Dutch cabinet will reserve extra money for activities that are aimed at combating radicalization and social unrest.

Asscher mentioned this during an explanation of the cabinet’s decision to invest extra millions into security measures. According to the minister it’s about how a society can make it’s youth more able to resist “the poison” that is spread [in society, ed.]. These endeavors are mostly developed locally: in class rooms, youth care, and in neighborhoods. Municipalities are being supported in their struggle, Asscher said.

The freedom of the Netherlands might be “our greatest good,” the minister said. “The Freedom to determine for yourself if you believe in God and which one that might be. To not believe anymore at all, the freedom to say what you want. The freedom to choose your own partner, to design your own life. That freedom is exactly what the terrorists want to destroy and what we together protect,” he said.

According to the minister it is not about a battle between Muslims and non-Muslims but about “a battle between freedom and force, between democracy and dictatorship.”