Pro Patria, a Dutch extreme right group, announced to yet again take to the streets to demonstrate for the freedom of speech and against fundamentalistic Muslims. The organization will hold a “March for Freedom” on Saturday 28 February. The extreme right group says it wants to call upon Dutch political figures to “defend our freedoms.” “Looking away is no longer an option,” Pro Patria writes on her Facebook page.
In August 2014 Pro Patria organized a similar demonstration in the multicultural neighborhood Schilderswijk in The Hague. This resulted in a confrontation with (Islamic) youth. Shortly after the incident the Mayor of The Hague Jozias van Aartsen announced a temporary ban on demonstrations in residential areas of The Hague. The leadership of Pro Patria is thought to consist of members of various extreme right groups that are active in the Netherlands or have been in the past.
The Gultepe Mosque in northern Rotterdam received a threat letter this week. Part of it reads: “You can’t trust anyone anymore, so leave now, when you’re still able too. Because death is in your mosques.” And: “You are the most ungrateful and disgusting people in the world. Your own your own schools, shops and butchers, because the Netherlands don’t seem to be good enough for you cockroachers. We’re done with it. Leave if you want to stay alive. Everyone hates you. You can’t trust anyone anymore.”
The mosque’s chairman doesn’t want to react on the issue. But there has been made a report with the police, who has start an investigation.
A Muslim in the city of The Hague also received a threat letter this week. The letters seem to be a consequence of the attacks in Paris.
Municipalities experience difficulties dealing with people returning from Syria and them preventing from going. Jozias van Aartsen, mayor in the city of the Hague writes that municipalities lack the knowledge to assess the risk a returnee poses. And they have no access to means to enforce measurements upon people who refuse their ‘support.’
Van Aartsen is pleading for a compulsory screening to check if someone poses a danger. If not so, then he is allowed to live in a municipality and can get support there.
Municipalities are pleading for a more central organization of the support for jihadis. Minister of Justice, Opstelten is considering dealing with the returnees in a prison where recidivists are treated now.
Leader of Christian Democratic Appel (CDA) Van Haersma Buma calls the returnees ‘ticking time-bombs.’ According to him it’s worrying that there is this image of the country having the issue under control, when mayors at the same time have no idea what to do.
Parties like Democrats 66 (D66), People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) and Party of the Labor (PvdA) also plead for support from the state for municipalities. However according PvdA municipalities should be able to provide shelter to the returnees themselves, to make reintegration easier.
Dutch newspaper Trouw has fired one of its employees for using non-existing sources when writing articles. The name of this journalist has yet to be confirmed, but other media write it’s Perdiep Ramesar.
One of his articles that caused a lot of commotion dates from May 18 2013: ‘If your neighbourhood changes into a caliphate.’ He wrote about a part of the Schilderswijk with a so-called enclave of orthodox Muslims, where smoking, alcohol and short skirts were said to be prohibited.
The article caused a lot of commotion and some politicians decided themselves to take a look in this neighbourhood. Geert Wilders, from the rightwing party Party for the Freedom (PVV) said he didn’t feel like he was in the Netherlands, while walking there.
There were however also some doubts about the article among Muslims themselves. The article played a great role in the (already) negative image of the neighbourhood, and also its stigmatization, as complained by Adri Duivesteijn, former councillor in the Schilderswijk.
Minister of Social Affairs and Safety Asscher also visited the neighbourhood and said he didnt’t recognize himself in what the article wrote.
The National Coordinator counter-Terrorism and Security (NCTV) has plans to establish an independent support centre for families of jihadis and potential jihadis. According to Karima Sahla, who work for ‘Sabr’, an organization in city of The Hague that supports parents of (potential) jihadis, this is needed. Parents are extremely worried about their children and afraid for the phone-call that will tell them there child has become a martyr. It is important that the employees in this centre get trained in how to deal with this specific group, in order to assure quality and an ability to emphasize with the families.
A group of fanatical Muslim from The Hague will be sued for being an terrorist organization. If the judge agrees on this, leaders face lifetime imprisonment and other members face imprisonment for fifteen years.
Azzedine C. (32) is regarded as one of the leaders. Other prominent members are Rudolph H. (24), a convert, and Oussama C. (18).
Rudolph H.’s lawyer is not impressed and says there are no specific grounds for suspicions against his client.
The police held an eye on the suspects since 2013, which leads to the arrest of twelve suspects. Six of them are suspected of forming a terrorist organization.
Dutch parliamentary ministers have agreed on a package of measures to combat the growth of Muslim radicalization and stop youngsters from traveling abroad to take part in war. Ministers Lodewijk Asscher and Ivo Opstelten said in a briefing to Members of Parliament introducing the program, “the Jihadist movement is the opposite of everything our country stands for.”
Around 120 Dutch nationals are thought to be fighting with organizations such as IS and at least 30 have since returned home. Measures to be introduced include: a planned increase in options for withdrawing Dutch nationality from dual nationals; measures to deal with people returning to the Netherlands from conflict zones; a special team focusing on social media; and attention to youth vulnerable to radicalization through involvement of social workers, teachers and experts.
The Justice Minister confirms that the passport of 33 people have been cancelled so far. Most recently, officials have cancelled the passports of two couples from the city of Huizen and taken their children into care because of fears they planned to travel to Syria to join IS. The six children have been taken to a ‘place of safety’ but are not together, and their passports have also been cancelled.
In the Hague, a man and woman have been arrested for allegedly attempting to recruit people to fight in Syria and Iraq, and are suspected of “spreading hatred” via social media and news websites. In total, police in the Hague have now arrested nine people for recruiting fighters and five remain in jail.
August 13, 2014
Conflict broke out in Schilderswijk, a neighbourhood of the Hague, on the weekend of August 10. The “Pro-Patria” (For the Fatherland) group held a march against ISIS, an extreme Islamic group with a presence in the city. During the march, 150-200 Muslim youth threw stones and shouted at the protestors, and police intervened.
The city’s mayor, Jozias van Aartsen, faced criticism for permitting the demonstration against ISIS as well as for failing to be available during the conflict on August 10. He has since returned from vacation to deal with the events, and has placed a ban on demonstrations in the neighbourhood for a period of three months.
Following the confrontation, Geert Wilders, leader of the anti-Islam Freedom Party (PVV), has called on “everyone” to participate in an anti-Islam demonstration to be held in September.
10 September 2013
Arnoud van Doorn, a former member of the Freedom Party (PVV) in the Netherlands, and a convert to Islam, has announced that he will launch a political party founded on Islamic principles. Van Doorn was a member of the PVV until the end of 2011, when he was removed due to financial irregularities. He remains as an independent candidate on the city council in The Hague. Van Doorn made his announcement via Twitter this week, though the news repeats a similar announcement in March 2013 when he also provided an interview to Al Jazeera. Van Doorn has yet to provide a name or substantive details about the party.
14 August 2013
The Dutch embassy in Yemen will remain closed until further notice, according to a foreign affairs ministry spokesman. After closing due to terrorist threats, the embassy was thought to be reopening this week, however this has not happened. Embassy activities are being handled through ministry in The Hague.