Official policy behind anti-Muslim cyber racism

The spiraling rate of cyber-racism against Dutch Muslims is the direct result of policies adopted by the government and politicians against the Muslim minority in the country, said a Muslim activist.

“What else would you expect in a country whose rulers ignite hatred and discrimination both directly and indirectly?” asked Abdel-Rahim Kajouane, the director of the multicultural forum center in The Hague. “The policies sponsored by the Dutch government and politicians against Dutch Muslims, especially over the past few years, largely contributed to mounting discrimination,” he told

The recent report by the Dutch monitoring center on racism and xenophobia indicated that incidents of cyber racism against ethnic minorities in the Netherlands went up to 1800 in 2004 from only 1300 in 2003. The report, released on Monday, April 25, said that Dutch Muslim bore the brunt of cyber racism, which spiraled to 409 incidents last year from 231 in 2003.

It maintained that the killing of Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, blamed on a Muslim extremist, contributed to fueling racist attacks against the Muslim minority in the country. Van Gogh was widely known for his criticism of Islam and caused an uproar with his short film “Submission” about Islam and women. Dutch Muslims, who expressed disgust and outrage at the hatred-inciting 11-minute clip, swiftly condemned the killing of the filmmaker.

Kajouane, of Moroccan origin, accused several ministers and leading politicians of propagating discrimination through the media. “They are practicing discrimination by giving racist remarks and mobilizing citizens against certain “ethnic” groups,” he added.

This, said the activist, is being done as part of the government’s campaign against “radicalism and extremism,” for which the state allocated 900 million euros. Last January, Dutch authorities adopted new security measures to prevent Muslims from joining courses of diving, aviation, throwing and shooting under claims of “terror-combat”.

Kajouane warned that such government policies would undermine tolerance in the country. He further urged the Dutch politicians to avoid racist remarks against ethnic minorities in the country.

Islam Online, 28 April 2005